Body Bar: Challenge

Keli Roberts
Year Released: 1999

Categories: Body Bar , Total Body Workouts

Body Bar Challenge is a 60 minute strength training workout led by Keli Roberts. Keli uses an 18 pound bar for her "heavy" bar, and I can't tell what poundage she's using as her "light" bar. You will need two. I am an intermediate/advanced exerciser and I used a 12 pound to 18 pound for my heavy one (18 pound for leg work, 15 and 12 for upper body work), and a 9 pound one for my light bar. They worked fine for me. A barbell and/or dumbbells can be substituted in places.

The set is a light green I haven't yet seen in other Body Bar workouts, and the music was better than in other Body Bar workouts. All instrumental and a blend of 1970's top 40 hits, in addition to familiar tunes you've probably heard in other workouts.

Keli is joined by Lashaun Dale, as well as Tonya, Carey, and Maryann whose last names I don't know, but who are in other Body Bar workouts. The names are not listed in the credits. All the background exercisers are holding various weighted bars, and none show modifications, although Keli does say to "modify when needed" at several times during the workout.

The workout starts with a 7 to 8 minute warm-up, which is very good. The back, biceps and shoulders section is about 13 minutes in length, and includes one-armed rows and biceps curls. It's thorough and effective. The next section is about 15 minutes long and consists of traditional squats, squats to the side, and plyo moves without the bar. The only problem I can see with this is working on carpeting versus the wood floor they are using in the workout. You may have to modify if the jumping from side to side is not comfortable, or you're not at a level yet where you can lift high enough to do this without catching your foot and risking injury. I used my 18 pound bar here although in the future I will use my weighted barbell for this section, as 18 pounds for squats is "light" for me. They aren't done fast, so you can go heavy. The plyo work is done without holding the body bar.

For the next section I also used an 18 pound bar, and again could have gone heavier. It's about 8 minutes long and consists of static lunges done in three pulses. The power segment is the same move only you jump on count four. Again, be careful with this one if you have knee issues or have any reservations about jumping. I had no issues with this one because they don't do very many, and I simply kept my legs closer in the lunge stance than I normally would had we simply been doing static lunges without jumps. The two sections are separated so you have time to put down the bar and adjust your legs first.

Then we move to the floor for chest, triceps, and oblique work. She starts with a decent amount of push-ups, done with variations to work different areas of the chest and triceps. We then pick up the lighter bar (I used a 9 pound and could have gone a bit heavier) and lie on our sides to do first oblique work, then inner and outer thigh work. If you have any reservations about doing oblique work with weights, there is time after that section to place the bar on your foot for inner and outer thigh work. This was a fun and surprisingly challenging section! She packs a lot into about 8 minutes!

The stretch is very thorough, and is about 13 minutes long! Overall, I'd give this workout a solid B. I can't say I'd use it for serious strength training, but for a nice well-rounded "lighter weight/higher rep" workout, it's perfect. I wish there had been more traditional ab work, but you could skip the stretch and pop in a 10 or 15 minute ab tape, then either return to the stretch or do your own. Or, if you have more than an hour, you could easily tack on an ab workout at the end.

Instructor Comments:
Keli Roberts cues well in this and gives form pointers throughout.