Introduction to Step Workout

David Essel
Year Released: 1991

Categories: Step Aerobics

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Always good, helping to stay fit

Loa Schmidt


This tape came with the Step Co. step I ordered from for about $35 but David Essel also sells the tape on his own website, for $24.95. I suspect that's just for the tape alone. It's about a half-hour.

Anyway, it starts off with a short warmup that introduces you to basic moves and some stretches. Once the warmup begins, you feel like he's really taking care of you and he's also having a lot of fun. There are two women with great bodies behind him, working along with him. At first I thought they looked like Barbies in their shiny spandex, but now I love the tape so much I don't even notice. I like the way he counts and the occasional little noises & comments he makes. The women in background don't whoop or yell except when he asks them a question and they respond. And he even works up a sweat too which makes me feel better. There are two sections of the workout and then a cooldown. The music is cool, kind of just background club music, not obnoxious at all, and the set is a room with exposed brick walls. At the end, he does a very short section of ab work. I recommend it for basic learning of step. Now I just started raising my step to 6" and my heartrate is up from the beginning of the workout. I think it's a great tape!!!

Instructor Comments:
As a beginner who had never done any step tape or step class in my entire life, I found David Essel to be the perfect instructor to start off with! He has a Masters degree in Exercise Physiology and, I just discovered, is also a motivational speaker and author with a weekly radio show on fitness and well-being. In the very beginning of the tape, he shows you how to step on and off safely, how to check your pulse, and demonstrates a few moves. He's very clear in his instructions throughout the tape, is thoughtful and encouraging, tells you how to lower the intensity if it's too much for you, and demonstrates slowly and clearly every time he's going to change to something new. I think he's just fabulous for beginners, especially for someone who starts off without a clue about step aerobics (like me)! He's straightforward in his style of speaking, in a simple kind of way which could possibly be taken as condescending if you're feeling sensitive about not knowing what you're doing. I never felt he was condescending, even when he says that if it seems too much you can do the whole routine off the step. I love when he says, "C'mon, have fun with us, that's what we're here for!" He also smiles alot.

Diane Ingino