1

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Is the Stairmaster good for building leg muscles?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 23, 2013 at 3:24 PM

I was wondering if the Stairmaster is better for building leg muscles as opposed to the elliptical or treadmill. I am looking to use the Stairmaster to supplement my regular leg workout of deadlifts, various squats, leg press, thrusters. I am not going to use it in place of these important lifts. I am considering using a 20 pound weight vest while using the Stairmaster at a steady pace. With regards to time spent on the Stairmaster, I am aiming for about 20 minutes. The maximum would be around 30 minutes. If I do this, I will be doing it 2x per week.

My current cardio routine is 16 minutes of HIIT on the stationary bike 3x per week. I go all out for 30 seconds and rest for 1:30. I repeat this for 16 minutes.

In essence, my main question is this: Would the weighted Stairmaster as a supplement to my regular lifting routine be good for building my leg muscles? Or would it be more like chronic cardio, hindering my leg muscle building goal?

Bfd70bb38267fcc2d762063d691fa226

(723)

on January 23, 2013
at 09:29 PM

Thanks for the interval suggestion! I was actually going to do both, but on different days. That's why I was going to do the stairmaster at a slower, steady pace. I am already doing the intervals on the bike 3x a week, so I wouldn't want to overdo it with intervals!

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5 Answers

best answer

1
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on January 24, 2013
at 02:21 AM

In my opinion, a stairmaster will firm your muscles a little but won't build them, the only thing that builds muscles is some kind of lifting or intense interval training. This doesn't have to mean lifting huge weights, could be crossfit or other cross training, but if you want muscles and muscle definition you need to lift something.

2
Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on January 23, 2013
at 03:33 PM

I think the heavy lifts and the hiit are all you need to build muscle. I don't think weighted stairmaster would give you much incremental benefit in that regard, though there could be other benefits.

1
9faea9e231d519588949f1bc631a7709

on January 23, 2013
at 11:46 PM

I love using the stairmaster. It seems like the best cardio machine to get both a ton of calories burned while also building up leg muscles. If you're looking for purely adding muscle I would stick to lifting and only do the stairmaster for short, quick intervals. I use the stairmaster for about 10 minutes max at a high level and by the end my legs are ready to move on to something else. For me, it's a great warmup to almost any exercise.

0
705e66484ed64fe8e188123de398413e

on January 24, 2013
at 03:29 AM

Weighted stairmaster would definitely be chronic cardio.

If you're looking to build muscle, I think you're already doing too much cardio. Based on the amount of cardio you're doing I also have to wonder if you're eating enough.

0
089dd41b18fbb95ebb5347cded708d98

(5635)

on January 23, 2013
at 09:12 PM

i think the stairmaster is tough as hell. i would do intervals on it like 50 seconds normal speed and 10 seconds all out. you don't need more than that, especially if you are wearing a vest. god, that's hard!

are you replacing the cycing with the stairmaster or doing both?

Bfd70bb38267fcc2d762063d691fa226

(723)

on January 23, 2013
at 09:29 PM

Thanks for the interval suggestion! I was actually going to do both, but on different days. That's why I was going to do the stairmaster at a slower, steady pace. I am already doing the intervals on the bike 3x a week, so I wouldn't want to overdo it with intervals!

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