Review | The STEP and How Adding Throwback Step Aerobics to My Workout Is a Game Changer!

Saturday, October 5, 2019


I'm a weight lifter. 90% of my workouts happen on or near a bench, squat rack, deadlift platform... you get the point. I had all but disowned cardio fitness, outside of 5-7 minute warm-ups, over the past few years. Before I profess my love for metal any further (I'll need more than one post for that), let's chat about how I am changing my tune a bit for home-based step aerobics fitness!

Yes. Aerobics. In 2019. It still exists!
From Martin Season 2: Ep. 10 "Fat Like Dat" (one of my favs!)

When I renewed my wellness journey last month, I vowed to make sure that I kept my activity levels up and that I tried new things. That meant putting the barbells down every now and again and focusing on other cardiovascular activities. My former interpretation of a cardio routine consisted of a lot of steady-state machine workouts; treadmill, elliptical, and stationary bike. All effective in their own right, but let's be honest, those activities can often lead to extreme boredom. So it was time to think outside of the cardio box.

In my weight lifting program, there's an exercise called the "Step-Up." It calls for you to step up onto a weight bench, dismount, and repeat. Instead of trying to hike all 2-hunnid plus pounds of me onto an open bench, I always opt to complete this move on an aerobic step - reminiscent of the ones from the '80s and '90s. Why? First, I'm 5' 2", so a standard bench is a tall climb, and I don't want to get kicked out of the gym for ruining the good people at my gym's property. Back to my point, step-ups get my heart pumping every time! No matter how slow I complete outlined reps, my heart rate spikes as I march up and down those little platforms. I started to think, why don't I figure out a step routine for some cardio?

To begin, I wanted to acquire my own step, to add to my home "gym." I needed something sturdy (again, I'm 2-hunnid plus). I also wanted something easy to assemble and didn't cost an arm or leg. So I took my search to my favorite site, Amazon, and found The Step - Adjustable Aerobic Step Platform for Cardio and Strength Training. With great reviews, it met all of my requirements to order and get started on this new fitness venture.

Equipment Details: The Step offers ample workout options – perfect for both cardio and strength training. Adjustable risers bring a challenge to your workout by increasing platform height from 4" to 6". Its shock-absorbing, non-stick, non-slip platform supports over 400 pounds. Platform and risers lock together for a lightweight, easy to carry transportability and are perfect for the gym, home, or office.

My Take and Benefits to Step Aerobics
After just a week of performing various step aerobics workouts using The Step, I've already noticed a few things. First, it's NOT boring! As I shared above, that is key to me! I also see an improvement in my balance. I live with Multiple Sclerosis, and depending on the day, my balance is comprised while doing everyday tasks, like standing and even walking. Note: most step products are best positioned on the carpet, or under a mat if you have hard floors.

Below are a few things that stand out to me as it relates to the benefits of step aerobics fitness:

  • It's Low-Impact: For those of us with joint issues (my ankles and knees have long forsaken me), it is a self-directed move, meaning, no machine is forcing you to move, and you execute at your pace. "Low-Impact," by definition, means that you will always keep one foot on the ground while performing an exercise. Ensuring that you retain foundation and a sense of stability between each point of the activity. The more advanced you become, you can even use step aerobics in a High-Impact / full-out form. I'm not there just yet.  
  • It's a Full Body Workout: Think about it, when walking upstairs, you are engaging your entire body, to propel yourself upward and forward. This boasts a significant impact on the lower body. And I've got some saddlebags that I need to drop off somewhere, and I'm sure this will help.
  • It's Versatile: Depending on the routine you follow (I'm currently following Shaun T's Transform: 20 step program), variations and possibilities of step aerobics are endless. There also are many free video programs on YouTube, where you can identify your personal fitness levels and decide what program might be best to reach your fitness goals. Fun fact, step aerobics is not limited to just stepping. Yup, some routines call for planks, lunges, and even upper body workouts like arm dips. 

Check out a few more surprising benefits to step aerobics fitness via Google.

In the words of Martin, "Now, get to steppin'!" ;) 

*Important: Consult a medical professional before making any changes to your diet or fitness routine. This post is for opinion and informational purposes - ONLY. Review ProjectPaula.com's Liability Disclaimer Here 
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