10 MINUTE TACTICAL TOOLBOX: Running up/down Stairs Full Blast Without Looking at Your Feet

Don’t Trip dude!

What is the 10 MINUTE TACTICAL TOOLBOX ?

Sure, running up a staircase doesn’t sound cool like blasting down a door with a shotgun or jumping through windows. But it is an essential skill that any prepared guy should have in their Tactical Toolbox.

Most people probably think they can run up a staircase just fine, but its not so easy when going balls-to-the-wall fast, holding something in your hand, scanning your environment, wearing a bunch of gear, wile under stress, making decisions, paying attention to someone and not looking at your feet.

Way, way back in the day I was chasing a dude up a flight of stairs in the projects. I kept looking down at my feet because I was concerned about tripping (and it is just a natural habit most people do). As I was running full blast after this fool I turned the stairwell corner wile staring at my feet and was welcomed by a Davis 32. auto in my face.

Now besides being angry that I was about to be killed by a chromed-out pimp gun that costs 30 bucks, I was extremely pissed at myself for making such a huge mistake. Luckily for me the kid didn’t have in him to shoot me in the face, so after changing my underwear I worked up a training program I jokingly call “Tactical Stairmaster”.

Before I get into this training program I need to get the “you should already know this shit but I have to say it anyway” stuff out of the way. Check with you Dr to make sure you won’t have a stroke wile doing this, train with someone that can catch you if you trip, and wear some sort of protective padding.

This program is extremely dangerous, the following article is for educational and entertainment uses. By clicking the link below you agree to THIS

Tactical Stairmaster 101

You will need the following items:

  • A Brain
  • Stairs with railing
  • A training buddy
  • Protective Padding (especially shin pads, forearm guards, knee pads and a helmet)
  • Scotch tape or 550 cord
  • Poster board
  • 5 pound dumbbell
  • Basketball Training Goggles (Dribble Master brand only costs 5 bucks)
  • Holster and training sidearm (Airsoft guns are great for this)

Put on your protective gear and the Basketball Training Goggles, the training goggles basically block your lower vision. Now (wile holding the railing) go up and down the stairs at 40% speed for 10 minutes a day.

Sounds easy right? Well, by the end of this week you will be cursing my name. Don’t even think about doing this without a helmet, training partner and the other protective gear.

Now that you are sore as hell and nicely bruised up go ahead and boost your speed to 80% for 10 minutes a day.

Day 1 and 2 of W3: While going at 80% speed hold the 5 pound dumbbell in your hand, alternating between your strong and weak hand for 10 minutes.

Day 3 and 4 of W3: Have your training buddy write up some simple addition math problems on the poster board (no peaking). Then have him hang them up (with the tape or 550) at each stairwell corner on your training stairwell (using a different set each time you go up).

Wile you are running up or down (still at 80% speed) holding the 5 pound dumbbell (still alternating between your strong and weak) you have to call out the answer to each math problem before you reach the next stairwell corner.

Day 5, 6 and 7 of W3: Wile you are running up or down (still at 80% speed), draw your training gun right before you reach the top of each set of stairs and aim it at the math problem then holster it (all this wile running), then call out the answer to each math problem before you reach the next stairwell corner.

You will need to find a closed off stairwell for day 5, 6 and 7 of W3 so you wont get shot by a cop because they got a call about some crazy guy running up and down a stairwell yelling random numbers and waving a gun around.

If you cant find a closed off stairwell then put a bucket under the math poster board and put a bunch of ping-pong balls in your pocket – draw the ping-pong ball and throw it in the bucket. You will still look like a crazy person but not like a crazy person that a cop would shoot first (think Mel Gibson crazy).

Do the same daily exercises you did for week 3 – but at 100% of your maxim speed.

Program Notes:

As I said before please use a training buddy for safety and protective gear or you could seriously injure or kill yourself. Read THIS again before starting this training program, by using this website you absolve DVM of any liability if you injure or kill yourself.

Try and keep a hand touching the railing or wall, like the Secret Service keeps their fingertips on the Presidents car you will use their railings and wall to guide your directions. Also if you trip you will have something to hold onto.

In Conclusion…

So, now you can Shoot and Loot wile running full blast up and down the stairs. Even if you are not working in an occupation where you chase armed dudes up a flight of stairs this is still a great skill to have. An active shooter situation is an excellent example where the ‘Average Joe’ having this skill in their Tactical Toolbox could save their life.

I can actually run up a stairwell full blast blindfolded, its is one of my stupid human tricks. I tried to get on letterman like 80 times but they never responded to my inquires, so I watch Leno now.

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~James G
Founder – Editor in Chief

James G is a Veteran Civilian Contractor who has worked in the Middle East and Southeast Asia for way too long. He spends his off time in Indonesia and Virginia getting drunk, shooting guns, writing poorly written articles and running up flights of stairs blindfolded.

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16 thoughts on “10 MINUTE TACTICAL TOOLBOX: Running up/down Stairs Full Blast Without Looking at Your Feet”

  1. When I did my first mob at Fort Devens. My Platoon occupied the third floor of a barracks there. Our squadleader an Army Ranger from the Panama canal days said that if we were ever going up the stairs we were to run up using every step, never look at our feet and never use a guard rail.

    I didn’t think that was very safe especially for National Guard guys. (Someones always looking to get out of a deployment.)

    Once you reached the landing you knocked out 25 pushups and recovered. Of course if you were using the stairs alot it didn’t apply to you. It was good training for urban ops because you knew you could go up those stairs not checking your feet all the time and taking your eyes off your sights.

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  2. You did not disappoint Mr G.

    A skill worth practicing for sure.

    Thanks mate.

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  3. HA. Great article james. I had to learn this years ago and if anyone is considering trying this, don’t do it without the pads in fact I would add some hip pads as well initially. And if you don’t know how to fall, first learn how to.

    I taught a program like this for for a paper I was doing for my master’s last year on how to train and expand working memory and multi tasking. It was great. Though some people I found just can’t do it.

    I can’t go up stairs blindfolded like james (would love to see that by the way) But I can sprint full speed up them. It is truly a skill worth knowing.

    As for some tips I would like to add, as you get on in the training alternate between addition and subtraction. It just works your neurological processes a different way.

    Also a great place to train for this is in large hospitals. No one ever uses the stairs in a hospital and if it is big enough due to the basements and/or parking the first few sometimes even up to 5 stair wells are unused. Thus giving you ample space for training and you won’t run into anyone (literally).

    Also being that there is security in hospitals you can liaise with them and let them know what you are doing as to when it goes to waving the gun around like a crazy person no one shoots you and they might want to train with you as well. Also recon the stairwell and take some padding and tape it down to any sharp edges that can and probably will cut, jab or break anything.

    Lastly remember the tried and true method of all training. “Slow is smooth, smooth is fast”.

    Great article James. Very comprehensive.

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  4. I can’t go up stairs blindfolded like james (would love to see that by the way)

    The only reason I am so good at this is because I spent months practicing after almost getting zapped – Fucking up is always a great motivator to improve your skill-set

    As for some tips I would like to add, as you get on in the training alternate between addition and subtraction. It just works your neurological processes a different way.

    Great tip!

    All of my training programs have some sort of memory exercise in random parts of the training that has nothing to do with the skill I am teaching.

    I can’t remember where I read about doing that but it adds in stress, problem solving, multi-tasking and (like you said) works your neurological processes so you end up absorbing everything on an ‘instinct’ level

    Glad you liked the article and I would be interested in seeing your master’s paper on multi-tasking – hit me up on the contact form if you get a chance

    ~James G

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  5. Jesus! I outta breath just reading this. But, good stuff!

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  6. Yep – this will also get you in kick ass shape

    ~James G

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  7. The only reason I am so good at this is because I spent months practicing after almost getting zapped – Fucking up is always a great motivator to improve your skill-set

    Yes, yes it is which is why I added the hip pads. First time I did this, it was a looong flight of stairs and I went down hard. Bruised the hell out of my hips.

    Great tip!

    Also calling out colors and shapes work great. Or while doing the whole thing instead of the math at the tops of the flights try counting by 3s or down by 3s.

    All of my training programs have some sort of memory exercise in random parts of the training that has nothing to do with the skill I am teaching.
    I can’t remember where I read about doing that but it adds in stress, problem solving, multi-tasking and (like you said) works your neurological processes so you end up absorbing everything on an ‘instinct’ level

    It increases your working memory. Working memory is the amount of tasks that you can accomplish at the same time. Which when it is at its limits is one of the causes of stress. Common theory is that it is fixed. Everyones is different. What happens is as something is rehearsed it takes less cognitive effort to accomplish. So it becomes automatic or ‘instinctual’ and the less working memory is required to accomplish that task. Thus freeing it up to perform other tasks.

    So when you add in your addition or subtraction or shapes or what have you it lessens the space required to accomplish the task of sprinting up the stairs. It is the reason why most of us can talk on a radio and drive, or seek cover while changing a mag etc. Where as the average person that talks on their cell phone and drives are erratic drivers and if then tried to change a mag and seek cover they would trip and fall.

    I say it isn’t fixed and that it can be expanded in certain people but not others. But that is debatable. I say guys like us and in the military that things are drilled into us it can accomplish expanding their working memory where as the average person has difficulty. But the stair sprinting is an easy way of testing it that can be tested on anyone.

    Glad you liked the article and I would be interested in seeing your master’s paper on multi-tasking – hit me up on the contact form if you get a chance

    ~James G  

    Next time I have access to it I will have to make a copy. I tend to keep work and academics separate so it is in storage back home. The result of the study turned out that females. (sorry guys) had naturally higher rate of success than males and that as certain tasks require less working memory the more the subject can accomplish.

    Got my Master’s in Performance Psychology, so this stuff is in my wheelhouse, and I must say that it is refreshing to see people think this way especially in regard to tactical training. It is a widely over looked aspect that 90% of this stuff is mental. But hey any questions or if you just want to bounce some ideas off someone. Just let me know.

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  8. Excellent and well thought out comment man, great stuff there

    I will hit you up and bounce some ideas off of you

    ~James G

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  9. To complete what Eugene said, it may be interesting to take a look at the work of George Armitage Miller including “The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two”

    Many studies on cognition under stress have been used to improve programs for combat training.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Magical_Number_Seven,_Plus_or_Minus_Two

    http://www.psych.utoronto.ca/users/peterson/psy430s2001/Miller%20GA%20Magical%20Seven%20Psych%20Review%201955.pdf

    sorry for my poor english.

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  10. James and Eugene,

    Great synergy! Learned something from both of you. While I am at it, let me thank both of you for an excellent and worthwhile read!

    Best regards,
    Albert

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  11. I’m thinking a “blue gun” might be easier for the locals to swallow around here. Slightly decreases the odds of me getting rumbled by the police/security. Also less of a loss when I inevitably drop it, then all 230+ pounds of me on top of it.

    There are wonderful stairwells attached to the painting studio, I think this might just become my breaktime routine.

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  12. I had to do a search to see what a Davis 32 auto was. There are websites that sell them for 65 dollars and up.Thats not a very impressive looking weapon.

    As a matter of fact, if I was a scum bag I would be embarrassed to have one. I suppose a functions check is out of the question.I can just see two drug dealers in the hood talking about their new “weapons”.

    Yo dawg, check out my new piece. It cost me fitty five dolla’z yo. Word? Aww, she-it I gotz to get me one!

    EDITORS NOTE: I moved this part of your comment from a comment you made on another article, it looks like you posted it in the wrong article

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  13. The Davis was a popular handgun amongst the gangbanger crowd in Richmond back in the 90s

    ~James G

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  14. Great article. This would probablyhelp for rocky mountain warfare.

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  15. If you are trying this out see this forum post:

    http://www.deathvalleygroup.com/f/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=26

    ~James G

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  16. This stuff is priceless. It goes way beyond the training I get which is tailored to the lowest common denominator. Thanks for posting it.

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