Go for 10 sets:
Just to be clear, going up and down is one set. Or down and up. You can’t call going down and up as 2 sets!
Do the 10 sets walking, not running. Stretch hamstrings, quadriceps and calves at the top each time.
To make it a whole body workout, we will add exercises at the top and / or bottom of the stairs. You can use either set. The concrete set at 4th street are 199 steps and the wooden steps in the middle of Adelaide are 170 steps.
Top of the stairs: Using the grassy area in the middle of 4th near Adelaide.
- Push ups: 10 reps
- Planks: 1 minute
- Triangle push-ups: 10 reps
- Hip lifts (to engage more glutes for the stairs, if you cramp, eliminate them): 15 reps
- Crunches (nothing fancy here): 15 reps
- Elastic band biceps curl: 15 reps
- Elastic band lateral raise: 15 reps
- Elastic band pull-aparts (rear deltoids) – choke up on the band part not using the handles and pull apart til the band touches your chest: 15 reps (adjust grip to make it burn)
- Elastic band row wrapped around the barricade or a tree (in case you can’t do the pull ups at the bottom): 15 reps
Bottom of the stairs: There are pull up bars placed along the sidewalk – I just assume they are there for exercise. Near the 4th street concrete stairs and the 6th street wooden stairs.
Pull ups: 10 reps or until failure (I need a chair to reach the bars, can’t jump anymore!)
Now you’ve obviously got to adjust the reps and resistance for you but I think I provided a good guideline.
Want to target your glutes more on the stairs?
Here are 3 ways to work more glutes on the Santa Monica stairs:
- Make an effort to hinge at your hip with step and squeeze your working leg’s glute.
- Lift your free leg back behind you with each step but just make sure not to kick anyone behind you!
- Step partially sideways – at a 45 degree angle. I would say this is more for the hips (saddlebags).
No pressure, but my girlfriend and I used to do 15 sets on the concrete stairs…
Yes, all these tips work on any stairs, even the stepmill.
Bonus: After the complete stairs workout you can upgrade your glute shaping by adding this kneeling glute tri-set! (3 sets of 20)
Los Angeles Outdoor Workouts
Santa Monica Rings
If you like a really challenging exercise at the beach, then take a shot at the Santa Monica Rings at the old Muscle Beach. You can do quite a few exercises for your outdoor workouts here, all of which are really hard! Do knee raises, pull-ups, or simply Tarzan-swing back and forth. Just swinging from ring to ring is quite the challenge for the average exerciser. If you can lift yourself to a pike position you are in an exceptional class of relative strength.
Walk the Santa Monica Stairs
The Santa Monica Stairs are extremely steep and numerous. Climbing them is a great way to workout at your own speed. I recommend that you focus on a moderate pace, continual walk or jog top to bottom of this popular scenic landmark. Once you get to the summit of the one hundred seventy five steps, stretch your calves, Achilles, hamstrings and quadriceps. Stretching helps to prevent possible injury. Even a single set of either the wooden stairs or concrete ones can challenge your limits. Don’t worry, your endurance will increase fairly rapidly with concurrent workouts. You can find this popular Santa Monica outdoor workout destination can be found at Fourth and Adelaide in northern Santa Monica.
Hiking at Temescal Canyon or Los Liones
Temescal Canyon is a location that typically attracts those who love nature as well as the convenience of its location. The foliage there will block out most of the sun light, so you won’t have to worry about too many sun rays at the hottest time of day. Still use sunscreen though! Don’t think that is will be easy to get through this trail though as areas of the canyon is fairly steep. You can expect your walk to be quite strenuous.
I also like the uphill trail known as Los Liones. It’s a hike through Topanga State Park. Although it seems pretty straightforward at first, the trail eventually splits into other various directions after about a mile in. It is located in Pacific Palisades off Los Liones drive. You can park on the street near the head of the trail or in some parking lots further away. Parking can be a pain if you don’t arrive early enough, so be sure to get there as early as possible.
Lift Weights at Muscle Beach
This would be my personal favorite as a prefer old-school weight training. This public weight lifting area on the southern part at the end of the Venice Beach Boardwalk. It’s managed by the parks department and you’ll need a day pass or seasonal membership (super cheap!) It’s accessible about a block or two to the north of Washington Boulevard.
The Muscle Beach Bodybuilding shows are held here on Memorial day, July 4th and Labor day. Watching the show is free and the quality of competitors is pretty good. Check one out! I personally won my class at the July 4th show in 2007. I usually recommend new competitors wet their feet at these events.
Run Through the Sand Dunes
During the cold months, the city of Los Angeles makes sand dunes every year to protect public facilities from storm damage. The yearly shielding of the shoreline involves the making of sand dunes throughout Venice and Santa Monica Beach. Walking, jogging, or running over these dunes during the wintertime is a great way to achieve an intensive and self paced outdoor cardio workout session.