I remember the days when I thought I would never be able to make it through BodyStep without falling off the step, without stopping for a 5-minute break to catch my breath, without secretly cursing the instructor in my head. In only took about a year, but eventually I got to the point I felt competent as a class participant and could even take high options more than half the time. One of the great accomplishments of my life!
A few weeks ago, it looked like I might have an opportunity to go through BodyStep training – that is, become an instructor. It’s so completely insane I’m shaking my head at myself even as I write this. On the one hand, why not? I love the program. It’s so much fun. I love the energy. And on the days I do BodyStep, I burn so many calories I get to eat whatever I want. Quite thrilling! Also, I think I’d be a pretty good BodyStep instructor once I got the hang of it!
On the other hand, am I completely crazy? I’ve never taught cardio before. I often have to remind myself to breathe in the middle of BodyStep just because I’m working so hard. And I want to teach it? That does mean talking while you’re doing BodyStep, you know.
My Step instructor friends tell me it gets easier. And I’ve had a lot of people say they think it must be hard to teach BodyFlow and talk at the same time, but it’s not. You get used to it. So I suppose you get used to talking while teaching aerobics, too.
In any case, the BodyStep training isn’t going to happen anytime soon. It did motivate me enough to get a step bench to work with at home. I found a certification tape someone had put up on YouTube (illegally, but I’m not the Les Mills police!) and did that at home. Then I pulled a couple of old Reebox videos and other old step aerobics videos off YouTube.
I hated them! They were either too repetitive or not repetitive enough. I told myself it was just the old style of doing step aerobics, and surely freestyle step has evolved since then. So I got some videos off NetFlix, and I hated them, too.
I just don’t get freestyle step aerobics. There is so much sashaying, v-step to a-step to sashay to diamond step to over the bench…. It’s so hard to follow. It’s very dance-y. (Interestingly, I’ve witnessed a few complaints on the BodyStep forums that BodyStep isn’t good step aerobics because “freestyle step is supposed to be dancey”; now I see what they are comparing it to!) I don’t get my heart rate up because these workouts hardly get you on the bench at all, except for the occasional basic march.
BodyStep has you working on the bench – usually – from the warm-up and doesn’t let you off of it until the party track. You’re always reflecting the instructor so you don’t have to think about what to do – you just have to keep moving and work it, baby. There are the occasional moves that work around the bench, but the instructor always previews it and there are only a few such combos, so you don’t lose the heart-rate-boosting intensity.
Until I did this little experimental foray into the world of step aerobics, I really didn’t know how much better BodyStep was than your traditional step class. I shouldn’t have been surprised. It’s Les Mills, after all – It is head and shoulders above. It totally kicks butt.That’s not even to mention the music – which is always the best, really energetic and motivating.
And maybe…. I will have the courage to be a BodyStep instructor someday!