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    This Step Aerobics Workout from New Zealand Can Be Practiced Anywhere

    Despite my commitment to exercise (I attend Orangetheory classes four to five times per week), I am not the most graceful person. However, always up for a challenge, I decided to try out one of New Zealand’s popular step aerobics workouts, Les Mills Bodystep. This would hopefully help me improve my coordination and give me insight into why this trendy workout is so popular.

    Described as an exciting and enjoyable full-body step workout, Bodystep is promised to leave you feeling strong, agile, and inspired by Judson MacDonald, CPT, a professional from Les Mills International. According to MacDonald, “By incorporating bodyweight exercises, functional bench movements, and optional weight-plate exercises, you will engage your muscles, enhance your coordination, and boost your cardiovascular fitness.”

    When I signed up for a Bodystep class at Les Mills Live in New Orleans, I wasn’t sure what to expect. This event brought together instructors and digital members of Les Mills+, a new fitness platform launched by the 50-year-old group fitness brand. Whether in-person or online, you can participate in the class at your convenience since Bodystep is offered at gyms nationwide. At Les Mills Live, the class was filled with enthusiastic participants, immersed in music and vibrant energy.

    Stepping into Action

    Choosing to observe, I positioned myself towards the back of the room. As the music intensified and the energy became infectious, I marveled at how effortlessly everyone in front of me moved. However, I soon realized how challenging it was for me to keep up.

    The class, nearly an hour long, involves functional movement patterns that change monthly. Movements include walking step-ups, reverse lunges, side squats, burpees, and various arm exercises. Even the simplest exercises were combined with dynamic movements to transform them into a dance-like routine rather than basic stretches. In short, it was quite intense.

    Despite the light weights and low number of repetitions, the swift pace of the workout led to a good sweat. According to my Whoop fitness tracker, the workout exerted a strain level of 12.5, ranking it near the top of moderate intensity— and this was without using heavy weights or the tallest steps throughout the session.

    MacDonald highlights that the adjustable steps and guidance from instructors make this workout suitable for all fitness levels. The upbeat music motivates you to push your boundaries, a sentiment I can confirm. With supportive trainers and a range of modifications, the class was achievable even for a newcomer like me in step aerobics. Although I wish I had watched some tutorials on Les Mills+ before attending class to better understand what to expect.

    MacDonald suggests that it typically takes five or six classes to become comfortable with the movements. Fortunately, Bodystep instructors offer multiple sessions each week, providing ample opportunities to practice. With the option to use Les Mills equipment or not, I now have the flexibility to enjoy a fun and uplifting workout regardless of my location. Do I feel more coordinated after just one session? Not really. However, I am optimistic that I can enhance my coordination gradually, one step at a time.


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