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Don't Die: Do Stepups

Don't Die: Do Stepups
Stepups with a GORUCK Sandbag at MTNTOUGH’s TOUGHFEST in Montana this summer.

Stepups are a powerful exercise for performance, health, and longevity.

You’ll learn: Why stepups matter, how to do them correctly, and how to use them.


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Remember that only 2 percent of people take the stairs when there’s an escalator available. This project covers how and why to take the metaphorical stairs—choosing the path is slightly harder in the short term but gives you a massive long-term benefit.

But today, we’re talking about an exercise that helps you climb actual stairs: the stepup exercise.

Climbing or descending stairs is a step up or step down exercise practiced out in the real world. If you can’t step up or down well, you’re headed down a dark road. As researchers in the Czech Republic put it:

The single stepup is an integral movement performance for functional mobility and activities of daily living.

One study found that people who performed better while climbing four flights of stairs were less at risk of dying from any cause. Another noted that the ability to climb stairs well reduces the risk of catastrophic accidents in older adults.

Today we’ll cover the stepup exercise.

  • The surprising reason stepups are an essential exercise.
  • How to do stepups correctly: movement and equipment tactics.
  • How to use stepups in a workout.

Let’s roll …

Two ways stepups keep you alive