My Stair Workout Inspired by the Show “This Is Us”

This post begins… with a workout selfie.


But it’s not any ordinary selfie… it’s taken in the exact spot where a scene from the new NBC hit show “This Is Us” was filmed! And I can prove it, with this screengrab of Chrissy Metz (who plays Kate), standing in the same place:


Pretty sweet, huh?

That screengrab is from the November 1st episode (called “Career Days”), and in it, Kate goes to a job interview, and has to climb a giant stairway to get there. The scene is only 14 seconds, (watch all 14 seconds on my Facebook page), but it watched it over and over, pausing it at certain spots, because I’m a stair nerd, and I wanted to figure out where it was filmed.

And I did. There’s hundreds of public stairways all over Los Angeles, but I figured out that it was the Westshire stairs, in the Beachwood Canyon neighborhood. How? The stairs are constructed out of stacked stone, which was a big clue. Here’s another screengrab:


I had climbed all the stairways in Beechwood Canyon at the beginning of 2015, and they were all constructed like this, so I just went back to my blog post about that workout, looked at my pictures, and it was clear that the Westshire stairs were it!

It's a match!

It’s a match!

They filmed Chrissy near the bottom of them, but also got a shot from the top, to show how far she had to climb. From the show:


I really wanted to replicate this shot with me standing down there, but I was by myself, and there were no strangers around. Here’s the picture I did take (and just imagine me at the base of the stairs):


This was not my first As-Seen-On-TV stair workout. I’ve worked out on stairways featured in Laurel & Hardy and Three Stooges movies, a stairway featured on the short-lived sitcom “Welcome to the Family,” and multiple workouts on the stairs Apolo Ohno climbed in a chocolate milk commercial.

And it was great fun adding this workout to the list! But my workout ended up being much more than just climbing the “This Is Us” stairs. (If you want to climb the Westshire stairs, they start right next to 2810 N. Beachwood Drive, and be prepared: there are 143 steps!)

There are six stairways in the neighboorhood, all a few blocks from one another, and I decided to climb all of them three times. This was my first stair workout in over a month, since the US Bank Tower race, so I just climbed them at a moderate pace, and walked between the stairways. There were also lots of little pauses to take photos.

I parked next to the Durant stairs and started there.


My favorite stairway of the bunch are the Woodshire Double stairs. The only double stairway I know of. It has a planter in the center going all the way up.

There's a plague on the lowest planter, commemorating these stairs as a Los Angeles Cultural-Historical landmark!

There’s a plague on the second planter, commemorating these stairs as a Los Angeles Cultural-Historical landmark!

The planters on the upper half need some plants, but it was a great place for a selfie.


One neighbor, who lives next to the Pelham stairs, put up a barbed wire fence. Very neighborly.


While I managed to avoid the barbed wire, I couldn’t avoid a giant thorn on a plant that got me while I was descending the stairs. It hurt!


I got great views of the Hollywood Sign while walking along Hollyridge Drive to my final set of stairs, also named Hollyridge.


I thought my three ascents up the 178-step Hollyridge stairway were going to be the last of the day…


…but I ended up climbing the Woodshire Double stairs one last time on my way back to the car.

Time to crunch some numbers! My “This Is Us”-inspired adventure was a little less than 2 hours: 1:53. I didn’t cover a ton of ground (only 2.6 miles), but I climbed and descended a TON of steps:

  • Durant stairs: 118 steps x 3 = 354
  • Belden stairs: 124 steps x 3 = 372
  • Woodshire Double stairs: 148 steps x 4 = 592
  • Westshire stairs: 143 steps x 3 = 429
  • Pelham stairs: 149 steps x 3 = 447
  • Hollyridge stairs: 178 steps x 3 = 534
  • TOTAL STEPS: 2,728!

Yesterday was the Willis (Sears) Tower race in Chicago. I competed two years ago, but wasn’t able to swing it this year. But I knew lots of people who raced this year, and all of them climbed 2,115 steps to the finish line on the 103rd floor. And look at that… I climbed more steps than they did! (They went much faster, though!)

Keep it up, David!


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9 Responses to My Stair Workout Inspired by the Show “This Is Us”

  1. Charlotte Cavaluzzi says:

    David, since I am a huge fan of This is Us, I really enjoyed this post. Thanks so much. Another thought, I just returned from Rome, Italy and since you love stair climbing you should put that on your bucket list! Stairs are in abundance there!! Being in my 70’s with aged knees, I struggled through the walking tours, but you would love them I’m sure! 😊

  2. G.M. Grena says:

    Great to see you well enough to climb epic amounts of stairs, David! It’s never the same at a stair race without you, as at Willis yesterday, but I want you to know I climbed it an extra time to fill in the gap for you! What are friends for, right?!?!

    • David says:

      Hope you had a great time in Chicago, George! I haven’t seen Willis results, but I’m sure you killed it. And congrats on the second climb, too! KEEP IT UP!

      • G.M. Grena says:

        Thanks for your “vote” of confidence, but some upper-abdominal cramps killed me in my race lap around the 80th floor, missing my realistic goal by more than a minute; however, I killed the bldg. by doing a 3rd, unplanned lap on your behalf (my 2nd lap was a planned one to check Stan’s chart). I haven’t seen the official results online yet either, but a young racer from South America set a new record going sub-13! We were all very happy for him! How exciting to travel that far & make such an impressive achievement! Also incredibly inspirational to see several RIC patients climbing with prosthetic limbs. Every American should show their support & participate in this annual event at least once in their lifetime.

      • G.M. Grena says:

        The Willis results are posted now. Earlier this week they only had the times & bib numbers, with 2 of my climbs having accurate times, 20:06 for the 1st lap. Now they shaved 12 seconds off for 19:54, but that’s wrong, & I’ve heard that other people have reported 12-second problems, but at least the top climbers’ times appear to be accurate. Incredibly tight race between Oz, Jeff, & Scott. Wow!

      • David says:

        Thanks for the link, I’ll check it out!

  3. Terri says:

    Fantastic workout, David! I struggle to get up the stairs in my office building each day (they are steep steps), but you’ve inspired me to avoid the elevator. After all, it’s nowhere near the amount of steps you climbed!

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