I'm still on my aerobics only kick at the moment. I'm not sure why but I can't stand the thought of isometric weight workouts or lifting light free weights. I've read that kettlebell is a good work out and spans aerobic work plus weight lifting. I will be looking into that soon.
The other day I was going to do my Jane Fonda program again. But I felt I needed something a bit more strenuous. Then I remembered my copy of the original Step Reebok created by Gin Miller. I used to do that program regularly (before my knee problems) and I loved it. It was one of the few aerobics programs that didn't bore me. Plus it was known as one of the toughest workouts to complete in the early 90s. If you could complete the program without feeling like dying afterwards, you were FIT! I used to do this workout 3 to 4 times a week. Heck, I must have been insane. Well, I was young.
Now, I'm not so young. But not so old that I can't do this workout anymore abet with some alterations.
1) First important alteration for older exercisers and people with bad knees - Don't use an aerobic Step. Don't use it. Simple. You will still get a good workout doing ALL of the original program choreography in place just moving about your room. In fact Miller advises this for people who are still building stamina in her training segment.
2) Vary the intensity if you are still getting back into shape. Believe me no one will know if you decided to just march in place for awhile instead of completing some of the choreography. You mustn't push yourself until you hyperventilate or collapse in exhaustion. Be good to yourself. You will gain strength to do more than you think possible. But it won't occur over night. There is no one out there policing your exercise habits or waiting to hand you the medal of valor for exercising beyond your limits. In fact pushing yourself over your limits does nothing for you. It in fact hurts you. So if you just want to march for a few steps do it. If you don't want to the incorporate hops or kicks in the program, do it. One day you will be able to do it all.
3) Take advantage of Miller's heart rate checks during the program. It will give you a good idea for the base level of your fitness. The area where you are still in the aerobic zone, where you are overworking or under working. When you are in the proper zone, pay attention to how you feel. You should feel invigorated not exhausted or just doing the motions. Understanding this concept will carry over into other programs where you can better gauge if you are working, under working or over working your body.
4) Have fun, enjoy the feeling of movement in your body. Once this is over, stop. Leave the program alone for awhile. Life is too short to feel as if you are doing penance during exercise. It is a sure way to make you stop exercising.
This program is a model for its time. It straddles an aesthetic between the late 80's and early 90's. So there is a lot of spiky hair and gothy looking 80's exercise clothing. The exercisers in the video are all extremely fit and beautiful. This isn't a slice of life we are watching here. But more inspirational model types. Don't let them intimidate you. You are getting fit for the best look for YOUR body type and age. Ignore the models if you must. Gin Miller herself is a great role model. She isn't an intimidating instructor. So just relax and laugh at the MTV beautiful people look.
My one complaint about this video is that many times it is just too dark. It really looks as if Miller and her exercise pals had to use an old set from Se7en for their production. The background is industrial with strobe lights and underfloor lighting. This looks great for the males in the group because it highlights their cut muscles. But it does nothing for Miller and the rest of the gals. Sometimes I wish I could turn on the lights and get rid of the discotheque in hell look. The music in the video is great. It will get you excited for the next step.
Those are my thoughts on one of my favorite aerobic workouts. If you feel like exerting just a bit more, do this program, you won't regret it.