Review of "Step By Step Strength Training"

By Petra Kolber
Acacia, 2010
Review by Alana Chandler on Oct 19th 2010
Step By Step Strength Training

First, let me say when I discuss caloric burn in the DVD, I wear a bodybugg which not only tells me the exact number of calories I burn during the workout, allowing me to compare it to other DVDs, but it also allows me to see any boost in metabolism after a workout. This is especially important in a strength training workout because you'll typically burn less during the workout as compared to a cardio workout, but your burn often continues long after the workout is over, unlike a cardio workout. I only mention this so you'll know I utilized scientific measurement rather than perceived exertion.

Instruction: This is not the first DVD I have by Petra Kolber. In fact, she's one of my favorite trainers. Some trainers seem to get a little nervous and silly on camera. For example, I LOVE Jillian Michaels' workouts, but she giggles awkwardly and gets "fake tough" which is fine the first few times you watch it, then you just want her to relax. On the other hand, I've seen some instructors that seem totally natural on camera and feel more like you are working out with a friend. This is that kind of instructor. Don't get me wrong...she motivates well, she just seems to remain comfortable. That said, the thing I like about her instruction most is not her comfort's her explanations. If you have never worked out before, she ensures you do it safely, if you work out every day, you'll learn to do it better. I really believe that...she puts workout moves I've done a million times in terms of explanation that I do it better. For that, she is a favorite.

Equipment Needed:

The one thing I dislike about the DVD is that it requires a chair. In all honesty, I don't have ONE chair upstairs! I have a workout room, the master bedroom, and an art studio. All chair free. So to do the moves as she does them, I'd actually have to carry a dining room chair all the way upstairs each time. Not gonna happen. You can get by without one, however, if you are in the same boat as I am. Many of her sitting moves can be done standing. Often she only uses the chair for balance, and if you have a workout ball or BOSU, you can typically do the moves sitting on one of those. Other than that, you'll need a workout mat if you are working out on a hard floor as there are some floor moves, and you'll need hand weights.


This one is perfect for any level...and I mean really allows you to advance upward as you progress. Or, if you are like me and already workout often, there are lighter workouts for the days when you worked out too hard previously, and harder ones when you wish to push yourself.

Caloric Burn:

The beauty of all DVDs I've seen by Petra Kolber is that she never just utilizes one muscle group when she does a move. You get double the workout in half the time. For example, if you are doing a squat, you might also be doing something like a bicep curl. By doing this, it raised the caloric burn far higher than many of my other just plain strength DVDs. However, it's not a HIIT workout, whereby you get your heart rate up via cardio and then add strength...this focuses simply on the strength training so, depending upon what you are looking for, know that going in. While cardio and strength burns the most calories due to the increased heart rate during the workout, coupled by the continued burn after the workout due to the muscle building, if you are looking for full muscle building which will increase your metabolism and make you firm...this one is perfect as you'll work twice the muscles in half the time and I burned more calories than many other all-strength training because of it.


You'll feel this one. She targets EVERY single muscle in the body. Although it's broken up into 2 10 minute segments that target the lower and upper body and 2 20 minute segments that offer a total body tune up, you'll still be working out fully in all segments. There is also a 5 minute bonus ab blast.

Total Time:

1 hour


looks like a huge NY loft with living room furniture in the back part of the room; as though you are working out in an upscale living room


The usual electronica. Nothing special...

Conclusion: One of my favorite strength training workouts. The instruction is spot-on but never redundant or silly, Even daily fitness buffs should learn new moves or ways of doing it better, yet beginners can start here, learn to do moves the right way for the best results, and even graduate upward within the the same DVD by increasing the weights and progressing in difficulty.


© 2010 Alana Chandler




Alana Chandler is ranked by as their #1 reviewer on the site. She is also a professional Weight Loss Coach, with her Masters degree in Counseling, & has a strong interest in fitness & healthy cooking.


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