Raving: Step It Up

Hello from the Land of 10,000 Lakes! I’m on vacation in Minnesota this week, and while I hope to pop in periodically, I’ll mostly be attempting to move my most viewed posts from my old blog to here. Hope you enjoy the trip down memory lane!

This post was originally published on September 8, 2011.

My school just started this partnership with the YMCA is South Sioux City, NE, about 10 minutes (I don’t do miles) from school. The YMCA is generally really good with offering student discounts anyway, but the standard student fee is $25 a month, plus a $30 startup fee. Definitely not too steep considering all you get (which I’ll talk about later) but enough that, as a poor college student, I was skeptical of whether or not I should spend the money.

Enter BCU. With validation, all students (and staff too, I believe) were offered the opportunity to get 9 months (the school year, basically) at the Y for $177. As a student, I will be saving $78. I felt like the stars were aligning because I wanted to join a gym this year where I could find cardio machines, weights AND classes. I’ve found I really thrive in a class setting and it holds me more accountable. At the Y, I can attend any class (there are tons in just one day) at any time or day, AND use other machines, equipment, a lap pool or a family fun pool (think water slide, hot tub, sauna and steam room; HELL-O!)

Group Step

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The other day, I attended my first class at the Y: Group Step. I’d never gone to a step class before and didn’t really know what to expect, except to be thoroughly confused 🙂 When I got to the class, I introduced myself to the instructor and she got me set up with a step. She also positioned me behind a veteran of the class (who also happened to be a total hard body and had about 5% body fat, which totally didn’t intimidate me. I’m kidding.)

But seriously, standing behind her helped a TON. She was really good at step, and it made a huge difference to be able to follow her feet.

I thought I did pretty well considering it was my first time at a step class. The music the instructor played was awesome–some of it I had never heard, and some of it was remixes to popular songs. It made the class feel kind of dance-y, and you all know how I’m a fan of that!

In step, my dance background helped me in that I could pick up the combinations fairly quickly. I definitely faltered, but I felt a decent amount of control. However, I was a bit hindered too because in dance, you usually take off on whatever foot doesn’t have weight on it. In step, a lot of the time you are double-stepping because the foot you start on is the foot closest to the step–and that is often the foot that has weight on it. You have to be pretty agile! (Which I am not; the agility track was actually what just about killed me)

A Shweaty Workout

So how do I know it was a good workout? It was a really well put together class. We started with an easy warm up, moved on to some harder combos, did the agility track where I died, and then brought our heart rates back down, only to kick them back up again right before we hit the mat and worked on some ab moves. I felt like I got a TOTAL body workout.

The Instructor

The instructor was amazing. She was super high energy and did half the class with a step and TWO blocks (like whoa, see below). She also sang to the music through a lot of the class INCLUDING WHEN WE DID PLANKS. Seriously. The woman might be Jesus, I’m not sure.

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I’ll definitely be going back to step again, but I plan on wearing different shoes. For some reason I thought the class would be more like running/walking, not dance-y, so I wore my running shoes. Big mistake. My feet are still a bit sore. Next time it’s cross-trainers fo sho.

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