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12 Days of Xmas – 12 workout DVDs: Fitsteps DVD Reviewed

For the final day of her 12 days of Christmas, 12 workout DVDs Anna Magee tried new Fitsteps DVD from former Strictly Come Dancing pro-dancers Ian Waite and Natalie Lowe

If you look at the date today you’ll notice I didn’t exactly manage 12 new DVDs for the 12 days of Christmas as per my brief. In fact, after the last one, the excruciating Tabata workout, my muscles went into a kind of temporary meltdown where I could barely walk, let alone squat, kick or jump.

Four days, three Epsom salts baths and a two-hour massage  – in which the therapist said I had flooded my body in lactic acid and no wonder I was hurtin’ – I finally got to my 12th DVD this morning.

It was a new fitness dance DVD and I was excited about the idea of swapping burpees and planks for more graceful cha cha cha moves and waltz-y wafts. It had been thrown there at the base of the telly – next to all the others I had done for days – while I recovered waiting to be picked up.

dvds group

This is the DVD that accompanies new fitness classes Fitsteps, launched last week by former Strictly pros Ian Waite and Natalie Lowe who have teamed up with Olympic swimmer and now nutritionist Mark Foster. The classes happen all over the country. Read our Fitseps review here

Former Strictly pro dancer Ian Waite and Natalie Lowe with Olympic swimmer and nutritionist Mark Foster for Fitsteps
Former Strictly pro dancer Ian Waite and Natalie Lowe with Olympic swimmer and nutritionist Mark Foster for Fitsteps


It’s presented by Waite and Lowe along with two other dancers and there are eight dances, among them a waltz, cha cha, quickstep and jive done in both high and low intensities with a high and low intensity warm up. The idea is that you do all 45 minutes of the DVD – that’s all the dances in all intensities in a row – or do less if you have less time.

I did the whole DVD. There was a lack of instruction running throughout. First, the jacket and booklet inside sold the workout well and contained some good nutritional advice from Mark, but it didn’t explain what to do. There are two DVDs in the pack, one of which is only music – something I know now only because I played it thinking it was the workout. Anyway maybe I am just an idiot.

The second DVD said it contained the ‘4×4 workout’ -still not sure what that means – so I switched that on and found the workout. Having done the whole thing, I enjoyed the dance-y feel of the DVD – the music for the moves and waltzes and cha chas was inspiring and made a great change to the thump thump that accompanies most of the DVDs I have been doing.

But frankly, pretty much from the start I had absolutely zero, zip and nadir idea what on earth I was doing. Nothing. It was frustrating because Natalie, Ian and their dancers looked so accomplished doing the moves but I had absolutely no idea how to do them. It is probably just me – I have always had two left feet – but I rather felt like the idiot kid in dance class who had no idea what to do or how facing a bunch of the kids who could do everything perfectly.

This can’t have been just me. There was virtually no direction throughout the workout on some really complicated dance moves that let’s face it, other than the 12 weeks we’re all glued to Strictly, most people never see unless they frequent Latin and ballroom dance comps in Bournemouth.

Other than once, during the quickstep, when Ian stopped and demonstrated the ‘ten’ I was lost. There was no direction with left or right feet, no counting, and barely any demonstration. Moreover, the other dancers didn’t do any beginners’  versions for two left footers like myself. The end result was that I didn’t break even a hint of a sweat because I was trying so hard to keep up and couldn’t.  All through my notes I have written some of the moves’ names such as ‘point slides’ and ‘charleston kicks’ and next to them scribbled: ‘No idea,’ ‘No idea’, ‘No idea’ repeatedly.

There were some fun moves such as doing figure-8s with your hips and I am sure with practice I would get better. But for me, this didn’t feel like a workout.

As the DVD is available only through the Fit Steps website (I couldn’t find the price anywhere) and not on Amazon, and a Fit Steps class voucher comes with it, I can only imagine that the makers want you to attend classes to learn the skills and then perhaps practice with this DVD.

Limited Edition Fitsteps DVD
Fitsteps DVD reviewed

PROS: Dancing feels like fun, and if you have some experience in Latin and ballroom would be a good way to practice. Dances come in high and low intensity versions.

CONS: Hardly any instruction/direction on moves so hard for beginners to know what they’re doing, to follow or know what’s coming next.  Not available to everyone on Amazon.  IMHO there’s little chance would burn 700 calories in one 40 minute workout as the cover states (my Nike Fuelband said I burned 150). Also IMHO, sound and colour weren’t great, camera kept cutting to instructors’ faces when I was trying to follow their feet and arms!

Healthista rating:  1.5/5


Note: Apart from Fitsteps (Day 12) and Tabata Official Workout DVD (Day 11) which were press review copies,  Healthista has purchased all the other DVDs in this review – they’re not press copies

Read other reviews in the Healthista 12 days of Christmas Get-fit-in-your-living room DVD challenge:

tabata fitness dvd reviewed

Day 11: Tabata Workout Official DVD


natalie cassidy fitness dvd

Day 10: Natalie Cassidy, The Perfect Ten

josie_gibson fitness dvd

Day 9: Josie Gibson’s 21 Day Fat Burn

Tracy Anderson's The Method for Beginners

Day 8: Tracy Anderson’s The Method for Beginners


roxy yoga conditioning workout dvd

Day 7: Roxy’s Yoga Conditioning Total Body Workout from Roxy Shahidi


vicky pattison weight loss - 7 day slim dvd

Day 6: Vicky’s 7-Day Slim from Vicky Pattison


 The Circuit Training Fat-Burning Workout from Joey Bull

Day 5: The Circuit Training Fat-Burning Workout from Joey Bull


 Fit in 15 with Davina McCall

Day 4: Fit in 15 with Davina McCall


Celebrity Trainer Ramona Braganza's 3-2-1 Training Method

Day 3 Celebrity Trainer Ramona Braganza’s 3-2-1 Training Method


Nell McAndrew's Peak Energy Recharged

Day 2: Nell McAndrew’s Peak Energy Recharged


15 minute fast fitness - Fat Burning with former Gladiators Jenny Pacey and Wayne Gordon

DAY 1: 15 minute fast fitness – Fat Burning with former Gladiators Jenny Pacey and Wayne Gordon





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