The New Body Bar

Keli Roberts
Year Released: 1999

Categories: Body Bar , Total Body Workouts

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What a fabulous workout this is!! I love it! Why? It's like the Firm Tough Tape and BodyPump video's. It is a compact total body weight workout in just one hour using a bodybar. With Keli's down to earth personality, perfect form, excellent cueing and great exercises, time and sweat just flew by and I was doing the thorough cooldown. Keli laughs throughout the workout and is working hard along with you. She even struggles on the floorwork.

The workout is 60 minutes. You start of with a vigorous low impact wonderful warm-up. There is no stretch but I didn't feel the need to have one. The music is fabulous for the warm-up!! She alternates lower and upper body which I like but I did have to use 2 different weights to challenge my lower body. I used a 25lb Firm barbell and a 15lb bodybar. This seemed to work just fine. The counting is 2counts down and 2 counts up. Then 3 down and 1up. Then 3 up and one down and then pulse 3 and down. This is what she does all through the entire workout. I really felt it on the squats.

That is what you start off doing is squats. Then you do overhead lifts and upright rows. Then you lean over and do back work first and then deadlifts. Now I really felt the deadlifts with all the different counts. The music is fabulous. If you have G-Force Ultimate Hi/lo, you will recognize the music from the warm-up. Then you do dips with one foot on the back of a 8 inch step. This was very effective!!!! Then you immediately go and do Step ups or us Firmies call it tall box/Fanny lifter. Now this is very effective because you just prefatigued the glute/butt muscle. She does the Stepups/Tall box very slow and controlled. MUCH slower than Cathe does in her Pure Strength Legs and Abs tape. Anyway, I used my 14 inch tall box for this and it works PERFECT!! Keli does the same reps like 2 down and 2 up and then 3 down slow and up. Boy was my glute burning.

To give you a rest, she then does lat rows. I used my 15lb barbell and it was fine but then when she does side lifts where you bring your arm out to the side, I had to drop the 15lb bodybar and use a 5lb dumbbell. I don't know how Keli can lift that much! She is strong! Then it's back to do dips and tall box on the other side with lat rows and side lifts. You know, I am still feeling that side lift in my shoulder as I type this review! Fabulous exercise.

I also noticed the music is from MIS step warm-up. Fun!

Then if you think you are done with lower body, nope! You do lunges off the step and then bicep curls with the bodybar. You finish off with more shoulder work where you hold the bodybar in a bicep curl and lift your knuckles up. Then you do pushups where you rest your bodybar on the step like a cross. I was hoping my bodybar would snap in half! It worked fine and it was tough. You go down and hold in the pushup position and then bring one knee then the next and then pushup. Very tough. But she rewards you with a nice back stretch.

You then lay down and do lat pull overs which I love since it targets the upper tricep muscle. And then you do tricep french press with the bodybar lying down. This is very very tough with a 15lb dumbbell. Then you do dips with the bodybar cradled in your lap. Oooohhh, is this ever tough since my triceps are soooo tired.

Done with triceps? no! You do another tricep exercise holding the bodybar behind you and you lift up. I could barely finish. The floorwork is outer thigh lifts and inner thigh lifts using the bodybar. Keli even is struggling and says, "I think I need to work my inner thighs more often!" The ab work is not much. Crunches with the bodybar resting on your chest. No oblique or lower abs. But it's more than Firm Tough Tape which has no ab work.

She also does some bridge work where you put your heels on the step and lift up. The ending of the bridgework is so tough because she has you stay in a contracted bridge position and lift your leg up. Then you lower your glute down for 2 reps. I haven't seen this exercise before. The music for the floorwork is super! I LOVE it! All instrumental music by MusicFlex.

The cooldown is so nice and relaxing. Keli has some wonderful stretches for the hamstrings and outer thigh area and quadriceps. My favorite is the outer thigh stretch laying on your back. Your foot is resting on the leg and then you roll up and lean into the leg and you feel the stretch go deeper. She also does some nice upper body stretches too. I like her goodbye. She just says, "be well" but I love the way she says it.

This is a wonderful workout. I will use it with Firm Tough Tape and BodyPump. Oh, one other thing is Keli's hair is growing and longer and the way she is in this tape reminds me of the Ultimate Step and her Circuit workout. Really friendly, laid back and beautiful!

Mandy Lee


I am not a fan of Straight Up and Sculpt and was so happy to see Keli doing a traditional lighter weight workout without all those contortionist moves. I used my Firm Barbell unloaded (12 lbs) and felt good with the moves. You will need your step ready because she does leg presses (not too many and much slower than Cathe), and uses the step for backward lunges utilizing the bar for every move. Keli does push-ups with the bar across the step (really hard), triceps dips, triceps overhead presses on the step, good bicep work , lat pulls, side raises, upright rows, and military presses. It's really a great workout for a light day, but maniac that I am (I love long workouts), I combined this with Kickbox Circuit. Forget about abs: 2 minutes only with the bar across the chest doing crunches (I will just leave that out next time and stop the workout there). For me, this is what I like on a day after Cathe strength tapes, so I will definitely be using it alot. In my opinion, again I will say, it's Keli's best tape.

maryann parker


This is a good, solid, well-structured tape. Keli covers all body parts, usually with at least two different moves. Most exercises are done as follows:

1. a set of 8 or twelve reps
2. a set of 4 reps with a three counts down, one count up rhythm
3. a set of 4 reps with the opposite (one count down, three counts up)
4. and finally a set of "partials", meaning a 3 count pulse at the contraction of the move. This was VERY fatiguing! This is a very shoulder-intensive workout. . . While doing side lifts for the rear delt Keli says "this is such a pretty muscle, it's a shame not to train it" --then she proceeds not to train it, or even to burn it, but to beat the living daylights out of it until you are screaming for mercy! Rear delts are without a doubt THE hardest worked muscle in this vid. Triceps are a VERY close second! Keli does a great pushup sequence. You put the bar across the step, hold onto it on either side, and start in on-your-toes-pushup position. You lower your body like a pushup, HOLD at the bottom (shake, shake, quiver, quiver!) for a second, then slowly lower one knee, lower the other knee, and push back up. Then you hop back up to your toes and repeat. Then you lock into that on-the-toes position and slowly lift one foot and then the other.

The stretch is very nice and left me feeling invigorated rather than wiped out. I'd love to see Keli make a stretch tape, she does them so well! The music was pretty good, less bland than your average video music. With a 15 pound bodybar I would say that this tape is very comparable in intensity to Tough Tape with a 20 lb barbell, only less lower body-focused than TT. I'd call it intermediate/advanced with a 15 lb bar. I'm left with the impression that this tape is GOOD, and will probably end up a hall-of-famer, but somehow I don't think it'll be a personal favorite. There seems to be something missing that I can't quite identify. Maybe its just that I am a cardio queen sort of girl and a strength tape just never does totally thrill me like a good heart-pumping cardio one. At any rate, Keli has done a great job making a challenging and solidly designed strength workout that gives you a good (but not killer) lower body workout and a GREAT upper body one!

I was unfamiliar with Keli before doing this tape. She is laid back, not chatty, but the comments she makes make her seem very human (i.e. "that was a wobbly one!" after a shaky rep). Her form pointers are excellent, very descriptive and always timed just right as though she's watching you hunch those shoulders when you ought not! I'd compare her to a slightly more talkative Karen Voight.

susan p


I really like this workout, but will use this on "light" total body weight days. It works nearly every body part, but not exhaustively. I would consider it an intermediate level workout. I would tend to do an abdominal tape afterward, in that this tape does not work the lower abs or obliques. I would also do some side lateral raises for the shoulders afterward, because this tape only does some military presses and rear delt raises. I think that the lower body gets a nice workout with some squats, dips, lunges and floor work; Good for the glutes and thighs. One thing that bothered me is that I could not hear the music very well. I own over 100 videos and my overall impression of this video is that it seems a bit poorly produced or bland, especially for such a super fitness pro as Keli Roberts.

Keli Roberts has been one of my favorite instructors for years (since the Cher video). She is so sincere and caring. She is extremely knowledgeable and makes an extraordinary effort to create workouts that are unique, safe and fun. She is a real pro.



This is an excellent, different, exciting video. I am an instructor and advanced level exerciser and found this to be a great challenge. Only a bicep and row segment were moderate in intensity. She utilizes the bar in new ways so if you are looking for body sculpting ideas for your classes, this video is for you! She uses a two count rep system, followed by a 3 count/1 count, then a 1 count/3 count and then a pulse 3/slow rep count on almost all exercises. This increases intensity and difficulty level until your muscles really feel it. Exercises were performed standing, seating and lying down. I did this workout with a 15 lb. body bar, a component for the workout, but dumbells could suffice. The step is also used a great deal. The pushups were the BEST and I hate pushups!

Instructor Comments:
Keli Roberts is an exceptional instructor with precise cuing and abounding in knowledge. She has a strong, sculpted physique which is very inspiring. Her form and alignment are perfect and she shows lots of modifications utilizing two other instructors.

Janet O'Neil


Given the already detailed reviews, I just wanted to add some insight into what you can do with this video.

Whereas it is done on VO with a bodybar, I substitute heavy weights and a 35 lb. barbell and I think that this way you can get a really solid, advanced workout.

It means you have to switch weights sometimes, since I find it hard to use the barbell for some of the moves.... but I feel like I am really getting a strength-gaining workout, rather than purely "toning", when I increase the weights.

The workout itself is wonderfully thorough and a good alternative to Cathe or Firm days.

Instructor Comments:
excellent cueing, good form, and motivating. also, i like the fact that she is "real" and not as ditzy as some othe (eg Firm) instructors

Laura Dodge


I recently acquired Keli Roberts' New Body Bar Workout from the Exchange (thanks, Sheri), and I have to say that I am SO GLAD that I got this tape! I had been shying away from it since I already have Keli's Body Bar Challenge, but this one is different and just as good! Before I sat down to write this review I went back and read the ones that already have been written, and I had to laugh. If you want my assessment of the video, go back and read Mandy Lee's review and you'll have it! :-)

I believe that the main shortcoming of these body bar videos is that if you do them the way they are demonstrated, they don't give you the opportunity to use a different weight for different exercises. However, with slight modifications (and I generally like to do tapes as is) this can be a workout to suit all levels. I used my 25 lb. Firm barbell and my 15 lb. body bar during the entire workout, and it was perfect. It's a great endurance workout, not unlike Body Pump in focus (although it would be tough to beat Body Pump's music). With the slow reps, tempo changes and pulses with each exercise, they'll really get you! The upper and lower body segments are very well-balanced. I love the pushup section! As usual, Keli ends with a great stretch (although I like the stretch at the end of her Body Bar Challenge tape better). My only (minor) complaint is that I wish the ab section were longer. It's a shame, with how excellent Keli's ab sections can be, that she didn't take advantage of that in this video. The obliques aren't specifically worked in this video. My guess as to why the ab section was so brief is that I guess Keli really wanted the focus to be on using the body bar for all the exercises. That's OK; you can really always just tack on another ab segment if you want more abs. All in all, a great workout! I highly recommend it. It's an A for me!

Instructor Comments:
Keli's form is great, she's enthusiastic but not in an overbearing way, she's friendly, her form pointers are great, and she makes it seem like she's working out right along with you. She's one of my favorite instructors (and how I love to listen to her talk)!

Kristin Aziz


I did this tape today for I think the third or fourth time. I've had it for maybe a year and for some reason it's never made it's way into regular rotation (as is the case with all 4 Body Bar tapes I own) but I feel like I can't give up on them so I haven't traded any of them. I'll just give you general impressions of this one.

The warm-up is nice and pretty typical of Keli's warm-ups. Sweeping side stretch-type moves, but some lateral movement too, and it felt long (not a bad thing). Background exercisers are Sherry Catlin and Alain Bissainthe.

Keli does upper and lower body moves back-and-forth throughout the workout. For instance, in one section she does a set of step-up and -downs off the step on one leg, then a set of biceps curls, then the other leg, then another set of biceps curls. She does static lunges with one leg on step, which are great and very effective. She hits every major muscle group in this tape; in fact the only thing I think we didn't hit directly is calves, but they got worked in other exercises. All the classics are here: squats, plies, triceps dips, biceps curls as I mentioned, lat rows, fill in the blank. There are also a couple of other ones that you don't see over and over, like tricep work lying on step (forget the name) and another exercise where you lie on the step and bring your arms which are straight, all the way back over your head and then back again(forget the name here, too).
all exercises are done with varying tempo, such as 3 2up 2down, 3 3up, 1 down, 3 1up, 3down, 3 pulse. All exercises are performed this way, usually for one set except I think the legs (lunges, squats, stepups) got 8 reps of 2up 2 downs, then the three varying tempos. I know it doesn't sound like much, and in all honesty it's not, if you're used to Cathe for instance, but those varying tempos really do getcha, and it's almost like power hour lite (okay, extra lite) because you do still feel it, you feel worked (I did ).
Abs, I'm sorry to say, only got the 3-reg, 3-3-3 varying tempo reps(12 in all). I guess one would expect more, seeing that this is Keli Roberts here, but it's actually fine because you are in fact using your abs during the whole workout for stabilization, as Keli reminds you to do during the whole workout, and also, it's not called The New Body Bar Ab Workout, so it's a-okay. I can always pop in more ab work from elsewhere if I feel the need.

There is some leg floor work at the end for inner, outer and hamstrings right before the abs.

The stretch is very good and done mostly on the step, which I like. It's fun.

The cueing, I must say, is excellent. Keli is just awesome. She's clear, concise, and shows you what your stance should be and how to acheive it. This tape will not disappoint Keli fans, and will probably make new ones.

All in all, why don't I do this tape more??? I feel nice and definitely worked out, yet it doesn't totally flatten me like
what can happen with an advanced tape, where I can be sore for 2 or 3 days and while I might feel accomplished, it can force me to reorganize my schedule for the week. I think I'll be fine tomorrow.
Grade: A

Instructor Comments:
I love Keli's instruction and demeanor. She is extremely knowledgeable and generous with her knowledge. She's fantastic!

Kathy Weller


This workout has been described in detail by other reviewers.

I like this one very much. The slowness of the reps, the order of the exercises, Keli givng great reminders and form pointers. I was really able to focus on the workout. There is time to change body bars if you want to heavy up. I am an intermediate exerciser and feel this is a workout with which I can grow.

Instructor Comments:
Keli has such a great, warm personality. She just seems to know the right time to give the right form pointer. I sure wish she'd do a stretch video - her stretch sections are always great!<



With strength work, I am an intermediate exerciser, who doesnít really want to move up to advanced work. I have really enjoyed getting into workouts on the ball and Pilates as an alternative to traditional strength training. Iíve gotten into alternating full-body workouts during some weeks with split workouts other weeks.

I recently got the Body Bar DVD with the New Body Bar Workout, Body Bar Challenge, and Body Bar Basic Training. Overall, I think this is a great DVD with three good workouts, two of which are short enough for me to do before leaving for work in the morning. It has a feature where you can Mix and Match the moves you want to do. It plays one section and goes back to the menu, so itís a bit of a pain, but useful when I want to jump around.

I will be specifically reviewing the New Body Bar Workout. I enjoyed this workout, but not as much as the other two. When I did it the first time though, I kept pushing through it, not wanting to stop, even though it was past time for me to dash upstairs for my shower before work. So, I guess you could say I enjoyed it, even if it wasnít as much as I enjoyed the Challenge and Basic Training workouts. It has a good flow and is a basic, fairly tough workout.

Keli Roberts leads this workout with two background exercisers, one of which shows simpler modifications. The other shows harder modifications once in awhile. Keli constantly gives descriptions of what she wants, form pointers, tips, and info (like what muscle you are currently working). She stresses form throughout it. It made me pay attention to what I was doing.

She mixes up and lower body moves. Each muscle group seemed like it was worked out, except for maybe the chest. The moves follow the same pattern through most of the workout Ė first, you do singles; then, you do up three and down one; then up one and down three; and, finally, partials, or pulses. It is a nice, predictable pattern and doesnít cause too much of a brain drain for me.

Instructor Comments:
She seemed a bit wooden at the beginning of this workout and either I stopped noticing or she got more into it. At the end, I really enjoyed it and thought she did a good job. She is great about stressing form and valuing strength for its own sake.

Laura S.


I really like this video!
She does slow movments with changing tempo, about 18 reps for a set.
She works the entire lower body with balance between quads and hamstrings: one set of squat, one set of deadlifts, lunges with back leg on the step, lunges with front leg on the step (the step help you focus the entire lower body, insted of working mainly the quads) , leg press on lower step ,bridge work on the step (and the body bar) and also inner and outer thighs exercises using the bar.
The upper body has 2 sets for each muscle,exept triceps that has 3 sets.
The ab section has only one set (2 minutes) and that wasn't very good for me. too bad it wasn't longer :( ,because besides this, it's a very balanced good workout.
I also didn't like the fact she only uses a body bar. I have a bar, but sometimes I want to use different weight,and I had to pause the video it.
another minus is the set. not as beatifull like the ones on The's not a big deal but I notice it.
I would give it A--

Instructor Comments:
This is the only video I have from her, but I'm impressed!
I liked the workout and also the fact she was as natural as she can. Not to many smiles and cheesines, but not stiff and hard either.