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Retro Review: Abs & Buns of Steel


Buns of Steel is the quintessential exercise tape. It brought the term “gluteus maximus” into everyday speech, and, for better or for worse, it defined aerobics fashion, resulting in an entire generation of leotard-clad ladies. For the bun betterment of humanity, Buns of Steel and Abs of Steel were recently released in a combo Buns & Abs of Steel DVD. Its a two-fer! Apparently the makers of Steel wanted many more generations to enjoy Tamilee Webbs’ buns and abs.

Although the fashions on the DVD scream 1985, after a bit of research, I was surprised to learn that the original VHS tapes were made in the mid-90s. What also surprised me was how advanced the exercise science was for 1994. Tamilee Webb knows her stuff. She’s likeable, cues well, provides options for beginners, and describes exercises and postural alignment in an easy-to-understand way. And she’s cute, especially in the Abs section of the DVD, where she’s working mall bangs, spandex and the all-white high-top Rykas with accompanying scrunched down white socks. Rad. (In the Buns sections, she’s less cute and more sex kitten, with her hair teased and down, and her brightly colored thong leotard on, but more on that later…)

The DVD is easy to navigate. The menu divides up the Abs and Buns sections separately, with three 15-minute workouts in each section. Each section contains a warm-up and cool down, so you really can just do 15 minutes a day. The sections build in intensity as you progress. Abs #1 and Buns #1 are pretty basic. Abs #2 and Buns #2 are a bit more difficult, and Tamilee saves the most challenging routines for the #3 segments. As someone who regularly exercises, I found the #3 workouts to be my favorite.

Despite how much I’m raving about this DVD, there is one major problem I have with it: I wouldn’t feel comfortable having it on my television set if someone randomly dropped by. Is this because I would feel un-cool doing leg lifts with a perky woman in a neon pink leotard? No. I’m really fine with that. Is it because the music it just too embarrassing? Nah, for 1994, it’s really not too bad. I couldn’t have it on my TV set because it makes me blush.

Not only does the set contain two TVs—one showing Tamilee from afar and another serving as the crotch/booty cam—but in the Buns segments you can see, er, A LOT of Ms. Webb. Like too much. Way too much. I’ll spare you the details, but really, in a workout video, do you really want to see “too much” of anyone?

FBG Rating (Out of 5):
Instruction: ★★★★★
Long-Term Likeability: ★★★★
Music: ★★
Fun Factor: ★★★
Meets Expectations: ★★★ (and then some)
Overall: ★★★★

Fit Bottom line: Fourteen years later, it’s still a good workout for all levels of exercisers, but be warned, cable TV couldn’t show it until after 10 p.m. —Jenn

Want more reviews? Read the Fit Bottomed Girls’ new release reviews and retro reviews. For more on how our ratings are determined (it’s not a science, but we do have some method to our madness), read our review criteria.

Photo grabbed from http://www.photobucket.com

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I used to buns of steel every morning before class— wowie! I thought I was pretty toned before hand, but after doing the tape (yes, VHS baby!) I was always so incredibly sore and asking myself, how in the world can she do this and not have the slightest twinge on her face!!:) I agree with you though- great workout, but total cheese factor.

  2. Mark Salinas says:

    I have had enough cheese in my life! Thanks for the review, 🙂

  3. Erin says:

    I’m of the opinion that there can never be too much cheese! But in videos, I hear ya!

  4. Kelly O says:

    LOL I don’t want to see “too much Tamilee” either!! LMAO

  5. Tish says:

    are question marks good?!

  6. MizFit says:

    alas we ARE different (jaw drops in shock)
    me? Id love to leave it DISPLAYED on tv set and never use.


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