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Oakland County’s Toughest Outdoor Workout – The Stairs at Bloomer Park

Posted by Glen LaGrou October 2, 2013 Family Health, Health, Parks

“The Stairs” or staircase at Bloomer Park in Rochester Hills, MI is one of the best outdoor fitness workouts you can find in Oakland County.

My husband and I have always loved Bloomer Park. Their giant playscape at the front of the park was a natural attraction for us once we started having kids. Playscape aside, Bloomer is a neat place full of manicured paths and history to explore.

My husband was always drawn to the giant stone shelter near the Bloomer Park playscape and well-constructed steps that lead down the giant hill behind it. We’ve always been fitness buffs (we met in a gym back in ’98). Back then our workouts, especially his, revolved around biceps, triceps and treadmills. Now, we love trips to Bloomer Park and other ways to pursue fitness.

altOur trips to Bloomer Park usually resulted in one of us watching the kids at the playscape while the other would “tackle the stairs.” We by no means invented this workout. We see a lot of people doing various workouts using the 200 step (approximate) Bloomer Park staircase to nature. The people that use these steps to work out kind of have an unspoken bond. Between the nods and the smiles, I can’t figure out if we’re communicating “I can’t believe how awesome this workout is” or “I can’t believe I’m not the only crazy person doing this.” Either way, it’s great to see people pushing themselves outdoors in the fresh air and nature and not stuck at a Lifetime surrounded by 50 million watts of technology.

Our workouts using the steps vary from day to day at Bloomer Park. It’s either a leisurely stroll to get the heart-rate up and ranges to something Rocky Balboa would use to get ready for a fight. It’s definitely old-school! We explored other paths at Bloomer Park and found more staircases. We then started to put together various workouts using the steps and paths to challenge our fitness levels.

The Bloomer Park video I took gives the basics of the location and some helpful, descriptive tips. Due to camera shakiness, I left out the workout routine but it’s a great introduction and roadmap of the basics involving the steps and the stairs at Bloomer Park.

Bloomer Park Stairs Workout Routine: Do some thorough stretching followed by a light jog down the main Bloomer Park staircase. Stretch a little more at the bottom and your workout begins! Jog or walk up the steps. If you skip steps, you’ll work your legs more. If you take each step one at a time, you’ll do some heavy cardio (and look like Jennifer Beals in Flashdance). Walking the steps is not a “piece of cake” either. It’s a good stretch. Once at the top, briskly walk (to keep your heartrate steady) to the left and you’ll see a path opening about 1/6 of a mile down. Take this short path until you reach the next set of stairs. Be careful. This path is a little unsteady and has many tree roots. Briskly take these steps to the bottom and take the path to your left. Try to keep your walk rate brisk to keep your heart rate balanced. A quarter mile later and you’re back at the bottom of staircase #1. Repeat as desired. Your lungs and legs will be tired but the fresh air feels great! Repeat these “laps”. If you’re new to fitness, 1 lap will feel brutal. Now, in my 8th year of doing the stairs workout, my routine consists of 10 laps.

The steps is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of fitness. Bloomer Park offers sledding, baseball fields, cross country skiing and miles of nature trails. 

Bloomer Park
375 John R. Road
Rochester Hills, Michigan 48309

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