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The 25-7-2 workout is going viral after promising to get you toned in six weeks

Updated: Mar 25

A personal trainer explains the benefits (and drawbacks) of the sweat session

Ring the TikTok trend alarm - there's a new fitness routine going viral, this time coined the 25-7-2 workout (spoiler alert: it's all about the stairmaster).

It's far from the first workout to go viral on the app - first came the 12-3-30 treadmill workout, soft hiking, and then a Pilates-and-strength hybrid in the form of the 3-2-8 workout. Now, the 25-7-2 is trending (clearly, TikTok users love following a number-based workout plan).

It currently has over 235 million views on the app - so what does the workout actually entail? Good question. A stairmaster workout, it's another example of the medium-intensity cardio workouts that are all the rage right now (we're looking at you, hot girl walk). Why are they so popular? Well, studies show medium-intensity workouts can improve your respiratory fitness as well as high intensity training (only at a much easier pace and without the added stress).

The stairmaster comes with benefits of its own. Don't know what that is? Well, it's literally a rotating staircase that you keep climbing. Ever felt out of breath or like your leg muscles are getting a good workout while climbing the stairs? Then you've got an idea of what the stairmaster feels like.

Back to the 25-7-2 workout, which was originally shared by user @shutupcamilla as a "way to get abs" in - yep - as little as six weeks. This obviously garnered the interest of the Internet, especially as she added in one video that it's key to remove your hands when you climb to build that key core strength.

Spoiler alert here: Camilla isn't a qualified trainer, plus you can't get visible abs a. in as little as six weeks and b. purely from working out (factors like diet and genetics play a large part, too). For a qualified expert's take on the sweat session, keep scrolling - personal trainer Nancy Best, founder of Ladies Who Crunch, has dissected the workout trend.

Your guide to the trending 25-7-2 workout


The 25-7-2 workout is a stairmaster workout, with the numbers meaning:

  • 25 minutes on the stairmaster

  • Walking at level 7

  • Twice a week

While all stair machines are different, level 7 will ideally be a medium-intensity setting so that you can sustain the walk for 25 minutes.


Best advises that you warm up pre any session. "Dedicate time to your mobility as improving your flexibility and range of motion is going to help you avoid injury and ensure you can continue to do cardio pain-free," she explains. That means mobilising your hips, knees and ankles as these are the body parts that will be stretching and strengthening as you step on the stairmaster.

It's also important to take the workout at your own pace - especially if you're new to cardio. Level 7 might feel too intimidating and that's ok. Simply start lower and work your way up to level 7, the personal trainer advises. On the flip side, advanced exercisers might want to go past level 7, and that is fine too. We need to keep progressing to see results, so turn the dial up and down as appropriate.

And finally, do make sure that you add in some strength training alongside the 25-7-2 workout for a well-balanced routine. Don't know where to start? Read our guides to weight lifting exercises and strength training for beginners ,as well as our recommendations for the best leg exercises, the best arm exercises, the best glute exercises, the best shoulder exercises and the best ab exercises.


Like every workout, there are pros and cons to 25-7-2 depending on your goals and current fitness levels. Let's start with the benefits of 25-7-2.


"There's a common misconception that cardio needs to feel intense to be beneficial," says Best. "However, any form of exercise that builds your cardiovascular health is worthwhile. Recent research has even found HIIT and medium-intensity training lead to the same amount of weight loss and cardio improvements."


Typical cardio options, like running and HIIT, put a lot of impact and pressure through your joints, but the stairmaster doesn't. "This type of training is particularly beneficial because it's low impact, giving you an endorphin boost without straining your joints," says Best.


"If we want to build functional strength and fitness, we need to replicate movements from everyday life. Hopefully, we all climb stairs regularly, so the stairmaster is a great machine to improve lower body power and endurance that makes daily activities easier," adds the personal trainer.

That said, Best flags some concerns over the workout, too.


While TikTokers promise that 25-7-2 will give you abs, there are some hard truths when it comes to the reality of abs. Firstly, we all have abs already - there's nothing to 'get'. Having visible abs comes down to your genetics, your body fat percentage and the size of your muscles.

Our abdominal muscles lie behind a layer of fat. Losing fat means there's less covering your muscles and they will be more visible. You can't spot reduce fat, meaning ab workouts won't burn stomach fat, but they will build the muscle that may make them look more defined even if your body fat stays the same.

Cardio is good for fat loss, which is why creators say that 25-7-2 will create visible abs, but for that result, you also need to pair it with the right nutrition, recovery and lifestyle options. And even then, not everyone can get visible abs.


According to the NHS, adults need to do 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise every single day. That means a twice-a-week workout isn't enough activity for your long-term health.

But cardio isn't everything. "There is compelling evidence that strength training should be your priority for long-term health and fitness," adds Best. "This year alone, the British Journal of Sports Medicine published findings that hit headlines. The research showed that muscle strengthening was associated with a 10% to 17% lower risk of death from any cause, heart disease, cancer and diabetes."

There's nothing wrong with doing the 25-7-2 as an addition to your workout, but doing it alone might not be the best way to improve your health.


"Personally, me and the stairmaster aren’t best mates as I find them very dull," says Best.

And that's the complaint with a lot of cardio options - moving at the same pace for an extended period of time can feel boring.

Bottom line? Why it's a great addition to your weekly workout rotation, it's not enough movement to be doing on it's own.

Not to mention the fact that using the machine without holding on might be dangerous and risk you falling over and injuring yourself. You were warned.


Creators on TikTok seem to love the 25-7-2 trend, sharing videos of themselves climbing on the stairmaster or their post-workout feels.

One fan of the workout, called Nat, tells Marie Claire UK: "I find the workout very rigorous and challenging, and there are times during the workout that I don't think I'm going to finish it. But when I do complete the workout it's so rewarding. It gives a great burn on my legs, specifically my quads or glutes."

Another creator, @stinglikeb, says: "I enjoy the 25-7-2 workout because it has a lot of benefits in one. It works the core, glutes, quads and it’s a great way to build endurance. When I workout, I love to keep it simple and effective, and the 25-7-2 does just that."

They also shared their tips for climbing, saying: "Avoid walking on your toes. Pushing through the midfoot and heel will help engage the glute muscles more effectively."


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