The Best Cardio Machine – Burn more fat in less time

We often justify our inability to work out with “I just don’t have the time”.  Well, what if I told you that just 15 minutes on this machine is more than enough and as effective as 30 minutes on the treadmill or eliptical? This machine burns 800-1400 calories per hour, versus 600-800 calories per hour on the eliptical. Today on the blog, I discuss the best cardio machine, where it burns more fat, in less time.

I’m talking about the StairMaster (aka Stepmills or Stairmills, StairMaster is a brand), not to be confused with the StairClimber. This machine is like the escalators from hell, because you’re climbing stairs that are never ending.  Not only does it burn calories, but it also engages your glutes and legs – so you’re toning them at the same time.


For years, I avoided the StairMaster because every time I went on it, within 2 minutes, I was out of breathe and felt so unfit.  I even tried justifying to myself that the eliptical was the best machine, or “Oh I have a really good groove going on with the treadmill”, because I was able to go longer on those machines and felt I was getting a better workout.  Finally, my trainer insisted that I do the StairMaster.  Even when I was like “But I can barely do 5 minutes…it won’t be as effective”, he assured me it was hands down the best cardio machine and to do what I can and slowly I’ll build up my stamina.  At first, I barely did 5 minutes.  Then I worked up to 10 minutes.  Now I’m able to do a solid 15 minutes and given my fitness goals and busy schedule, I’ve maxed out at 15 minutes.

Here are some tips on how to get started on the StairMaster and ways to increase the intensity while still sticking to a 15 minute workout:

  • In the beginning, start at a slow speed that you can keep up with.  Go for as long as you can, make a goal of 10 minutes and see how much you can do.  Even if you’re only doing 5 minutes, that’s okay, your time will get better.
  • If you need to, hold onto to the railings until you get more comfortable with the machine.
  • Slowly build the time, last week you did 5 minutes, next week try 8, then 10 and so on.
  • Once you’ve gotten comfortable, STOP holding the railings.  If by holding the railings you can now only do 10 minutes whereas before you were able to do 15, that’s okay, not holding the railings offers a more intense and effective workout.
  • Increase the speed.
  • Try interval training.
  • Hold 3-5 lbs dumbbells in each hand as you use the StairMaster for increased intensity – it will increase calorie burning and engage your glutes more.

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2 Comments on “The Best Cardio Machine – Burn more fat in less time

  1. Thanks so much for this! I will definitely have to check out the stairmaster. Question – do you go from gym to work or work to gym? Any thoughts on doing a post on how to get work-ready right after a workout? 🙂

    • I used to work out during lunch but now I go straight after work. During lunch was very convenient but then you run into the issue of fixing yourself up after a workout. Good idea, I’ll brainstorm. In te meantime, have you seen my 5 Minute Make Up Face post?

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