MTV's Advanced Workout

Keith Byard
Year Released: 1997

Categories: Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance

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When I watched this video before actually doing it, I thought Keith's voice would drive me NUTS. But, once you start doing the video, you're working so hard you really don't notice it too much. This video relies on very basic, calisthenic type exercises, but it really gets your heart pumping and works your muscles too. The exercises are done in pretty rapid succession, and there are a lot of compund joint meovemnts, so your muscles get tired quicker than you'd think. I consider myself an advanced exerciser (I regularly do several Firm videos and MIS) and this tape really surprised me. It's more fun than it looks, too, and the time goes by fairly quick. The 30 minute yoga section at the end is a nice relaxer. I got this tape for $9 and I felt it was a bargain. I do this tape on my "light" days, when I combine moderate aerobics with light weights/high reps. This video is perfect for that type of workout. Although the aerobics section is very basic and short (14 minutes), it's over before you can get too bored with it, and the quick pace of the toning section that follows keeps your heart rate up. I wouldn't recommend buying this tape from Collage for $14.95 plus s&h, because you will feel ripped off. But if you can find it on sale at a store near you, pick it up for those days when you want to get a decent workout in that's quick and allows you to "space out" a bit while you're doing it.

Instructor Comments:
Keith is very good about reminding you to only do as much as you can and not push yourself past your own limit. However, I find his "breathy/singy" cuing very annoying. For that matter, the cuing itself is not very good. Often, he and the video participants will just start doing a new move and you're standing there going "Huh?? Where did THAT come from?" and then you have to try and catch up. Once you have done the video a few times, it's not so bad, but still a bit frustrating.

Renae Brock


This video is my favorite so far. I'm kind of surprised so many people hate it.

It's 60 minutes, so it's plenty long, and the 30-minute yoga session at the end is the perfect end to a hard workout-- I feel great the rest of the day.

The sets are beautiful. The workout takes place on the ocean, and the yoga is performed by the Grand Canyon.

I couldn't have picked better music myself, though it is a little quiet.

The moves are quiet simple, and my only complaint is that this workout is very militaristic. Keith seems like a man who could have jazzed it up a little, but he is a former military sergeant, and it sure shows. It took me back to my high school P.E. days. If you like a boot camp workout, this is for you.

The video works your entire body and the cardio is pretty intense, although short. I'd give the whole thing an A. If it had more cardio, it would get an A+.

Instructor Comments:
Keith Byard is fantastic. He's motivating, funny, and any man who sings his cues is a man after my own heart. I can see where some may find him annoying, but his style reminds me of a preacher. His enthusiasm really rubs off. What's funny is to occasionally see his two workout pals trying not to laugh. Occasionally he discovers he's run out of things to say and so frantically repeats one of his coined phrases: "Looks good-uh," "Nothing but good form at all times," or "If ya need a little breather, take a little breather. Safety first."

Sara Whitney


I actually liked this workout a lot, and plan to do it once a week. It is very basic choreography, so even the uncoordinated can do it easily (including me!). There are *no* dance steps in here, no around the step moves, no turns. It is all athletic moves -- jumps, lunges off the step, 20-count repeaters on each leg off the step, jacks, knee-ups on the step, a type of jog in place. It says a step is optional, but I think the intensity would suffer if you don't have a step -- you could still do the moves, but I don't think repeaters or the lunges would be as effective or intense without the step.

The lower body work is pretty good, even though no weights are used. Lots of squats, lunges. No plies, but you could substitute one set of squats with plies (I did). You could easily add weights, but you might want to do the tape first without weights to get a feel of it -- you do lots of reps and several sets.

The "toning" part moves very very quickly. This is *not* a tape you can use heavy weights with. I used 5 lb weights for everything, maybe could use 8 lb after doing this tape a few times. I am used to slower moving weights and heavier weights (like MIS) so I found the quick moving to be tough and tiring. But, I really liked the weight part. I usually do not like using lighter weights (a la Karen Voight) but I really enjoyed this part, and found I was very tired after doing it. You do about 20-24 reps of each exercise (usually 2 sets of each too).

There are pushups, pushups and MORE pushups. About 4 sets of them. Ouch. My chest and shoulders are feelin' it today! He does a couple variations on pushups, one set focusing on the chest only, then others to get your shoulders/back involved too. Pretty neat. I hate pushups, really really hate them, and I did all the pushups in here (okay, I did rest for 2 reps on the last set) and actually enjoyed them because there were variations.

You do a type of supersetting weight exercises -- do pushups, then jump up and do biceps, do pushups, biceps again, pushups, triceps, pushups, shoulder work, boxing jabs, lat rows, etc. I do wish there was more tricep work though. There is *NO* resting. No time to search for weights, no time to have water. You need to have everything for the workout right there next to you, ready to grab.

Onto the floor. There is about 8-10 minutes of floor leg work, using no weights (but you can add some) and I found it pretty tough. It is the basic sets -- lying side leg lifts, leg shootouts. Everything is in sets of 20-24, so near the end your legs gets tired! The ab work is long, about 8-10 minutes of good, basic, effective ab work. The tape includes about a short 3-5 minutes stretch at the end -- I thought it was a pretty good stretch.

This tape uses virtually no room, so even those who have a tiny workout space will be fine. If you have room to do a lunge or a jack, you have room to do this tape.

The tape moves very quickly, so even though the moves are basic, I never got bored. The 50 minute workout flew by.

Instructor Comments:
Okay, so Keith is very cheesy, and he *does* sound like a lounge singer. But I found him to be pretty entertaining, and easy to block out. The way he talks made me smile throughout the entire workout. If you can stand Cory's incessant chatter and silly comments about having the best arms on the beach in Get Hard Arms and Shoulders, you can handle Keith no problem!

This man has energy. He is constantly bouncing all over the "stage". I wish I had half the energy he does!

His cues do leave a little to be desired though -- it is best to watch the video first to get an idea of what some of the moves are because he tends to start the move before he tells you it is changing or he will introduce a move without a preview of it.

There are 2 girls working out with him, they add nothing to the workout. One shows an "easier" version of most exercises -- like doing pushups on knees. Oh, and I think she also does the low-impact version of the aerobic part.

Lisa H


(Yoga Section of MTV Advanced Workout)

Other than Jane Fonda, this was my first exposure to Yoga. I enjoyed it so much I've since bought a Power Yoga tape, and am looking for other similar workouts. This seems to be somewhere in between Jane Fonda and Bryan Kest's Power Yoga. The routine is an approximately 25 minute Ishtanga Yoga workout. Has some cat stretches, quite a few planks, up dog, down dog, and a variety of other poses and some flying locusts for the back. Although the workout says that it helps strengthen muscles, I love the intense stretch I get from this tape. This tape really seems to stretch out the legs and the hip and groin area. If you are looking for a stretching tape, I'd highly recommend the yoga portion of the tape. In fact I think for $9.99 at Target its worth it just to buy this tape for the yoga portion. I highly recommend the yoga portion of this tape.



I have to admit I really don't care for this video at all. The only thing that seemed advanced about it to me was the chaos. Do this, do that, do this again, on and on. The music wasn't all that good, and it really didn't matter, because he didn't do the exercises to the beat anyway. I *did* like the 30-minute yoga section at the end. It's more of the stretching-type yoga as opposed to the kind where you try to contort yourself into awkward positions. I have to give the overall workout a C, though.

No review of this tape would be complete without mentioning Keith Byard. The way he talks *immediately* gets your attention! He-uh talks-uh like-uh this-uh. Complete-uh with-uh groans-uh in-uh the-uh appropriate-uh places-uh. What is *that* all about? But as a plus, he does make it a point to keep reminding you about good form. His favorite saying seems to be, "Nothing but good form at all times." Actually, in this case, "Nothing-uh but-uh good-uh form-uh at-uh all-uh times-uh." Also, I noticed that during the squats, he likes to run his hands up his thighs and pull his shorts up higher. Is that supposed to turn us on or something? No-uh, thanks-uh!

Instructor Comments:
Keith Byard is unusual, which may be a gross understatement. I don't know where they came up with this guy, and I don't know WHY either, but he seems quite an odd choice as an instructor for an exercise video. Despite his eccentricities, I did not find him obnoxious or a poor instructor. I laughed the first time I watched the video, but when I was doing it, I really wasn't even aware of his bizarreness.

Annie S.


I really like this workout - Keith's raspy huffing and puffing voice was distracting only in the warm-up segment. After that, I didn't notice because I was huffing and puffing from all the high impact, jacks, starbursts (Cathe Friedrich move done on the step), Jake runs and kicks using the step, more jacks, never ending jacks. I love "drill sargeant" workouts - I love being pushed to my limit and beyond. The aerobics segment is short, but I did this tape following Jump and Jab so it was a perfect complement. The arm workout was so-so - I used 6 lb. dumbbells. He does bicep curls, tricep kickbacks, shoulder work, all with push-ups in between so I did feel it. Arm segment lasted ten minutes (good if you did Tough Tape, like I did, the day before). I like all the lunges and dips without weights - I did feel it. I used 3 lb. ankle weights for the floorwork, but next time I will go to 5 lbs. The ab work was very intense but the instruction was a little poor - but acceptable. I don't like yoga so I can't review that part. I didn't like the fact that the age chart for the perceived exertion only went up to 50 (I am 52 and followed this workout perfectly). Great music too. I will do this workout again, after a Firm day.

maryann parker


This tape has definitely gone into my rotation. It is a fast-paced tape with very basic choreography done in sets of 10 to 30. Moves are seldom repeated twice. The tape starts with a warmup, moves into jumping jacks, then does intervals on the step, knee-up, (repeated 20 times on each leg), touch up on the step, a power move on the step called "superman", (basically just a jump with your arms up and one leg back in a glute squeeze), then a few boxing moves on the floor. To some, this may be boring and repetitious, however, I prefer this to learning a move, and doing it over and over, and then doing it again later on.

The toning section, about 20 minutes uses light weights with 20 or 30 reps for upper body. Hits on biceps, triceps, shoulders and one set of lats and five sets of 10 pushups. Does some basic leg lunges and plies, some table work. If you are an intermediate or advance exerciser, I would recommend using weights and doing a few less reps. The toning finishes with a good tough ab section.

This tape could have been my favorite ever, but it has some problems. First you can't hear the music. (if anyone knows how to put this into the stereo to just get the music and lower Keith's voice, please let me know). Ironically, one of the few lines you can hear during this tape is "kiss my #%*". Second, the aerobics are only 14 minutes long, this baffles me completely, why didn't they add 6 more minutes, or interval some of the arm or leg work.

I really like the yoga section, I feel very relaxed after doing it, and enjoy the tape. It has beautiful scenery, but if you are doing the poses, you can't watch the TV. Oh well. I have been using the first 5 minutes or so as a stretch after other tapes with inadequate stretching, feels great.

A recap, this is a good intense tape, but not for everybody. To be great it either needs more toning or more aerobics. The aerobics are too short, and Collage shows the tape around 45 minutes, not the 1 hour advertised. From the Forum, many people couldn't stand the instructor. May be worth it at $9 for the stretch during the yoga section. HINT: Follow the woman with the pigtails, except of course when she arches her back during squats.

Instructor Comments:
I liked this instructor, although on a Forum thread, his style was enough for some people to put this tape on the exchange. Keith talks in a way that is hard to describe. I call it "infomercial salesman". He talks pretty much nonstop. Unfortunately, the tape was put together so that the music is pretty much drowned out by his voice. Collage calls his cueing "breathy/sexy". Not my description, didn't think he was trying to be sexy.



This is a good aerobic/strength training video that would be a good alternative to the Firm. If you have done "Your Personal Best"video with Karen Voight, it is like that workout on speed. It moves continuously from one thing to another for an hour. One pulse rate check, and that's it for breaks. It keeps up the pulse rate, but you have to pay attention, because cueing is minimal. The moves are basic and need little set-up, though. Jumping jacks, lunges, military presses, push-ups, bicep curls, they are all there. This is a video men would like. The music is not memorable, mostly just a steady beat to follow. Keeping up with Keith requires concentration, so I didn't really notice the music. I enjoyed this video. It was never boring, the ab section is basic but thorough and long, and I was tired afterward and sore the next day. That pretty much sums up my requirements for a good workout. The set is great, a hip out in the ocean. You feel like you are there taking a class.

This workout also reminded me of Kathy Ireland's Advanced Sports Fitness, in it's interval format. But this tape is better. The MTV set is better, and Kathy's workout is repetitive. The MTV workout has something new every minute. Keith also has an energy that I have never seen matched. I wouldn't want to be in a car with him for any length of time, but as someone to kick my butt, he is a good choice. I actually did all of the push-ups, which I hate.

Following the workout is a 30 min. Yoga workout which is a great stretch. The cueing is hard-to-follow, and I would recommend a Yoga novice to look at other videos first for instruction, like Kathy Smith or Rodney Yee. But if you know the basic yoga poses, the routine here is pleasant and moves quickly from one pose to another, stretching all the muscles and providing a good variety of balance and stretching postures. The scenery is gorgeous and the music is good.

Instructor Comments:
Wow, does this guy have energy. He never stops moving, talking, making sometimes irritating sound effects. But he is very motivational. He even sings the cues. I am huffing and puffing, and he has the energy to sing! (He has a pretty good voice, too) Keith is a cross between a drill instructor and Gin Miller.

Anne Berk


I was so disappointed with this tape. More than anything, I could not get past the instructor. He breathes so loudly into the microphone and talks (incessantly)like a cheezy lounge singer. You can barely hear the music in the background. This one almost rivals that CIA tape we watched in Charleston (uh huh!). I watched 5 minutes and was ready to turn it off. Sorry if you happened to like it. I think the FIRM has ruined my ability to do other tapes without feeling like I wasted my time. I must admit the yoga at the end was nice though. I will be curious to hear others opinions on this one. As was mentioned in a previous post, it is very repetitious and basic. "Okay, he-he baby, uh huh, uh huh, now 20 small lunges to the rear, oh yea baby, hep hep, uh huh, work it, you look great,yeah. Now 20 jumping jacks, now 20 lunges back with the other leg, now punch the imaginary punching bag 20 times, now jog in place 20 times, etc... Everything was done in sets of 20. I definately plan to toss this one into the exchange bin pronto...