6c6f98fb87a6a32b9b1f4099c7b132fc[1]So I again changed up my normal Friday core routine.  Earlier in the day I saw a video where they took blood samples from two healthy men.  They then had both men exercise vigorously on stationary bikes and drew another blood sample.  They then introduced prostate cancer cells to both blood samples.

In the blood that was drawn pre-exercise the cancer cells were able to survive and replicate.  However in the blood drawn after exercise these same cells were destroyed.  The premise of the experiment is vigorous exercise causes muscles to produce chemicals that actually destroy harmful cells in the body, lending even more weight to the benefits of consistent exercise.

So anyway, the video convinced me to get some hard cardio under my belt instead of core work so after a set of 61 push ups I jumped on the Star Trac stair climber.  For the first few minutes I was just in quick start mode where you set your speed and start stepping.  As I was plodding away I saw the machine had a landmark climbing mode.

Each time you hit the button it displayed another incrementally taller landmark than the prior structure.  I think the first one was the leaning tower of Piza which was less than 200 steps.  Well I went big and kept hitting the button until the Sears Tower popped up which has a massive amount of steps, right around 2300.  I actually thought this was doable, even if the most steps I have done on this machine prior was 600-700.  Sure it’s a lot of steps but hey, I can do it.  Yea right.

So the machine has a graphic display of the building and displays the percentage of steps you have completed.  I was happy it counted the steps I had already logged in quick start mode but that only got me to 9%.  I kept my pace at a steady step per second or right around 60 steps a minute.  As I started doing the math in my head I realized I would need to be stepping away for nearly 40 minutes if I was to complete the task.

I didn’t have that much time remaining on my lunch hour and even if I did, I don’t think I could have physically endured it without a break.  When I am on the stepper I am upright and my hands never touch the side rails. I certainly would never think of the hunched over, elbows on the bars position I see a lot of people do.

I don’t get it.  If it is so difficult for you that you need to support a huge portion of your body weight on the support bars, go slower or for shorter durations of time and do it freestanding.  When you take your hands off the rails you force your body to work to balance itself and amplify the benefit of the exercise.  I would say out of all of the people I have seen on the stair climber at the gym, I can count the ones that didn’t use the rails on one hand and that’s including me.

So anyway my goal quickly got adjusted downward to climbing half of the Sears Tower over lunch instead.  Keep in mind unlike walking in an actual building where you can pause to take a breather as needed, with the stairclimber version the steps are relentless with them rolling out to greet your feet endlessly.  I covered about 1150 steps before I hopped off.  It was the most sweat soaked my shirt has been since I last ran at the gym.

I’d like to be able to conquer the entire tower over a lunch hour.  It will require me to immediately get on the machine and to have particularly stiff mental fortitude that day.  It’s going to hurt, bad.

Today’s Workout

5 minutes cardio/stretching

61 push ups

Stair climber – 1144 steps (half Sears Tower)

X-trainer – 5 minutes