Real Fitness: Ultimate Step

Keli Roberts
Year Released: 1993

Categories: Step Aerobics

This is a 50 minute workout that gradually gets more intense by including power options as the workout progresses. Here is a detailed time breakdown of this workout:

Warmup - 7 minutes
1st Segment - 11 minutes
2nd Segment - 10 minutes
3rd Segment - 9 minutes
Cooldown & Stretch - 4 minutes
Abdominal Section - 8 minutes

There is also a 3 minute relaxation meditation at the end of the tape.

The video is set in an exercise room that opens out onto a mountain view where the sun is setting. It was very pretty and had a "western" feel about it, like I was doing a step class in the old west. Keli and her crew (I call them "backgrounders") stepped on small sized steps. I was always worried that one of them would slip off that little ol' step and break an ankle, but no one did. Some of the music that was used was in Crunch's Master Class Sculpt. It was o.k., nothing special.

The 1st segment wasn't too hard. It wasn't dancy and Keli used no power moves. As an intermediate exerciser, I felt like the 1st segment was kind of an extended warmup. The 2nd segment had some power for those who wanted it (not me, I have a bum knee). It was a bit more dancy than the 1st segment. It got my heartrate going a bit. After a heartrate check, you re-position the step with the long end facing the T.V., which I find fairly unusual. I've only seen that in Donna Richardson's Step and Awesome Abs. It gives the step workout a whole new perspective. The 3rd segment had more power options and the choreography seemed more complex than the first two segments. Maybe it was because of the step being turned around. Anyway, this segment got my heartrate up quite a bit and I got a decent sweat going. Then we had a way too short cooldown and stretch. My heart was still thumping along after the cooldown. I could have used a few more minutes cooling down before the miniscule stretch segment.

The ab workout was pretty good. Keli really knows how to work the abs! She uses the step to give you more ab stability. Although Keli had great form, I noticed that some of the backgrounders did not. Some of them were jerking up with their heads, instead of their abs. Be sure to watch Keli for the proper form.

Finally, there was a 3 minute relaxation exercise where you're lying there on the floor and Keli says things like, "picture white fluffy clouds" and "find your peace". Personally, I prefer to find my peace somewhere other than on an exercise tape, but that's just my opinion.

Overall, I'd say this is a decent workout for a low to mid intermediate exerciser. The cooldown and stretch should have been longer, though. I wouldn't recommend this workout for beginners unless they were used to step choreography, but's it's good for the intermediate exerciser who likes a bit of power and prefers more athletic than dancy choreography in their step videos. I'd give this one a B for the workout, but an A for Keli Robers, the instructor. She's great.

Keli is an attractive blonde with a pleasing Aussie accent. She's a no nonsense instructor with good cuing skills. She always has good form and she's good about giving the viewer pointers on how to achieve good form as well. A very pleasant instructor.

Patti S.