You’re locked in the basement of a farmhouse with a little girl who has just eaten her parents. Or, you’ve been living underground, but the subterranean military compound has experienced an uprising among troops of the dead kind. Or, you’re in a tenement house or a suburban shopping mall and there’s a helicopter waiting for you on the roof. No matter the exact scenario, you have to go up. Because there are zombies below.
Escalators are out of the question as the power’s been out for months. Same applies to elevators, although you wouldn’t want anything to do with those anyway.
Stairs are often your only means of escape from the hordes of the hungry dead. And, since climbing them with any speed requires some amount of coordination and muscle memory, a quick stair climb offers ample opportunity to open up a gap between your living body and your pursuers. It can also get you to the chopper on the roof before those roving bandits can steal your ride out of the land of the dead.
So, how do you train for stair climbing? The Stairmaster is just as boring and tedious as the daily ennui of being sequestered in the compound before the zombies created friendly fire of the ghoulish kind. Unless you live in an M.C. Escher drawing, or the Southside Slopes of Pittsburgh, walking up and down the same staircase can be just as monotonous as the aforementioned analogy.
Stair walking extends the knees and ankles, and extends and flexes the hips. To get to that choppa, you’ve got to develop the muscles responsible for those actions — the quads, glutes, hamstrings, and calves. The Get to the Choppa! Workout #1 features to multi-joint weighted movements to work the stair-climbing muscles with basic plyometrics to add explosiveness to your movements. You want to be shot out of a cannon when making your initial escape and maintain a steady, intense pace during your ascent.
For this first Get to the Choppa! workout, you’ll need a jump rope. a box or step (use a height that’s safe, but challenging for your 80 step-up reps), and two dumbbells (use a weight with which you can complete 40 thrusters — those will be the limiting factor).
- At the top of each step-up, stand upright to fully extend the hips before stepping back down.
- Squat below parallel at the bottom of each thruster.
- Explode out of the bottom of the thruster, using force from standing as you press the dumbbells overhead and lock out your elbows.
- Rest is optional, but recommended.
I can’t promise that you’ll enjoy the workout (thruster enthusiasts are rare), but it is far more dynamic than an endless climb on a piece of gym equipment.