Step Into HIIT

High-top sneaks and slouchy socks? We’ll go ahead and leave those in the past. But 20 years af­ter taking the group fit­ness world by storm, the step is still mak­ing us sweat.

Oxygen - - Contents - BY JE­NESSA CON­NOR, CPT PHOTOGRAPHY BY IAN TRAVIS BARNARD

Break out your leg warm­ers and get ready to burn fat with this HIIT plus strength work­out us­ing the Ree­bok Step.

THE YEAR WAS 1989. Young MC de­manded that we all Bust a Move. Thong leo­tards (worn over shiny span­dex shorts) were to­tally ac­cept­able gym at­tire. And Ree­bok launched “Step Ree­bok,” a light­weight, height-ad­justable bench, which lit­er­ally el­e­vated the world of aer­o­bics. Sud­denly, “step-hops” and “strad­dle-downs” be­came com­mon lingo in group fit­ness classes, and col­or­ful, plas­tic stacks of plat­forms and ris­ers lined the walls of health clubs ev­ery­where.

Step work­outs dom­i­nated for a solid decade, with many en­thu­si­asts us­ing a home model in con­junc­tion with a col­lec­tion of fuzzy VHS tapes. But the fit­ness world is fickle, and peppy, bub­ble-gum chore­og­ra­phy slowly gave way to grit­tier, sweatier trends like Spin­ning, boot camp and car­dio kick­box­ing. And though (most) women re­tired their scrunchie socks and Ree­boks with the straps (with the straps!), gyms that in­vested some green in those tee­ter­ing tow­ers of plas­tic held on to them, hop­ing the trend would come full circle and be­come pop­u­lar again.

And they were right. The step per­sists, and aside from a few deluxe mod­els that in­clude stor­age com­part­ments and fancier ris­ers that al­low for in­cline and de­cline, their ba­sic con­struc­tion re­mains the same. The tra­di­tional step work­out, how­ever, needed an over­haul to be on par with cur­rent trends. In that light, we’ve chucked the bub­bly hops, high-impact kicks and com­plex dance com­bi­na­tions of the early ’90s and re­placed them with heart­pump­ing HIIT and in­tense re­sis­tance train­ing moves de­signed to build real mus­cle.

Get ready to bring your work­out to a whole new level with this spicy high­in­ten­sity in­ter­val train­ing and full-body strength rou­tine.

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