Straight Up Sculpt

Keli Roberts
Year Released: 1997

Categories: Total Body Workouts

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This is a 1997 IDEA video which as far as I know, you can only get on Keli Roberts' website.

At first glance, this video looks like it will be no great shakes. The set is nothing special. It is just Keli, low music and a rather strange exerbar with tubing attached to it. No bells or whistles. This is the kind of workout to do when you don't particularly care to get jazzed. You just want to get to it.

That being said, it was a very efficient and effective workout. With every move, Keli explains form, whether you are using the exerbar or regular dumbbells (what I used). About the first three quarters of the workout is mainly upper body with functional moves. The last quarter are stability ab exercises which are very intense! The abs that Keli does in 10 Minute Solution Kickbox Bootcamp and QuickFix Pilates Abs are similar to this, but in my opinion, the abs in this video are even tougher! I suspect this will be in my rotation for some time as I am personally more interested in toning my arms and abs right now than anywhere else.

So again, if you get the DVD and you're taken aback by the production quality and the exerbar, give it a chance anway. You may be pleasantly surprised.

Instructor Comments:
Keli Roberts is one of the best video instructors out there in my opinion, specializing in strengthwork, stability work, step and kickboxing. She is a beautiful woman with a great Australian accent. Not only a good teacher, but fun to watch while you work out.

Lady D


This is my first Keli Roberts video and I am very impressed. The tape itself is well explained in previous reviews. I mostly train with Cathe and really like the heavy weights. This tape did not exhaust me but was challenging and can become more so by increasing the weights. It's a good one to put in the rotation because there is a lot of change and unique moves. It's a keeper.

Instructor Comments:
Her physique is inspiring and she is very pleasant to work out with.

Mary D.


Strange and amazing - that's how I describe this tape. I first got this tape about 3 years ago, but was put off by the use of exerbands, so I traded it away. But recently, in my quest to expand my horizons on the strength side, I was led back to SUS. And boy, am I glad I was!

SUS is a total body strength tape that was put out via IDEA in 1997. It is just Keli by herself doing the workout (after an intro by Jay Blahnik) and it clocks in at around 53 minutes.

First, it turns out you can do the tape perfectly well with a barbell and dumbells - exerbar and/or bands are NOT needed. Second, this tapes worked me good and got me sore in places I didn't know could get that sore, particularly my obliques and back. Clearly, as has been noted in other reviews, you can heavy up on this tape. There aren't a lot of reps in much of the weight work, so it can be considered slow and heavy. I used a 30 pound barbell for the squats and lunges, but could easily go up from there.

Most of the leg work are moves we've seen before - squats, lunges, you know the drill. Some of the arm work was pretty interesting - there's a move with the barbell where you sort of buzz it over the top of your head to work your shoulders - kinda strange, but very effective. But it's the floor work that's really interesting. There are loads of planks, interspersed with some unique raises onto your side that really work the obliques in a different way. Very tough to do, but very effective.

All in all, this tape is a real winner. I give it a solid A.

Celia M.


I got this video about a year ago, and I still love it! I've tried other sculpt videos, but I keep coming back to it because it's excellent. I love the fact that it works the entire body, because many sculpt videos focus on the major muscles in the upper or lower body, but tend to skip some muscle groups like the back or the chest, etc.

I would say I am an intermediate in strength training, so this video really challenges me. I use my 9 lb body bar and 5 lb dumbells throughout and find that I really work my muscles. In fact, my muscles feel so worked that the floor work is really challenging because my muscles are so fatigued that I really struggle through the push-ups and her ab bridges!

Throughout, Keli always gives excellent pointers. I have learned so much about proper form from her videos, so I always appreciate her instruction.

Even though I'm always willing to try new strength training videos, I will always have this one in my rotation. It's definitely one of my all-time favorites!

Instructor Comments:
Keli is my favorite instructor! She is always great at motivating me through the workout. Her straight-forwardness and sincerity really make me enjoy working out with her, whether it's a cardio workout, or a sculpt workout!



If you are looking for variety in your weight workouts, TRY THIS TAPE! Its a killer weight training workout that focuses on muscular endurance. It feels as though you are having a personal training session with Keli. This music is hardly noticeable but I don't mind because it allows me to focus on form and the muscle I'm working.

Keli gives excellent form pointers and instruction on how to find perfect alignment. In this workout, Keli uses an Exerbar, but I easily substituted heavy dumbbells and you could probably use a barbell for some of the exercises.

There are not many reps is stated in previous reviews, so you really do have to use maximum weight for each exercise, but Keli uses different tempos so your muscles will be fatigued, for example, while doing squats, you do some reps at normal tempo, then you do a series of 4-count slow descent with 3-4 pulses at the bottom, or for bicep curls, you do regular curls, then you do 2-count curls, then she does 4 count pulses halfway up, then complete the curl. The only thing I did with regards to using dumbbells was during the second squat segment where you alternate squats with standing rear leg extensions angling your leg slightly, I used 5 lb. ankle weights for these, she doesn't tell you to do that but I was getting the same effect if I would have used the Exerbar as resistance.

Finally there is a super-tough kind of one-arm push ups where you are lying on your side, and ab work from a push-up position where you lower both knees to the floor, and then a set of regular push ups (it was a MUST by then to do these on my knees), then you repeat this on the other side, KILLER!

This is an awesome video. Worth the $24.95 price tag.

Instructor Comments:
Keli Roberts is fast becoming one of my very favorite instructors. Her instruction on this video is impeccable surpassing Karen Voight with regards to getting perfect form and alignment. Her ab work is the absolute best I've done. I hope she continues making great videos.

Wendy M


I don't want to add too much about the format of the tape. I just wanted to add a few thoughts.

One thing I noticed at first is that it isn't the highest production quality I've ever seen. But I've gotten used to it. At first it annoyed me that the music was so quiet, but this has turned out to be a strength because I just put on the music I want to hear. Even with the volume on the TV up, I can't really hear the background music. This works well. Yesterday I did it to the soundtrack from the Full Monty. Very motivating! The cool down music is loud enough, and I like it. And by the way, the cool down is excellent.

I really like this tape. Keli Roberts is so excellent. She's becoming my very favorite instructor. I wish she'd make more tapes because her form pointers are better than anyone's (even Karen Voight). It's an excellent strength tape, on par with the FIRM, except for no cardio breaks. It is *hard*, especially the beginning floor work. I can't do that part yet. I think it will be a while before I can.

You *can* order this tape from Collage. I don't know the reference number, but just ask for it, and they'll ship it to you. I have been doing the tape with weights. I thought I'd like to try the Exerbar. You can order this by contacting Spri Products, Inc. at 1-800-222-7774 or, if you are outside the US, call 847-537-7876). This info is also available on the video box. They cost $19.99 + shipping and handling (My total was $26.70) and are available in light (in yellow - this is what Keli uses) and medium (which is green). The woman on the phone at SPRI said most women would use the light unless they were extremely strong. (I went for the light.) The exerbar seems to be a good bargain, and once you learn all the exercises, you can travel with it.

Overall, this tape gets a B- for production but an A+++++ for content and instruction.



Definitely an A workout! This is a strength workout, and you start with standing exercises using an exerbar or dumbbells, and then you move to the floor. I do the first part with dumbbells since I don't have an exerbar, but it looks like it might be even more challenging if you use the exerbar. The standing work includes mostly upper body, but there are lower body exercises, too.

Then you move to the floor for ab work, back work, and pushups. This is KILLER! It's only about 20 minutes, but during that time you will be screaming and groaning and maybe even cursing Keli.

I'm only giving this an A because I would have liked to see some leg work on the floor. If it had included that, I'd give it an A+.

Instructor Comments:
Keli is tough! She knows exactly what to do to get right into the muscles you're working. Her moves are often unique, and you can always be sure they're going to be hard!

Annie S.


This workout is HARD!!!! Keli says the workout is designed to fatigue the muscle in 15-20 reps, I didn't count everything but that seems about what she did. It starts with a warm up, then squats, stiff leg deadlifts, lat rows, combination of lat row & deadlift, backward lunges, upright rows, forearm curls, biceps curls, shoulder & triceps work and more squats. Then it's to the floor for ab work very similar to section 4 of Abs & More & push ups.

I am dying by the end of this tape. I think Keli is, too, because near the end when I am about to collapse from exhaustion, she laughs and says "Well, its an endurance workout".

As in earlier tapes of her's, you are constantly called on to use other muscles as stabilizers, particularly your abs & back. She gives great pointers on form and always reminds you during the set, usually when I need it the most.

One great thing about the ab work is that Keli gives modifications for those that don't have the strength to do the advanced version. I really need this, because although I have been using Abs & More for about a year, section 4 really intimidates me & I usually skip it. After doing this tape I decided I should do section 4 more often.

I couldn't hear the music at all in this tape, but the only time it was really noticeable was during the warm up and when she picks up the tempo during a set.

All in all this is a definite keeper. I give it an A+ even though you can't hear the music (I am working to hard to care).

Instructor Comments:
I really like Keli Roberts. Keli is warm and friendly and provides great instruction and form pointers. I like that the workouts she creates are designed to work several muscles in combination.

I wish she would put out more videos to the mass market, instead of produced by IDEA and generally only available to instructors. I would have had no idea this tape was available if it weren't for this web site.

Tonya Bednarick


This is an awesome one on one style training with one of the greatest instructors out there. I was so impressed the first time watching it and now that I just finished doing the workout, it is even better.

All sorts of great toning excercises for the whole body. She uses a unique excercise bar that has rubber tubing on it for all the excercises but is constantly telling you how you can do the excercises with heavy dumbells. I did a lot of the leg work with a heavy 37lb barbell and upper body work with 12lb dumbells and 15lb for the lat rows.

You must use the heaviest weights that your body can handle because she doesn't do very many reps. For the lower body she starts off with squats, squat pulses then goes into stationary dips with a leg sweep to the back and a very slow dip with a leg drag which I found to be perfect to do on my Tall Box ( Firm). She then does a stiff leg dead lift in combined with a excercise for the back. Super! For upper body, She does all the great ones. Upright rows combined with a reverse grip bicep curl. Then regular biceps, lat rows, delt raises, and tricep kickback and another unique tricep excercise pushing your arm backwards with dumbells to work the tricep muscle. WHEW! I may be forgetting some other ones but I was dripping with sweat at this point! So was Keli! Then you go to the floor and do some similiar excercises in her Abs and more video. A lot of work for the back. She also does pushups and a unique pushup where you stablelize yourself on your elbows and then go into a pushup on your elbows but only dropping your knees and then go back on your toes. Killer! I was dying! Keli was dripping with sweat at this point! Then you go on your back for some ab stabalization moves. I think the ab work could have been more but since she has her great Abs and More tape, I wasn't too upset. You can always do some of that tape for more ab work. The cool down is the icing on the cake. Excellent laying on the floor stretches ( mostly on your back) and then you flip over and do wonderful unique stretches for your lats and shoulders. The music during the cool down is wonderfull piano/ synthesizer music. I can't stop raving about this tape! One drawback is that some of the music during the workout is the same ol' Step Max soundtrack but the volume is so low that you can hardly hear it. I like the fact that the music is not drowning out the superb instructing.

The set is like the CIA sets with a hardwood floor. I barked about the $24.95 price but now that I have done this workout, it was worth every penny. I'm sure it costs alot more to have Keli as a personal trainer for an hour! I think this price is worth having her come to my house and be sweating away with her. This wokout is a must and you can order it from IDEA. By the way, there service was great! I ordered the video and got it right away!

Excellent cueing and form as usual with this dynamic instructor. Perfectly fit body and Australian or New Zealand accent really make it fun with this instructor. She also gives pointers on how to make the exercises easier for the more beginner. She is working just as hard as you, REAL SWEAT!!

Mandy Lee