Mark Nu’u-Steele and Kaylah-Blayr Fitzsimons-Nu’u reveal how BODYSTEP is evolving to ensure Instructors can pack out their classes and keep teaching for the long term.

Hey team! There are exciting changes to BODYSTEP coming in the next release you receive, 131. We know you love the program as much as we do, so we wanted to give you a heads-up as to what’s changed and why!

Why have we made changes?

We teach weekly classes here in Auckland, New Zealand. We noticed that after Covid-19 lockdowns, many of our pre-pandemic regulars hadn’t returned to class. Most classes included new people, curious members who were trying BODYSTEP for the first time, or a younger demographic. We were disappointed when a lot of the new people said they found BODYSTEP too complex and difficult to learn, and wouldn’t want to do the class again. The program is also marketed as a butt and thigh workout, but some people felt that these promises weren’t delivered on.

We know that it can also be challenging to get new people moving successfully from the get-go. We Instructors either focus on the new people too much – losing the feel of the class in the process – or we try not to get too distracted by them, and we may feel that we failed as coaches to get them moving successfully.

Watch Mark & KB explain the changes

We asked ourselves: "What can we do to pack our BODYSTEP classes and ensure new people feel successful the first time they try it?"

Here’s what we came up with. We wanted to….

  • Use the step as it was originally intended – for functional step training – and as a tool to strengthen the glutes, hips, and overall lower body.
  • Make BODYSTEP feel ‘cool’ and less complex.
  • Include tracks dedicated to hip and glute strength.
  • Use more ‘natural’ feeling arm-lines, avoiding those that require more co-ordination.
  • Focus more on freedom of movement and less on perfection. For example, less emphasis on the angles of arms and whether hands are blades or fists. We felt that these aspects didn’t hugely affect the results you get from the overall workout.
  • Leave people feeling ‘worked’, not ‘smashed’.
  • Not leave them mentally fatigued from trying to follow complex choreography.
  • Include steady state training and functional strength training (reflecting current fitness industry trends).
  • Have a broader appeal and be more inclusive to the younger generation.
  • Use 100% original music.

The vision was to create a cool class and attract those who may have previously thought that BODYSTEP was too tricky. Of course, we didn’t want to exclude loyal members and Instructors, so we needed a broad approach offering something for everybody.

We made some changes and invited non-steppers to participate in this new class: BODYPUMPers, BODYCOMBATers, and BODYJAMers. Not only could they do it, but they loved it! We now have an epic new workout that feels amazing AND has broad appeal!

What’s changed?

We have a brand-new class structure!

Track 1, previously the Warm-Up, is now our Mobility Warm-Up. We’ve got a new musical vibe with a focus on mobilizing the joints and warming the body. As soon as that first song hits it feels like: “Wow! This is different, and you’ve hooked me in for the workout ahead”.

Track 2 is still the Step Warm-Up, but with decreased complexity.

Track 3 is now the Steady State Cardio track. This is a brand-new track! It has a moving squat focus and is designed to lift the heart rate to a steady state before we spike the heart rate in Peak 1.

Track 4 is our Peak 1 track. It’s our Athletic Step Track that we all know and love, only with less complexity.

Track 5 is our Mixed Strength track, and this track is very different. It’s now an integrated upper and lower body strength track. We removed the cardio component so it’s purely focused on strength. Another exciting innovation is that there’s now the option to use a heavy weight plate! A 7.5kg or even a 10kg plate will make you feel challenged, as well as super strong.

Track 6 is Peak 2. This is our traditional lateral training cardio track, but with decreased complexity.

Track 7 is Conditioning 1. We have a new training concept – hip strength. We use a heavier weight plate here to strengthen the muscles around our hips. Functional moves like a circular squat pattern and weighted clams are super exciting innovations for BODYSTEP!

Track 8 offers 2 different options – you can teach either:

8A – ‘Move’

8B – ‘Groove’

8A Move is a short, simple, energizer designed to get us off the floor after Conditioning 1 and get moving. It will elevate the heart rate to a steady state before we enter our final peak cardio.

8B Groove is a Party Step-type track, but with original music and a cool vibe.

Our preference is that you use 8A, Move, as it’s simple and athletic. But we also appreciate that many of you and your members love the Party Step vibe, so we’ve included the ‘Groove’ track if that better suits your audience!

Track 9 is Peak 3. This is now the Athletic Circuit. There is NO additional cardio track after this one so it’s super important to let our regulars know they should give this track EVERYTHING that they’ve got and aim to empty the tank. There’s no more cardio after this track: this is It!

Track 10A is Conditioning 2. This is a functional training track where we use a heavier weight plate to strengthen our glutes. There are exciting exercises like offset deadlifts and weighted hip bridges.

Track 10B is Core.

Track 11 is stretch.

That’s our new class!

The benefits of this new class format include:

  • Simple choreography that’s easy to learn and teach, allowing new participants to feel successful in their very first class!
  • On-trend concepts of functional and steady-state training.
  • A focus on working and training the body for everyday performance, giving members and Instructors longevity in this program.
  • The opportunity to use a heavier weight plate, with the option to choose a 7.5kg or even 10kg plate.
  • Delivering on the promise of a functional butt and thigh workout.

We can’t wait for you to try this new workout, attract and retain new people to your BODYSTEP classes, and keep teaching for the long term. Don't forget to teach it a few times and then hop on the feedback section of your Releases App to let us know how you're going.

Thanks for everything that you do!

Mark & KB