Couch to 5K
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Body combat and the "easy" step toner

Body combat and the "easy" step toner

I mentioned here last week that as part of my "mix it up for 5x50" I was going to try a couple of half hour taster classes at the local rec centre. Well, last night was the night. It was errrrr interesting and quite good fun but probably not classes I'll do again (why is it so hard to find straightforward old-fashioned aerobics nowadays?)

Body combat turned out to be basically boxing - lots of punching and hopping around. It was OK but I had my usual coordination issues - was that left-right-left or the other way round - which I always feel ruins the look of a class of 40 people otherwise all doing it in unison. The kicks were also a bit scary - I was afraid of landing one on my neighbour! It was fast so I did get quite hot and it was a good workout.

The "Easy Step Toner" is weird. I'd expected a normal aerobics step, but it turned out to be a step with big squidgy air pads underneath. You can (allegedly) turn a knob in the middle of it to adjust the air flow between the pads and thus the squidginess. This makes for a fairly high (could be 20cm), unstable platform, which combined with my well-known lack of coordination (see above) and balance is a recipe for embarrassment.

In some ways it was a bit like being back at school - worst in the class at PE. Yes, I had the step with the knob that was almost impossible to adjust and of course I was the only person who managed to fall off completely! Fortunately I did not land on my bottom. Then (thinking of Annie's MoP here) the instructor had us lie on the squidgy bits and do all sorts of balancing and abs work which was uncomfortable to say the least. Call me old fashioned but I prefer my sit ups to be on a mat on the floor!

The centre is just starting a set of classes on the Easy Step Toner but to be honest I'd be surprised if they're still doing them a year from now - too much to go wrong with the boards, which I'm sure are expensive.

Now I'm off to my normal exercise class which will be a mixture of aerobics and toning. That will almost complete another week of 5x50 (does that sound like I'm crossing off the weeks?) with a couple of run/walks, one bike ride, one swim as the other activities. At least I'm off the couch :-)

11 Replies

I tried body combat too but gave up after 10 mns! lol when everybody was going right,i went left ,and vice versa! I do bodypump ,and thats a very good class to do,have a look at it,you might like it! :-)


Such a funny blog! The image I have of you on the 'easy step toner' is hilarious from your description! As you say, why the need for all these fancy exercise classes? Mind you I used to get in enough of a muddle doing 'legs, tums & bums' classes. Used to think I was getting along nicely until I looked at everyone else and found I was going in the opposite direction so well done to you giving these two a go! X


Great stuff Ann! I like a bit of boxing myself but do it to a DVD at home rather than in a class so only a class of one to ruin ;) The easy step toner sounds, er, interesting :O I'm with you, a mat on the floor is just fine for me......

Its great though that you are mixing it up, it is all really helping to get us into the exercise habit.....I hope!



Oh my goodness! I agree with Sue, get yourself a DVD, or else how about a Wii -- they are super. Or again, just a mat on the floor. But again, totally agree with Sue, mixing up is excellent. My thighs are as hard as steel! Thanks 5 x 50 :-D


I do a class called Body Sculpt, which is slow'ish using weights on bar and dumb bells, squats, and lunges etc. Its an excellent class for body toning. Also check to see if there is a BLT class at your gym, no, no not bacon, lettuce & tomato, its Bums Legs & Tums, good all round toning and most people would be able to do this as you just work to your own capabilities.

If you find coordination difficult why not try Zumba Gold, its slower than Zumba, easier but very enjoyable. Hope you find something to your liking soon.


Hi Oldgirl - don't get me wrong - I'm not complaining really. I was just reporting on trying something new and out of my "comfort zone". I do a class every week already - fairly trad aerobics with some LBT mixed in, and I go to another LBT occasionally with the same instructor if I get a chance. I'm afraid I really don't get on with Zumba (much to the same instructor's disappointment) as however hard I try I don't even break a sweat (such is the concentration on getting the moves right).

I will have a look and see if Body Sculpt or another called Body Pump that's been recommended is available locally.

Thanks for the tips!


I just added a photo of the toner I found online so you can see what I mean. That isn't a toppling Barbie - I think it's a real person! She has got great abs though so maybe I should keep going to the classes after all :-)

Delia - yes, I do have a Wii and I did "5K" on the Wii Fit one day when I was feeling grotty. Have to laugh - I ended up doing the running and set a new record on our Wii :-D

I haven't yet decided on a program of 5k type events for the weekend and next week. Would half an hour watching the marathon count? No I thought not. I feel that I should run, but I've been finding that so difficult recently (legs tired I think - having problems going above 3K or 20 mins) I'm almost nervous to try. Maybe a nice Stepping Stone session around an old route will be good for the morning.

Have a great weekend all - looks like a nice day in prospect tomorrow :-)


What a funny blog! I hadn't heard of either of those classes, so very interesting too. Think I'll be giving those a miss! We've got a yoga class starting up at work next week, and I'm really looking forward to it. :)


Oh my goodness :D Well done for trying something new though! Looking at the pic I think I would probably get my feet stuck in one of the squidgy bits and topple off, so perhaps not for me :D

And sssshhh! The MoP will hear you! She pounced on me in the supermarket yesterday and asked how my bum was (after landing on it the other day). Cue many people turning to stare...


That's too funny about the supermarket! I think MoPs are the same everywhere - mine (usual instructor who came with me to try out the classes) exchanges symptoms with me via Facebook messages.

I also hadn't twigged when I saw the "do you mind having your photo taken" message on the door of the rec centre that this meant I'd have a rear view of myself on their FB page in mid Body Combat kick! Very much a case of "does my bum look big in this" :-D Fortunately when I showed my family they couldn't spot which one was me so I think I got away with it :-)

Great result of all this exercise though - I'm just back from a spot of retail therapy and got 3 pairs of trousers - 2 pairs of jeans in a smaller than previous size. I couldn't decide whether to get slim or skinny so in the end went for both :-)


Woo-hoo for the jeans, Ann - great news :) And I giggled about the FB page. It only needs one person to recognise you... :D


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