Why The Power Stairs Are Used
When we think about climbing stairs, its usually to get to a higher floor within a building or to get onto an aeroplane from the runway floor. Climbing stairs is not often thought of as a sport or an exercise. The only time you see them in the gym is if the gym is on the second floor and you have to use the stairs to get to the gym. When we think back to the Rocky films, where Rocky Balboa finished his training by running up the 72 stone steps towards the entrance of Philadelphia’s Museum of Art. We see the determination it took Rocky to train his endurance and overcome the strain from his training. Sylvester Stallone who played Rocky, suggested that he should carry his pet dog, a big Bull Mastiff, up the 72 stone steps within the film. Although this seemed like a good idea, when Sylvester tried to do it with his heavy dog, he failed and they could not shoot the scene due to the dog being too heavy for Rocky. The scene just wouldn’t work.
Now imagine Rocky trying to carry a 182-273Kg weight up the stairs, it just would not happen. But this is what the power stairs are about. Running or even walking up a flight of stairs is proven to be one of the best exercises for cardio, also it works the glutes, calves, thighs and mainly helps to strengthen your core. But a normal by-stander would get tired just from walking up a flight of stairs. A good athlete would be able to run them no problem, but if you include a massive heavy weight, things change! This is where they have incorporated a real test of strength, power, technique and overall endurance. Making The Power Stairs a unique event in which only these strongmen who have trained hard will be able to achieve!
About The Power Stairs
The power stairs are akin to a close-grip dynamic deadlift. The strongman has implements of varying weight that have to be lifted up and onto one or several steps. Most strongmen attempt to shrug and simultaneously swing the weight onto the step. Unsurprisingly, height is a huge advantage and shorter strongmen, such as Vytautas Lalas, have struggled with this event.
Although height can become a big factor within this event, many strongmen prove that with a good technique, along with the added strength to lift the weight, the right form with the determination and the endurance (mentally and physically), this incredible challenge can be overcome. This takes not only strength and good footing, but takes much skill and stamina to master. Some strongmen use one foot in front of the other, while others jump up with both feet at once. Not only is getting up an issue, but with multiple weights to carry up, getting back down can become an issue and slow down the heaviest of strongmen.
Training for The Power Stairs: Training for the Power Stairs is fairly straight forward. You just need to find some stable steps that will be able to support your weight along with the added weight that you will be placing on each step. There are many different variations with The Power Stairs, so it is hard to determine a height or depth of the stairs that you may one day be using within this event. Although, within the training for this event, that could be a bonus, as this will encourage you to use different steps with different variations. Some people choose to buy a set of sturdy and stable metal framed steps, similar to that of what you see leading to some big stages. Although purchasing such a big object for the purpose to train for one event seems somewhat over the top. If you look around and find some concrete steps in a private area, this could be a perfect place for you to train for this kind of event.
For beginners, it is advised that developing the muscles needed and strengthening these muscles is vital before trying to lift any really heavy weights up some steps. To strengthen these muscles, compound exercises are recommended such as deadlifts and squats. Some bent over rows will really help to develop your lumber region ready to lift that weight onto the next step. Not only does this event take strength but also endurance, good footing, skill and plenty of stamina. That is why, as well as working on building your strength, making sure you have training sessions that include high repetitions is also necessary when you are trying to build that stamina ready for The Power Steps. It is all ways vital to work on your technique with lighter weight to begin with and then start adding weight as you feel your tolerance to the lighter weight increase.
At current there are no accepted records for The Power Stairs. There are too many variables involved, such as the number of steps, the height of the steps and the weight and shape of the implements that the strongmen carry. This makes setting an official world record unfeasible. Having said that, Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson (Thor) put in a blisteringly fast and effective effort on the power stairs at the 2012 World’s Strongest Man finals, easily beating his rivals. For his efforts we will award him the unofficial title! Here is Thor battling it out with Brain Shaw at the WSM 2012 (well it wasn’t really much of a battle for Thor!):