UnderReview: The Keeping Fit Series

andreamreviewDon’t let the sweet smile fool you. Andrea Metcalf’s Keeping Fit series tore me UP! At the beginner of each workout, she tells those in their 40s, 50s and 60s that these workouts will keep them fit, strong and healthy. I shouldn’t have assumed that meant easy. I’m in my late 20s, and I found myself dripping sweat pretty early on. Both the 50-minute strength and cardio workouts will torture you; you just pick which poison you’re in for.


There are a couple of things you should have in order to do this workout effectively: Light weights, a mat and choreography talent. I ain’t gonna lie; I have no coordination whatsoever, so me trying to do the warm-up was pretty entertaining. (There’s a reason I was the mascot and not the cheerleader during my high school years.) It’s amazing I can chew gum and walk at the same time. I couldn’t for the life of me keep up with the fast-paced moves. I screwed up lots of them just trying to remember where my arms were going when my legs were bending.  She mentions a lot of old ballet…I never took ballet, which could possibly explain why I almost crashed into my entertainment system trying one of the dip-it-low moves. For the main workout, you’ll need a mat and light weights. Don’t be a hero. Stay with 5-pound weights or less. Heck, you don’t even have to use weights! Your arms will still feel the burn.

This is a great workout DVD for someone who doesn’t need mental bullying to get them moving. Your muscles will burn, but Andrea’s so calm and delightful you’ll forget she’s just made you lunge, squat and bark out expletives.

Instruction: ★★★★
Long-Term Likeability:★★★★
Music: ★★
Fun Factor: ★★★★
Meets Expectations: ★★★★★

Overall: ★★★★

Best for: New exercisers who like a slow, yet tough full-body workout using traditional moves.


You think I would have learned my lesson and not laughed after doing the first DVD, but laugh I did at the beginning of this workout. Cried I did at the end of this workout. I read the lineup (warm up, two step chug, sumo squat attack, boxing, Hollywood dance, box beat stomp, etc.) and decided it sounded interesting, but then she started a bunch of Jazzercisestuff and my fear dropped. (Big mistake!) While it’s cheesy Jazzercise moves, it still has the ability to kick your butt, especially when she starts the boxing kicks and jabs. I decided Andrea is an alien because she never sweat, never stopped smiling and did everything with perfect ease. It’s just unnatural.

If you’re new to working out, this  DVD can really do some good according to my boyfriend, Mr. Trainer, who decided to jump in and join the workout fun. You will sweat. Your heart rate will go up. While that’s all groovy and important, I fell in love with her when her inner gangster came out. Her shout-outs and Andrea-isms are adorable. She’ll let you know she’s got your back. She’ll ask you how low you can go and tell you when you can tap that. (Oh, snap!)

Instruction: ★★★★
Long-Term Likeability:★★★★
Music: ★
Fun Factor: ★★★★
Meets Expectations: ★★★★★

Overall: ★★★

Best for: New exercisers who would rather shake it instead of run.


You’ll need a mat, a band, a towel and a prayer for your lower body in order to do the Pilates DVD.  I don’t mean to intimidate with the prayer talk. If you happen to be a pear-shaped lady like myself,  you need some heavy duty workouts and that’s exactly what this DVD can do. Because of that, this was my favorite DVD of the series. I love Pilates, and her style didn’t disappoint. Pilates is all about  simple movements that rock your body in complex ways. This DVD is no different. Mr. Trainer had to rest at points. His breathing grew heavy, and he complained that it was killing his hamstrings. This made my mean little heart a bit happy. Pilates isn’t easier for those muscly-inclined. It takes practice and control. Therefore everyone new comes to the mat with the same challenges. It’s also a great butt workout, which makes this FBG swoon. She gives great modifications that offer your body the challenges it needs, as well as ample time to get the moves down before she switches to something else. Score for the choreographically challenged like myself!

Instruction: ★★★★★
Long-Term Likeability:★★★★★
Music: ★★★★
Fun Factor: ★★★★
Meets Expectations: ★★★★★

Overall: ★★★★★

Best for: New to moderate Pilates exercisers who are looking to improve their flexibility, strengthen their core and build muscle.

I’m kind of in love with this series, which surprised the heck out of me. She’s cheesy. She makes the hard stuff look easy (which made me curse her out a couple of times), but she’s smart. She combines all the right moves that I’ve come to respect over the years, and I felt like I had gotten the kind of workout I can only usually find when I attend a gym class session. I dig that I now have the flexibility to sweat at home just as hard as I sweat when pushed by a trainer and a group of people. —Tish

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1 Comment
  1. Nicole says:

    OMG I am so glad I was not the only one. I tried 1 and a half of these DVDs so far to review them for dailySpark (strength and Pilates), and felt the same way–this was NOT easy like I thought it would be, but I did love it much like you did!