Secret staircases in LA area make for innovative workouts

Having run 20 marathons and 115 half marathons Patricia Greenberg was surprised at how hard it was to do a stair-climbing workout.

“Stair climbing was a whole new sport to me and a whole new level of difficulty,” said Greenberg a health expert known as the Fitness Gourmet.

She found two in Silver Lake that fit in her schedule – the Music Box Steps and Micheltorena steps.

“It’s 11 flights so I would climb up and down and up and down 10 times – until I got to the point that I could climb 1,500 steps without getting too winded,” Greenberg said.

The 1,500-step goal was for an even bigger achievement: Raising money for the American Lung Association at fundraising events held at some of America’s tallest buildings.

So far she’s topped the Empire State Building, the John Hancock Tower, the Sears building and LA’s own AON center.

“When I get to the top I usually cry tears of relief and joy,” exclaimed Greenberg.

She changes up her step workout with some strength exercises, doing dips, lunges, push-ups, and back work in between her climbs.

She also finds camaraderie in the process – new friends that share tips and stories.

“Not only the fitness benefit. You’re out in nature, it’s gorgeous. Every staircase is unique – no two look alike – and I found a network of seven here,” she said.

If you want to add a little culture to your climb you might check out some books for reference.

Charles Fleming wrote “Secret Stairs” and “Secret Walks.” Paul Haddad wrote “10,000 steps a day in LA.”

Both offer maps and trails all around the LA area.

From Santa Monica to Baldwin Hills to Pasadena, the climbs are free, full of history and fun for kids of all ages.

“I don’t bribe with candy or food but whoever gets to the top is the winner,” said Greenberg.