First in a two-part series
All you need is a step platform with four risers to enjoy the program featured this and next week. Step platforms are one of the most versatile pieces of small fitness equipment available. At approximately $100, this fitness tool has dozens of possible uses and if well designed and manufactured by one of the major step platform companies, will last for years to come. I have my original platform from 1989 and it is still in terrific condition, so a sound investment for sure.
The total body program featuring a platform designed for this week will utilize the platform to perform squats, lunges, compound skills, to sit on, stand on and yes, to step upon. This program includes a cardiovascular endurance and muscular strength component, and will work the entire body. So, if you do not own a platform, there are various versions available at www.powersystems.com or www.performbetter.com to purchase. Choose the 43 inch length option with four, 2-inch risers for the greatest versatility. As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.
Step Program Guidelines
• This program is designed as follows: seven, 5-minute stepping intervals (i.e. cardiovascular endurance component) interspersed with six muscular strength training intervals lasting approximately one to one and a half minutes.
• Program duration is approximately 60 minutes including warm-up and cool down with the working segment lasting 45-50 minutes.
• During the program, high intensity interval training (i.e. HIIT) will be featured during both the cardiovascular endurance and muscular strength training intervals. So, expect to become breathless and permit yourself to actively recover prior to performing another HIIT segment. In most cases, the skill following a HIIT segment is naturally designed to enable the body to recover.
• Clear a space allowing for you to work on all four sides of the platform. The suggested perimeter is approximately 30-40 square feet around. You will be utilizing the entire platform throughout the program so provide yourself with enough space to move freely from the front, to the ends and to face different directions changing the perspective of the skills/drills.
• Make certain that the risers are “locked in” to place at the ends of the platform to prevent instability and check the platform throughout the program to confirm that it is in a straight line, not askew and that the risers are in place consistently.
• Set up the platform with two risers on each end which creates an 8-inch platform. You may certainly lower the height if you struggle to perform any of the skills/drills safely and effectively. The platform alone is 4 inches in height. So, no risers added and the platform is 4 inches, one on each end elevates it to 6 inches and two on each end brings it up to 8 inches.
• Put on motivating music of 126-130bpm, preferably in 32-count phrasing which makes this program flow more smoothly as all skills/drills and choreography are designed within a 32-count phrase.
Next week, the actual lesson plan will be highlighted, so stay tuned.
Jackie Wright is the owner/manager of Mountain Life Fitness LLC in Granby. She may be reached at her website at www.mtnlifefitness.com, her email at email@example.com and her Facebook page at Mountain Life Fitness.