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StairMaster Workout Benefits & History

StairMaster was founded by Lanny Potts and Jim Walker and introduced by Tri-Tech, Inc. of Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1983 at the National Sporting Goods Association trade show. The StairMaster 5000 was a rotating staircase machine, sometimes called a step treadmill, which employed a urethane centrifugal brake to control the speed of the staircase at a constant speed.

In March of 1984, StairMaster invented a replacement of the Stairmaster 5000 called the StairMaster 6000.The difference between the StairMaster 5000 and the StairMaster 6000 was the display information. The StairMaster 6000 displayed workout information on a CRT and showed a workout summary on a thermal printer. On to top of that, the StairMaster 6000 also included a heart rate monitor which its predecessor did not have. The heart rate monitor was very useful because it later became a pre-programmed course for those who have a specific heart rate goal they would like to reach. To this present day, the display of course has made incredible advancements. Most the fitness equipment today has LCD display consoles instead of CRT’s. The advancement of the display console is very similar to a box computer monitor’s upgrade to a flat screen LCD.

In February 1986, the StairMaster 4000 PT was introduced in Nashville, Tennessee again by Tri-Tech. The StairMaster 4000 is completely different from the previous step machines because it was invented with two pedals with independent motion compared to the stair climbing technology of the Stairmaster 6000. Instead of climbing up a flight of stairs, the user would step onto two pedals much like riding upright on a bike. In 1987, Tri-Tech introduced Gravitron, which is now known as Stepmill. Over the years, StairMaster has gone through a series of ownership changes and was later acquired by Nautilus, Inc in May 2002. Nautilus is now known to manufacture Bowflex, Trimline, and Schwinn exercise machines.


Over the years, StairMaster has acquired the reputation has one of the largest manufactures of exercise equipment in the fitness industry. For over 25 years, StairMaster is known to be one of the toughest cardiovascular machines on the globe. There are two legends about StairMaster. One legend claims that StairMaster and its "stepmill" or "stepper" have become mainstay pieces of equipment in the world’s finest fitness facilities. In any major gym or even an independent gym, you will find a StairMaster. The second legend claims that Stairmasters are the perfect machine to do the any fitness job. They have high standards for high-quality, high-performance, and are low maintenance. They are known to combine vision, innovation, research, unsurpassed quality, and advanced technology dedicated to provide the best results. Stairmaster is very different from its competitors. They offer different techniques of exercise by encouraging the user to workout specific body parts rather than the whole entire body.


In comparison to treadmills, ellipticals, or bikes, a StairMaster is the ultimate workout machine. For a powerful lower body workout, any StairMaster machine will accomplish the job. StairMasters are perfect for any fitness level and for anyone who wants to get a good workout on their legs and thighs. Other fitness equipment cannot compare because the stepper imitates an uphill walk or run. Unlike treadmills, stepmills do not have the capability to decline in height. Take the StairMaster 7000 for example; it is a stair climbing machine and it imitates a flight of stairs. Though a treadmill provides a full body workout and also can incline in height like a Stairmaster, a flight of stairs is much more difficult than walking or running on a slanted hill. It is a constant challenge because the user must continually climb up a flight of stairs that are designed with steps that are 8 inches each and refrain from falling. Also a StairMaster is the better alternative to a treadmill because it prevents you from pounding your feet onto the treadmill, which imitates pounding your feet into cement. Instead of walking or running on your tippy toes to get to the top, on a stair climber you use your whole foot which engages all your leg muscles such as your hamstrings, calves, and thighs.


Unlike an elliptical or a bike, StairMasters provide a stronger lower body workout because it burns more calories. On an elliptical or bike, the speed is not generated through the machine thus the user can stop for a break at any time and can control their desired speed. This allows the user to cheat if they refuse to maintain their maximum speed. Also these machines only focus on the frontal muscles such as the thighs unless you do a reverse workout to work on the hamstrings. On a Stairmaster, similar to a treadmill, the speed is machine generated so that you are encouraged to continuously workout on that speed without stopping. Ellipticals also concentrate on stride whereas a StairMaster directly focuses on the entire structure of the leg such as hamstrings, calves, and thighs. Overall, a StairMaster imitates real life walking or running up a flight of stairs, making it ergonomically correct for the body.


Stairmasters are really easy to use. Most of them have 6 pre-programmed courses and over 20 resistance levels to provide the ultimate workout. Also, many of them are equipped with speeds varying from 24-162 a minute. There are several Stairmaster fitness equipments available to choose from. Some StairMasters come with step pedals and others come as stair climbers that imitate a flight of stairs. The benefit from having a StairMaster stepmill is that they are upright, thus they do not take up a large amount of space in any home or gym. Stair climbers are also upright but they are a little larger so they take up a bit more floor space.


Take a look at the StairMaster 4200 PT/CL. It offers the traditional patented pedals and electronic pedal system similar to the original StairMaster stair climbers. The pedals on this equipment are specifically bio-mechanically enhanced to provide correct movement, making the user have a better posture over long usage. The StairMaster 4200 PT/CL also offers 4 pre-programmed courses as well as 20 levels of intensity. The speed on this machine ranges from 26 to 174 steps per minute. Similar to a traditional fitness machine, it also has a built in computer console display that provides statistics including time, calories burned, distance traveled, floors climbed and step rate. As a plus, the StairMaster 4200 PT/CL also includes a water bottle holder, reading rack, and accessory tray. Another benefit of this machine is that it also comes cordless so it is easy movable around the hom


The StairMaster 4400 PT/CL and StairMaster 4600 PT/CL are also very similar to the StairMaster 4200 PT/CL. Both of these fitness steppers come with pedals and side arm rails. Both can also be cordless and are very compact. Due to its upright structure, these steppers are very compact and can fit in almost any room.
The StairMaster 4400 PT Stair Stepper is an amazing machine because it encourages perfect posture. The U-shape handrails also known as upper body handles on this machine prevent the user from cheating by transferring their weight to their arms. The transmission on the StairMaster 4400 PT is also very quiet making it very smooth and responsive. Unlike the original Stepper, the StairMaster 4400 PT allows you to increase or decrease the intensity of stepping action at anytime during your workout giving you full power of your exercise. Also it is has a Polar Heart Rate monitor capability.


The StairMaster 4600 is similar to the StairMaster 4400 however it is more advanced because it offers a new easy-grip upper-body handles. Along with the upper body handles, it also has side handrails, providing more options for the user. The body handles provide maximum user comfort and are ergonomically designed to accommodate any fitness level. Unlike the StairMaster 4400, this unit uses contact heart rate rather than polar. The Contact heart rate is integrated into the upper handlebars and automatically runs the unit’s heart rate training program making it amazing accessible and easy to read. Also, the StairMaster 4600 includes a reading rack, built-in cassette, and water bottle holder, all mounted to the console. The StairMaster 4600 is certainly a luxury upgrade compared to the StairMaster 4400. If you are looking for just the basics, the Stairmaster 4400 is your answer. If you want more luxury and extra components then the Stairmaster 4600 is the perfect choice. The newest brand new StairMaster 4600 is actually even better than the original version. Instead of having a speed range of 24 to 162, the newest version has been upgraded to a speed range of 26 to 174 steps per minute. The foot pedals are built with cushions and has smaller “easy-grip” upper-body handles.


For an even higher luxury upgrade, the StairMaster SC916 Stairclimber is the new innovated stair climber that features a much more compact cardio machine. It uses a chain drive rather than revolving staircase. To prevent injuries on the knees and ankles that can be caused by hard stepping, the SC916 is made with bio-mechanically correct movements. Unlike previous versions, the Stairmaster SC916 offers 10 total workout programs which include the usual quick start, manual, fat burner, calorie burner, speed intervals, custom intervals, random intensity, heart rate intervals, calorie goal, and heart rate zone trainer. It is manufactured to fit any fitness level and to allow the user to have full control of their training regimen.


Another great machine is the StairMaster 7000. Unlike the Stairmaster 4200, 4400 or 4600, this unit is a revolving staircase. Instead of using two independent pedals, it imitates a revolving flight of stairs. Many will say that this machine is one of the toughest machines in the market simply because walking up over 100 flights of stairs is very difficult. Unlike pedals, you are constantly bringing your legs upwards with engages your thighs. The goal of the StairMaster Stepmill 7000PT is to offer the user a real stair climbing experience and it definitely fulfills that job. Each stop offers a full 8” high which gives a complete reality of climbing. The benefit of having a StairMaster 7000PT is that is offers a variety of programs and features that are not present in the previous versions. Compared to the other versions of steppers, this specific model also has one of the widest ranges of climbing speeds. The speeds ranges from 24 to 162 steps per minute and also has 6 pre-programmed courses such as Quick Start, manual, fat burner, aerobic training, speed intervals, and constant HR fitness test and fire fit test. This machine is one of the most innovated machines in the globe because it is built like a tank and can go survive through strong impact. It is used by the USA firefighters as a mandatory training routine.


An even more advanced stair climber is the Stairmaster SM916 Stepmill. Like the Stairmaster 7000, it also offers a set of 8 inch stairs that closely duplicates actual stair climbing. The handrails on this machine are ergonomically set to promote perfect posture and the toughest workout possible. This machine tests even the most athletic such as firefighters. The C.P.A.T also known has the Candidate Physical Ability Test is a program built into the machine is often used by fire fighters as a mandatory test. The StairMaster 7000 also includes a Polar compatible telemetry Heart Rate monitoring system. Often times, people will use a stairmaster to start off their workout by using the heart rate monitoring to reach their heart rate goal. By doing so, it will prepare the user for their workout to burn maximum calories. The StairMaster SM916 Stepmill specifically has a total of 10 workout programs which includes the usual fat burner, calorie burner, and interval courses. The display unlike previous models also uses innovative technology. It is designed with a backlit LCD display and is compatible with a 15-inch TV.
Climbing exercise is one of the toughest exercises there is in on the market. It is the one workout that will give you a sweat every time no matter how intensively you use the machine. The overall purpose of StairMaster is to manufacture fitness equipment that is designed to challenge the everyday walker to the everyday runner. Anyone of any fitness level will receive the ultimate challenge on a stepper or stair climber. There are two types ofStairMaster equipment to choose from. You can choose from either independent pedals or a revolving staircase. Whichever you choose, your legs will feel the ultimate workout.

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