Step Power

Steve Boedt
Year Released: 2006

Categories: Step Aerobics

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I bought this workout at Fitness Organica. I got it with the usual speed and efficiency this vendor provides.

After trying many different cardio workouts with varying complexity, I have found that I enjoy many different workouts, but my absolute favorites are those that many complexity lovers on VF would classify as intermediate because the instructor takes awhile to build combinations and/or explains more than the most complex instructors (like Christi, Patrick, or Andre). I also tend to love workouts where the instructor makes me laugh. This is all relevant to this review because these are reasons why I like this workout and instructor.

This DVD has two parts – a cardio step workout followed by a strength/conditioning workout. It has a pure cardio section followed by strength work section – it is NOT a circuit workout. In both sections, Steve leads the workout with two background exercisers. He leads the workout most of the time, but takes breaks and either points out form or moves by the background exercisers. The music is typical Evolution music. The set is the same as the one in Marcus Irwin’s latest workouts (Airborne, etc.). It’s rather industrial looking with a concrete floor and a white backdrop. I like this set better than the darker one in older Evolution workouts. There is more of a sense of light and openness to it.

There is one issue you should know about the DVD before purchasing it. When the camera position if further back from the exercisers, i.e., it is not close up, the picture looks somewhat blurry. I can’t say it’s out of focus, but it’s like their facial features and other details are indistinct. I might not have noticed this for two reasons. I am someone who just doesn’t notice stuff like that; I can sit and watch something and when someone else comes in and says, “Is that in focus?” I suddenly realize it’s not. Also, a lot of the time, I was spinning around the step or facing away from it and was going by the audio, not the video, instruction. Someone had mentioned to me that another workout of his, Hi Energy Dance, had that issue, so I looked for it with this DVD. It did not affect my enjoyment of this workout, but then I am someone who often doesn’t notice details like that.

The step portion lasts around 35 minutes. He does three combinations and TIFTs after each combination, with the entire workout run through a couple of times at the end. You need enough room for the step, to do a mambo back from the step, to spin around the step, and to take a step or two away from the front of the step. It’s not a space hog. The pace at which he builds the combinations is moderate. It is closer to Marcus Irwin’s older workouts rather than the newest ones. It is more similar to the pace Kari Anderson takes in Body Tech than what Christi Taylor does in Step Heaven. At the end, you cover the step, are in front of it, in back of it, and spin around it. It probably gets into low advanced, but takes awhile to get there. The moves he uses to compile his combinations are done in a fresh way and not a rehash of the “same old, same old” moves. Obviously, there are only so many moves you can do in a cardio step workout, but he seems to put a new spin on some of them. And, I found this workout to just be FUN. He jokes and laughs with his background exerciser and the exerciser at home. A couple of times, I shook my head and thought, “Goofy!”, but was smiling when I did.

The strength workout is done entirely without weights, although you do need the step, and lasts 20-25 minutes. It’s hard for me to describe this part of the DVD. It definitely is a workout, but part of the time it almost came across as an instructional segment as he explained how you can put a spin on old moves to make them more efficient. He does some moves to work areas that are usually not included, like the forearms. Some of the moves are standard moves, like doing lunges with one foot on the step and one foot off, but he then puts a new spin on it, like having you turn your shoulders while you are doing it (thus, putting more emphasis on the glutes than in the traditional move). If you have ever wanted to know harder tricep-dip variations, this portion of the DVD will show you!

When viewing the clip on Fitness Organica, I was concerned because the only portion of the strength workout shown was the tricep dips. As I have major hand/wrist issues, I cannot do workout with lots of moves requiring me to support my weight on my hands. So, I shot an email off to Annie asking her about this and she said this is the only move requiring that. She was right – although there are a few advanced variations where you make a move harder by supporting your weight on your hands instead of sitting on the step. My solution was to not do the advanced variations and instead of tricep dips, I dragged out a weight and substituted French Presses.

I like this workout – I did not fall in love with it. For some reason, I was intensely curious about it and I am glad I got it because it is a fun workout. Only time will tell how much I actually do it.

Instructor Comments:
I really like him as an instructor. He cues well. He also has an endearing, goofy personality. I find him funny, which helps motivate me in a workout.

Laura S.