The second class I got brave enough to try at the gym was BodyStep™. That might seem like an odd choice to a lot of people, but step is familiar to me.
I was around during the step craze of the 90s when I was trying to lose weight and get fit. I even own the same kind of step used at the three Columbia Association (CA) fitness facilities. On video cassette I still have and sometimes use the Reebok Step with Gin Miller or one of the step videos that Kathy Smith made. At one point I probably owned a dozen step videos.
Gin Miller is credited for creating step aerobics. She did so as a way to recover from a knee injury. The step allowed her to keep her physical fitness while at the same time keeping the workout low impact for her knee.
The low impact side of step appealed to me back then and now. As a person who was very overweight and very unfit back then and recently, I worried about injury a lot. I didn’t want to get laid up by trying to do something my body wasn’t ready for by doing too much high impact.
Step is a lot the same and a bit different than it was 20 years ago. Like all things, they change with time. We’ve learned more about fitness and fitness fashions evolve. Today there are different kinds of step: low impact, high impact, more dance-like step and athletic move step routines that are not just aerobic, but work on strength training too. BodyStep™ is a hybrid step workout – combining many step combos to fit a lot of people’s interests and fitness needs.
BodyStep™ is the Les Mills step fitness workout. I detailed a bit about the Les Mills programs here. They release a new workout routine quarterly, so four times a year. Each instructor will teach the class as prescribed for four weeks and then he or she might start switching out various songs for like tracks on previous releases. There is also an athletic training option where an instructor might take out songs 7 and 8 to replace it with more toning/strengthening work on the step instead of more straightforward aerobic training.
Every BodyStep™ workout is 55 minutes long and consists of 12 tracks and the order of the workout stays the same for each release.
- Step Orientation 1
- Step Orientation 2 – building intensity
- Cardio Peak
- Strength Work on the Step while keeping the heart rate high
- Cardio Peak
- Recovery Cardio
- Party Track – Cardio
- Speed Step – cardio working on speed and agility
- Cardio Peak
- Recovery and leg and upper body strength training
- Cool Down and Stretch
BodyStep™ might look intimidating, but it is great for all fitness levels. The fitness instructor will show you the various options as you go through the workout so that you can work out at the right level for you. Beginners being on no or low risers with no high impact moves and experienced, fit steppers with two sets of risers and added high impact moves. I love that it’s a class that I can modify for my needs and my fitness level – never outgrowing it. Want to see more? Check this out for patterns used in BodyStep™ classes.
The key to step class, though, is to give it a couple tries to get the moves. You don’t need to be a dancer or an athlete to do step. You just need to get used to the step. And if you’ve taken BodyVive™, you might recognize a lot of the same movements and lingo, which gives you a head start.
BodyStep™ is a great, great workout and a lot of fun too. It’s a class I try to go to every single week. Come check it out. CA offers it nearly every day of the week!
Melissa Sinclair works in the Communications & Engagement Division at Columbia Association (CA). Melissa recently moved to Columbia with her three-generation family. She has lived in more than a dozen cities and is looking forward to making Columbia, Md., her permanent home! Click here to read more of Melissa’s Getting to Know CA series.