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How to Calculate Calories Burned on a StairMaster? 2024 Guide
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How to Calculate Calories Burned on a StairMaster? 2024 Guide

|May 16, 2024

Are you wondering how to calculate the calories burned on a StairMaster? This is important if you're looking to maintain, lose, or gain weight.

Many pieces of equipment have been designed to make it easier to integrate exercise into your routine and improve your physical fitness. The StairMaster is one of the most popular. However, with all those settings and intensity levels, it can be hard to estimate how many calories you're actually burning when using it.

Luckily, this guide contains all the information you need to know if this exercise machine can help you maximize your workout and reach your fitness goals. Read on!

Benefits of Using a StairMaster

Before exploring the common methods for calculating the average calories burned on a StairMaster, you should determine if this exercise machine can optimize your workout routine and contribute to your physical health.

Thanks to its strategic design, the StairMaster targets and engages all major muscle groups in the upper and lower body, so it's an excellent option for an all-around workout, especially if you're new to exercise.

Below is more information about these benefits:

Calorie Crushing

StairMaster workouts are great calorie burners since you'll need to expend a significant amount of energy to complete stair climbs. As such, this machine aids in weight management and can support your efforts to achieve your fitness goals.

Calorie Crushing - calories burned on stairmaster

Cardiovascular Conditioning

Using the StairMaster as part of your exercise routine can improve your cardiovascular health and conditioning. As this combines resistance with constant body movement, you can burn calories while strengthening your heart and lungs.

The more oxygen there's in your blood, the better your organs and muscles can operate. Your circulatory system will also be more efficient. StairMaster workouts can improve endurance, promote heart health, and boost stamina.

Body Strength

With a StairMaster, you can strengthen your lower body. When using this machine, you should engage in continuous stair-climbing, which works out your core and promotes better posture, leading to enhanced stability and improved overall resilience.

Regular exercise on a StairMaster fortifies several muscles in your glutes, calves, thighs, and quadriceps. Furthermore, you can adjust the machine's resistance levels to promote progressive overload and further strengthen your lower body.

Although there isn't a universal standard, and each StairMaster manufacturer can set their own scale, these are the general intensity levels for this machine:

  • Level 1-3: These low-intensity levels are good if you're a beginner, are warming up/cooling down, or just want to get your legs moving.
  • Level 4: At this level, you can start feeling your heart beating faster and your legs burning.
  • Level 5-6: These are moderate-intensity levels, similar to climbing stairs at a brisk pace, and can help you burn calories or improve your cardiovascular health.
  • Level 7: As a more vigorous intensity level, it's similar to running upstairs and can make your heart start beating even faster.
  • Level 8-10: This level suggests vigorous intensity and is challenging to maintain for an extended period. Your heart rate will quickly increase, but this is a good option if you have experience and are looking for a demanding workout.
  • Levels 11+: Considered "extreme," these levels are for the fittest people, as they require more physical demand and are more challenging to maintain beyond a quick workout.

Body Strength - calories burned on stairmaster

Bone Strengthening

Since stair climbing is a weight-bearing exercise, using this machine can help you maintain bone density, promote bone health, and prevent osteoporosis.

Other Benefits of Using a StairMaster

Besides burning calories, improving your cardiovascular health, and strengthening your body and bones, using this gym equipment offers the following benefits:

  • Regular use of the StairMaster can improve leg power and give you a sculpted, toned look.
  • Since StairMaster workouts require combined leg movements, they can improve overall coordination and balance control, benefiting other activities and daily tasks.
  • Unlike other exercises and activities, such as running or jumping, StairMaster workouts are low-impact and minimize stress on your joints.
  • Since this exercise machine allows you to adjust speeds and incline levels, it'll keep your workouts interesting and motivate you to continue pushing yourself to progress gradually.
  • A StairMaster allows you to get a challenging and calorie-crushing workout in a relatively short time, so it's ideal if you're often busy.
  • Like other exercises, StairMaster workouts are exceptional mood boosters, as they'll provide an endorphin rush that can help you reduce stress and feel energized.

Other Benefits of Using a StairMaster

How Many Calories Does the StairMaster Burn?

Now that you know more about this machine and its benefits, are you ready to calculate the calories burned on a StairMaster? Check the following information!

Average Calories Burned on a StairMaster

On average, a person can burn 95 calories every 10 minutes using the StairMaster. However, different factors influence this rate.

Overall, the amount of energy you expend on a StairMaster workout will depend on the following:

  • Your personal physiology (weight and body composition)
  • The amount of time you exercise
  • The intensity level of your exercise

If you're using the StairMaster and set a high-intensity level for a faster climb, you'll burn a huge amount of calories. However, a 200-lb individual will expend more energy than a 180-lb person.

Do you want to know how many calories you can burn at each intensity level? Most StairMaster machines feature a calculator that can help you make this estimate during your workout based on the option you choose and your weight. However, this number may not be accurate because other factors must be considered.

Average Calories Burned on a StairMaster

As mentioned before, there isn't a universal standard for StairMaster intensity levels. Instead, they often vary by manufacturer. However, these are general ranges that can give you an idea of ​​how many calories you can burn using this machine:

  • Calories burned on StairMaster level 1-4: 150-250 calories per 30 minutes
  • Calories burned on StairMaster level 5-6: 300 calories per 30 minutes
  • Calories burned on StairMaster level 7: 350 calories for 30 minutes
  • Calories burned on StairMaster level 8 to 10: 350-450 calories per 30 minutes
  • Calories burned on StairMaster level 11+: 450+ calories per 30 minutes

How Many Calories Are Burned Using a StairMaster for One Hour?

Based on the average amount of energy you can expend on a StairMaster (95 calories per 10 minutes), you could burn 570 calories by using this machine for one hour. However, the estimates made by the Harvard Medical School are slightly different.

A study measured the average calories burned on a StairMaster, focusing on 30-minute workouts and on users' different weights. These are the results of the average energy expenditure for exercises using these machines:

  • 125-lb person: 180 calories (30 minutes) / 360 calories (one hour)
  • 155-lb person: 216 calories (30 minutes) / 432 calories (one hour)
  • 185-lb person: 252 calories (30 minutes) / 504 calories (one hour)

How to Calculate Calories Burned on a StairMaster?

If you want to estimate how many calories you burn when working out on a StairMaster, you can use a calculator. This tool often considers the Metabolic Equivalent of Task (MET) values ​​and your body weight to determine how much energy you spend on this activity.

For a more specific result, you can use the following formula:

Calories burned per minute = (MET × body weight in kg × 3.5) / 200

As long as you know the MET, you can use this formula for any activity. Find the values ​​for stair climbing in the Arizona State University Compendium of Physical Activities.

How to Calculate Calories Burned on a StairMaster?

What Burns More Calories: StairMaster vs. Treadmill and Other Machines?

Suppose you're exercising to lose weight and buy some office or desk exercise equipment to stay active during the day. StairMasters, treadmills, elliptical machines, and bikes are common options. However, you want to get the one that burns the most calories. Which one should you choose?

Although all of these pieces of equipment are great for getting good cardio, each will have a different impact on your body. Below are some estimates of how many calories you can burn with each machine:

StairMaster vs. Treadmill

This StairMaster vs. Treadmill comparison estimates how many calories a 125-lb person can burn when mimicking the stair-climbing motion or running on a treadmill.

  • StairMaster: 180 calories burned in 30 minutes
  • Treadmill (walking slowly): 125 calories burned in 30 minutes
  • Treadmill (walking briskly): 200 calories burned in 30 minutes
  • Treadmill (running): 247 calories burned in 30 minutes

Should you use a StairMaster or a treadmill for belly fat loss? What is the best machine to manage your weight? As explained above, this will depend on your goals and other important factors, such as your physiology. You must consider all these variables to choose the most suitable option.

If you want to burn more calories, running on a treadmill at a steady 5-mph pace seems like the best alternative. However, you don't just have to focus on your energy expenditure, as each machine offers unique benefits.

StairMaster vs. Treadmill

StairMaster vs. Other Machines

This Treadmill vs. Elliptical vs. Bike comparison focuses on machines you can use in the office or a basement gym (besides the StairMaster) and how many calories each one can help you burn.

Below is the estimated energy expenditure for a 125-lb person using one of these machines for 30 minutes:

  • StairMaster: 30 calories
  • Treadmill: 125-247 calories
  • Elliptical machine: 270 calories
  • Bike (stationary bicycling): Between 210 calories (moderate) and 315 calories (vigorous)

StairMaster vs. Other Machines

Can I Lose Weight by Using a StairMaster Every Day?

How many calories does the StairMaster burn if you exercise regularly? Is using this machine every day enough to lose weight? To answer the first question, you must calculate the average energy expenditure for this activity.

The answer to the second question is more complex. In essence, using the StairMaster is a great way to stay active throughout the day and lose weight. However, as mentioned, your results will depend on other factors.

Although the StairMaster is an amazing exercise machine for those who want to lose weight, you not only need to calculate the amount of energy you expend climbing stairs but also your resting calorie-burning rate (the energy your body uses when you're resting).

Whether you lose weight or not will depend on what you do (physical activity) and eat (your diet) all day. Plus, it's influenced by other environmental and social factors. For more information, check out this Active Calories vs. Total Calories blog post.

Can I Lose Weight by Using a StairMaster Every Day

Final Thoughts

The average calories burned on a StairMaster and the benefits of using it show that it's possible to lose, maintain, or gain weight with this fun and easy-to-use machine.

However, you need to consider other factors to determine if this piece of equipment can help you achieve your fitness goals. Fortunately, you can use this guide to calculate a more accurate energy expenditure and learn how the StairMaster can benefit your body to make an informed decision.


Is a stairs workout a good idea?

Yes, it is! Besides burning a good number of calories and potentially helping you manage your weight, stairs workouts offer many benefits, such as low-impact exercises, cardiovascular conditioning, bone health support, core strengthening, and more.

Furthermore, StairMaster machines are convenient, as they're easy to incorporate into your daily life. That's why they're often part of the best office and garage gym ideas!

How Can someone prepare for a safe stairs workout?

Did you calculate the calories burned on a StairMaster? Do you want to start using this machine as soon as possible? Consider these tips to prepare beforehand for a safe stairs workout:

  • Start with a warm-up and gradually increase the pace or intensity based on your physical ability and experience
  • Take your time and don't overdo your exercises at the beginning
  • Relax your neck and shoulders
  • Maintain good posture throughout your stair workout session
  • Wear suitable and comfortable shoes
  • Consult with your doctor before starting a stairs workout if you have a pre-existing medical condition

How long does it take to burn 500 calories on a StairMaster?

It'll depend on your weight, the StairMaster's intensity level, and other factors. However, climbing stairs at a moderate pace can help a 125-lb person burn 500 calories in about 1.5 hours.

A 185-lb person could burn over 500 calories in just one hour, but this can vary depending on the intensity of the workout. Calories burned on StairMaster level 7 and over are estimated at 300+ every 30 minutes, for example, so it'd take less time to reach the 500-calorie mark.

Do StairMaster machines burn belly fat?

Although you can't spot-reduce belly fat by using a StairMaster or any other machine because it's virtually impossible to control where the body loses fat, this piece of equipment exercises and strengthens the lower body, giving you a more sculpted, toned look.

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