I don’t know about you but being home a lot more has given me the kick up the ass I clearly needed, because I’m exercising more than I think I ever have in my entire life. I go for runs now, I’m obsessed with Strava and my Fitbit, I bought a new yoga mat, and I’m in multiple fitness/exercise group chats so we can keep each other accountable and cheer each other on. But variety truly is the spice of life, so this week I decided to tackle a workout that I’ve dismissed for many years: Aerobics Oz Style.
Let me quickly take you back to that space for a moment.
For my entire childhood, I’d roll my eyes and groan at the fact I’d have to sit through it while I waited for Cheez TV to start. It was always felt like I got the short straw if I flicked on the TV too early and wound up with the Aerobics Oz Style team doing a box step to quasi rave music on my screen.
Looking back, I’m pretty sure that plenty of people would have loved seeing toned thighs and butts in g-banger leotards and hi-shine stockings. I’m sure they sooked about it to their mates at school but were low-key having some serious sexual awakenings to June Jones and her gang of ultra-fit friends.
Now at 28 and stuck inside for an unknown amount of time, I’ve come back around to Aerobics Oz Style to start my days. Literally getting up at 6.30am and grapevining all over the lounge room. It’s low impact, but high intensity. It made me fucking SWEAT.
After a week of the workouts, here’s everything that I – a reasonably co-ordinated person – learned.
1. The Aerobics Oz Style Fashions Are Impeccable
Aside from the actual workouts, I’ve been totally obsessed with their fashions. The leotards, the co-ord sets, the extreme amount of lycra and spandex, the belts that absolutely kept their mic packs on during sessions and probably also had a pedometer clipped onto it. It’s all just such a mood.
2. All The Instructors Are Amazing In Their Own Way
Out of all the workouts I did, I discovered that founder (and former dancer) June Jones felt like my ballet teacher when I was five years old, calm but informative and maybe a little bit stern. Aerobics champion Michelle Dean is a total crack up and spent a bunch of her routine cackling about her speech therapy. Wendi Caroll is just always so stoked and keen to be out doing aerobics in iconic Sydney locations that she gives off massive Physie instructor vibes.
I wonder where they all are now, I hope they’re well and still doing that easy step and leg curls set.
3. You Really Have To Be Co-Ordinated
Even though I was a dancer for nearly a decade and have some pretty good hand-eye co-ordination from playing footy, you really do need to be co-ordinated for aerobics. It’s fast, and the tempo only rises as the workout progresses. As soon as you fall out of step, half the workout is trying to catch up again.
4. Doing A Simple Box Step Grapevine Combo Makes You Sweat
Never underestimate the power of a box step. Especially as soon as the instructor throws in arm movements and you’re all over the shop.
5. Wear A Bra, For God’s Sake
I suddenly understood the need for all the crop tops and tight lycra. It might be a low impact workout but that doesn’t stop your norks from flying all over the shop, if you have them. Lean into the skintight lycra, it just makes everything easier.
6. Pay Attention
The one thing that got me good was being distracted for a slight moment, and as soon as I looked at the screen to try and figure out what the hell I was meant to be doing for a cooldown stretch, the camera had panned to a yacht on Sydney Harbour (???) Paying attention is KEY.
So despite my many years of knocking Aerobics Oz Style as just “that boring bit before Cheez TV starts”, trying it out made me see it in a brand new, very early morning light. Now I just want to look as good in a highlighter-yellow leotard, thick socks, and white joggers. And if you do too, grab your legwarmers, cos there’s a bunch of episodes up on 10Play now.Image: Aerobics Oz Style / Courtney Fry