One Benefit of Step Workouts (Will You Burn More Calories with Step Aerobics?)

December 15, 2018

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I'm Mickie. Co-founder and CEO of One Strong Southern Girl. Our team is here for you. We want you to remember us because we helped changed your life. 


YES! If you do the exact same workout with and without an aerobic step you’ll burn more calories. I tested this theory myself. Read my full study below to find out how I learned that I burn up to 26% more calories in a workout using an aerobic step.

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I’m going to tell you how I burn 26% more calories in my workouts today than I did a few years ago.

Who doesn’t want to burn more calories (in the same amount of time) when they exercise?

Just like you, I’m really busy.  I have 5 kids, a husband, a job and a lot of places to be and things to do.

Whenever I do something (especially exercise) I want to do it the best way I can in the least amount of time.

That means I’m always looking for ways to make my fitness routine more efficient.

I started doing workouts that incorporate an aerobic step a few years ago and I noticed that I always seemed to burn more calories when I was doing exercises that used an aerobic step than most of the other workouts I did (for the same amount of time) that didn’t use a step.

So, I decided to gather some data to see exactly how the numbers compared.

In this post I’ll show you exactly how I got the following results:

the overall results of my case study that show the percentage increase in calories burned doing step exercises

I burned 20% (19.8%) more calories doing the same exercises with one riser on each side of my platform (compared to doing the same exercises on the floor without a step) and 26.2% more calories using an aerobic step with 2 risers per side.

That’s impressive.

So, what does that really mean about your total calorie burn during a workout?

Using these results I can say that if I did the same workout (as in my study) without an aerobic step 3 times a week I’d burn about 606 calories.

And if I did the same workout with a step and 2 risers on each side 3 times a week I’d burn about 765 calories.

It adds up to big results

Have you ever read an article that suggests you make a few small changes in your diet (like stop putting cream in your coffee or sauce on your food) to lose weight?

It’s because the little numbers add up over time and lead to big results. 

53 calories per workout might not seem like a big difference but it adds up fast.

That’s equal to 159 calories more a week, 636 calories more a month and 7632 more a year!

Try it for yourself…

I know you want more details so here’s how I got the data…

exactly what I did to conduct my case study

So, you can see that the exercises I did aren’t difficult (no dance skills required).  I pulled them from different videos I do regularly with instructors like Cathe Friedrich.

*Here’s a link to a Garmin heart rate monitor with a chest strap  (like the one I used in my case study) if you want to gather some of your own data and don’t already have a heart rate monitor.

Here’s a more detailed breakdown of the results of each session of exercises:

the results of each test in my Case Study

I’ve been recommending step exercises for years.  Now I have data to back up the advice.

Not only will you most likely burn more calories using a step in your workout, you’ll add variety and fun, too.

Ready to burn more calories in every workout?


More for you…

This is the Best Workout Stepper on the Market (here’s why)

The Absolute Best Home Workouts Using an Exercise Step

Circuit Step vs the Original Aerobic Sized Step

Your Aerobic Exercise Step Guide (it’s not your mom’s aerobic step anymore)

✔ The Aerobic Step–Why You Need to Add One to Your Home Gym

Revolutionizing Fitness: One Strong Southern Girl’s Quest to Update the Classic Aerobic Exercise Step

Your goal –>>work on incorporating a few aerobic step workouts into your weekly fitness routine so you can start burning more calories, too.

*I recommend Cathe Friedrich workouts if you want to see a pro making the best use of an aerobic (exercise) step.

Check out the 4 routines below that all use a workout step in slightly different ways.  You can use the links to purchase the workouts yourself.  

Step workouts I love:

*All the workouts below are by Cathe Friedrich but Beachbody has a new workout program with Shaun T that uses an aerobic step, too (Transform 20). I LOVE IT!

–>>>Read more about Transform 20 here!

Plyo Hiit Two

Check the price of Plyo HiiT Two Now


Buy Tabatacise Now

To the Max

*Cathe Friedrich uses 3 risers per side (and dumbbells) in some parts of the routine.  You can do the entire workout with only 2 risers per side, though.

Check the price of To the Max!

PHA Training

*PHA Training is a sculpting routine so you’ll also need dumbbells for this workout.  You can read my review of PHA Training here.

Go check out the price of PHA Training today!

How You Can Burn 26% More Calories in Every Workout--A Case Study by One Strong Southern Girl-I'll show you exactly how I burn 26% more calories in a workout so you can do it, too.

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  1. Denise Schmidt says:

    Great article My Strong Girl. Just a quick question, are you concerned with shin splints or any repetitive motion injury? I’m 58 years old and been exercising at an advanced rate for over 20 years.

    The last year or so I need to be watchful of my feet, ankles, knees and hips.

    I’ve never been a runner as you are and was curious how you handle it.

    I adore you and your incredible site. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

    • Thank you for your kind words, Denise!

      And great question. I don’t run all the time but when I start training for any event (or do advanced high-impact exercise of any kind) for several days in a row I will always develop feet and back issues primarily (also knee pain–getting old is no fun).

      I’ve found the best way to avoid flaring up an injury (for me) is to sprinkle low-impact routines in between the days I do long runs (more than 3 miles) or intense high-impact workouts of any kind. There are a lot of intense (but low-impact) options out there as well as sculpting routines that focus on getting strong and lean and that don’t incorporate all the jumping and pounding on the joints. It’s definitely a balancing act. I’m sure you’ve learned to listen to your body and adjust your workouts accordingly. That’s the trick, really.

      I strongly encourage women to work out hard (we’re capable of more than we think) but listen to your body, too.

      Thank you for reading and commenting!

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