Introducing Stepperton, the viral TikTok workout that promises to make your sweat sessions more fun than ever

EYNTK about TikTok's latest fitness obsession.

Two women trying a stepperton workout
(Image credit: Getty Images)

It's true that over the past few years, we've fallen a little out of love with cardio. Whereas once upon a time, cardio training was king, lately we've become more attuned to how our bodies respond to movement, favouring gentler forms of exercise like Pilates and strength-based training.

But if you're missing the high that HIIT used to bring, enter stage right, TikTok's newest viral workout: Stepperton. Promising to bring the fun back into fitness, it could be just what we need to reignite our passion for fast-paced exercise. And ifyou remember the 80s, this one's for you.

Consider this your complete guide to the craze, covering everything you need to know. And while we've got you, you might be interested to read our take on whether walking is a good workout, learn all about the 3-2-8 method, plus find out how one of our health writers got on when she tried glute bridges every day for a week.

What is Stepperton?

Despite trending on TikTok, there's a chance you might be unaware of the Stepperton craze and wondering what on earth it even is. If so, allow us to explain.

"Stepperton is the fast-paced, dance-based workout taking the fitness world by storm," explains personal trainer and founder of Minimondo, Claudia Dumond. "The unique class combines hip-hop and Afro-step routines with energetic step aerobics, set to a mix of classic and up-tempo tracks. Known for its high energy, fun routines, and accessibility, Stepperton is not just a music-based exercise but a full-body boot camp that improves cardio, coordination, and overall fitness."

Sounds exciting - so, is it the modern version of an 80s step class? Well, kind of. "There are some similarities to old school step classes," agrees personal trainer and founder of The Warrior Method, Eliza Flynn. "They both use a step (which is like a low, height-adjustable bench you use to step up onto), and there are moves which are done to music. However, Stepperton is slightly more complex, the music is fast-paced and upbeat, and there’s significantly fewer leotards and leg warmers!" Alas, we love a leg warmer.

@juliusburphy

♬ Run It! (feat. Juelz Santana) - Chris Brown

When did Stepperton go viral?

Founded by fitness instructor Julius Burphy after he became bored with home workouts over the pandemic, the workout hit the big time shortly afterwards, with his latest posts racking up almost five million views on TikTok.

And it's no wonder: Burphy's enthusiasm is infectious, and his mantra is to make sure that everyone has the best time ever in his classes - who can resist that?

What are the benefits of Stepperton?

If you're after an alternative to running or simply want to build more cardio into your workout regime, Stepperton could be a great option.

"Stepperton comes with so many benefits," agrees Flynn. "It’s a proper mood-booster, and also challenges coordination and raises your heart rate. It also builds lower body strength and improves balance. Plus, because you’re doing it as a group, you’ve got the opportunity to create kinship and community – especially that shared sigh of relief and achievement when you’ve completed a routine."

Let's dig into the benefits in turn.

1. It improves cardiovascular fitness

As you'd expect from an upbeat, high-octane workout, Stepperton is great for cardiovascular health. All that stepping up and down to the high-energy routines will get your heart rate up and the sweat factor on.

And we all know that good cardiovascular health is crucial for reducing our risk of developing heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes, as well as boosting mood and helping us to ward off illnesses.

2. It's a full-body workout

There's no doubt that you'll be working all-over body strength in a Stepperton class. While naturally you'll be giving your legs a great workout, the method also targets your core (staying balanced is not easy!) as well as your upper body.

"Stepperton targets multiple muscle groups," says Dumond. "This helps build comprehensive fitness, which can translate to other workouts as well as everyday life."

3. It improves co-ordination

As you'd expect from a dance-style workout, you're going to need some co-ordination for Stepperton. Good co-ordination, in addition to reducing our risk of injury (no-one wants to be slipping off the step, mid-class) has been shown to improve congnitive function in older adults.

Additionally, research (such as this study, published in the British Medical Journal) has shown that dancing might be more effective for treating depression than medication and talking therapies. Stepperton for the brain boost win!

4. It's fun and accessible

We've said it before and we'll say it again - the best form of exercise is the one that you'll keep doing, so the enjoyment factor is crucial. By all accounts, Stepperton is great fun, and immersing yourself in a dance-style workout is almost guaranteed to take your mind off any life stressors.

Another advantage is how accessible the workout is. "While some of the dance moves might seem a little complicated, this is all broken down into easier, more achievable steps for beginners, with more advanced moves for seasoned steppers," reassures Flynn.

So, no matter your fitness level or lack of experience, it's well worth giving Stepperton a try!

@juliusburphy

♬ original sound - 2000spophits🔥

Can I do Stepperton from home?

A good, full-body, fun workout you can do from home has to be the holy grail of exercise these days, so you probably want to know whether you need to find a class IRL, or if you can do Stepperton from the comfort of your living room.

The good news is that you absolutely can do the workout at home, but if you're new to it, it's probably worth investing in at least a few classes.

"Stepperton can definitely be done at home, thanks to the abundance of online videos and virtual classes," says Dumond. "However, having an instructor can be beneficial for ensuring proper form, reducing the risk of injury, and providing extra motivation and energy. For beginners, starting with an instructor is helpful to learn the basics and proper technique, while more experienced individuals can easily follow along with online routines from home."

2 at-home Stepperton tutorials to try today

1. Ku Lo Sa routine and tutorial

What? A six-minute tutorial on a foundational move, by Julius Burphy himself.

Why? Make sure your form is on point by following this tutorial before moving on to a proper class.

How long for? In just six minutes, you'll have this routine down pat.

Stepper-Ton Ku Lo Sa routine Tutorial - YouTube Stepper-Ton Ku Lo Sa routine Tutorial - YouTube
Watch On

2. New step tutorial

What? As above, another new step tutorial.

Why? If you're not going to classes, these tutorials will help you perfect your technique and practice the moves.

How long for? Six minutes, again.

Shop MC UK's go-to Stepperton kit here

Is Stepperton just a fad?

Well, there's no denying it's popular RN, but that's not to say that it doesn't have legitimate benefits. Fans say that it's the most fun they've had while working out, and we all know that some movement is always better than none - so don't worry if you get the moves wrong to begin with!

If you're struggling, it's worth finding an instructor whose style you like, and above all, enjoy yourself!

Anna Bartter
Health Writer

Anna Bartter is a freelance journalist who writes about health, fitness and women's lifestyle for publications including Stylist, Metro and Psychologies, among others. 

She's always on a quest to find a variety of fun and functional workouts that give you the most bang for your workout buck and she's passionate about championing movement for everyone's mental and physical wellbeing.