Suffer Club – Workout #17

Stair Battles are not a conventional format for an outdoor exercise session, but they are one of my favorites, both because everyone works a lot harder when you introduce competition, but also they’re hard as hell and I get to see the Suffer Clubbers standing around with their hands on their knees, heaving for breath.

Here’s how a stair battle works. You need two sets of stairs (or things get really crowded…which isn’t a huge problem). You split your group into two teams. Each team gets a kettle bell. That’s their “game piece.” You set the kettle bells on the first step, and then you give everyone an set of exercises to do, say 10 pushups. For every 10 pushups a person does, they get to move their game piece up one step, running the rest of the way up and down after. So a team with 5 players can move the kettle bell 5 steps per set. The team who gets their piece to the top step first wins.

There are ways to make this more interesting, too. For example, you can give your group a choice of exercises (as I’ve done below), so they don’t burn out on one. Or you can give them a choice of exercises, and whichever team wins gets to choose the next battle exercise or exercises.

We are fortunate to have two sets of stairs with 33 steps each. It makes for a long, hard battle. If you have fewer steps, no problem. If you have more, you might consider switching exercises halfway through. We only got through the first 5 of the battles below in 45 minutes, so there’s plenty there for two workouts, or combined in different ways, a lot more.

Battle Options

  • 10 Swing Tucks or 5 Walkouts
  • 10 Push Ups or 30 Speed Skaters
  • 10 Triceps Dips or 10 Step Ups
  • 5 Burpees or 15 Diamond Sit Ups
  • 20 Bicycles or 40 Mountain Climbers
  • 5 Body Rows or 5 Hanging Knee Ups
  • 30 Russian Twists or 15 Plank Jacks
  • 10 Spiders or 10 Crab Taps
  • 20 Plank Toe Taps or 40 Jumping Jacks
  • 10 Squat Jumps or 10 Reverse Lunges

And yes, I let them use the slide to get down.