The StairMaster Is TikTok's Favorite Underrated Workout - A Personal Trainer Tells Us Why

The StairMaster is one of those unassuming gym machines that deserves far greater recognition than it tends to receive. After all, incorporating a StairMaster into your exercise routine doubles as a strength training session and a serious cardio workout. You've likely noticed an uptick in TikTok videos that feature this underrated piece of equipment as the core focus, with many people sharing their favorite tailored routines to the previously trending 25-7-2 or 12-3-30 treadmill workout.

That said, if you're skeptical about hopping on the StairMaster during your next workout session, it helps to understand how this trending gym machine can elevate your routine. Therefore, Gliz spoke to Kate Georgiadis, personal trainer and founder of custom personal training business Lift, to uncover the logic behind the StairMaster craze. "The StairMaster isn't just climbing the social media charts; it's transforming workout routines with its scientifically backed benefits," Georgiadis tells Gliz during an exclusive interview. In fact, "it burns calories at an impressive rate, with an average burn of 220 to 300 calories in a 30-minute session, depending on intensity and individual metabolic rates," she adds. According to Georgiadis, the StairMaster has much to offer and can help you achieve your gym goals.

Unpacking the benefits

The multipurpose function of this fitness machine is likely one of the key reasons why GymTok has elevated the StairMaster into a workout necessity. Compared to other types of fitness equipment — such as the treadmill, which largely acts as a cardio-based workout — the StairMaster stimulates greater gains by improving cardiovascular health and toning your muscles. "It targets essential lower body muscles, ensuring a sculpted appearance," Kate Georgiadis explains to Gliz during an exclusive chat. Specifically, the StairMaster activates the quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, and glutes, while using your core and hip flexors for balance and stability.

"It also boosts cardiovascular health by improving heart efficiency and endurance through concise, intense workouts," Georgiadis shares with Gliz. "Additionally, its low-impact nature makes it kind to the joints, offering a powerful combination of efficiency and effectiveness that resonates with those seeking maximal results in minimal time." What's more, the low-impact nature of the StairMaster machine — as opposed to high-impact workouts — also makes it a realistic move for those attempting to get back into working out after time away.

Getting started with the StairMaster

If you'd like to use your gym's StairMaster but feel unsure about where to begin, Kate Georgiadis shares her expert tips on how to go about your new routine. "Begin with short, manageable sessions, keeping an eye on form over speed. Gradually increase the intensity and duration as you find your rhythm," Georgiadis tells Gliz exclusively. For instance, you can begin with "10 to 15-minute sessions at a moderate intensity" and then "gradually increase your time to 20 to 30 minutes as your fitness improves."

Once you've grown accustomed to the machine, there are two different paths you can take depending on your fitness goals. For instance, if weight loss is your top priority, Georgiadis recommends integrating HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workouts by "alternating one minute of intense stair climbing (70% to 85% of your maximum heart rate) with two minutes of lower-intensity recovery." Follow this routine for 20 to 30 minutes, twice per week. On the other hand, Georgiadis advises prolonging your sessions to 45 to 60 minutes while maintaining a steady pace if you want to improve your endurance. "This consistent, moderate-intensity training enhances aerobic capacity and stamina," she explains. Similarly, you can also consider elevating your workout with ankle weights to boost your gains and focus on muscle toning.

Ultimately, the StairMaster is a practical workout machine, and individuals with a range of fitness goals and levels would benefit from adding it to their gym routine.