This is a fairly good work out DVD. The routine is fast and upbeat. I have used this video 4 times in the past week, and I feel my stamina is better, however she isn't that great of an instructor. In the beginning, she is very good about letting you know what to do ahead of time, but 5-10 minutes in, she tells you what to do while they're already doing it on screen, which leaves me confused, frustrated, and not wanting to continue. She will go from high kicks to rolling your back in seconds without warning. This would be a great workout, if she would be a step ahead of herself for our sake.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Danita M. from BRUCETON MLS, WV Reviewed on 6/20/2011...
4 stars!! I did this on a humid Monday morning; good way to work off weekend chocolate!
Definitely sweating; got a good workout. 40 minutes long; so you feel like your doing something, but not too long. Good transitions, use of weights as well as aerobics, so good all round workout. I liked the cooldown, too, did standing abdominal work, so a nice switch, and long enough to cool down. Good all round workout. Definitely do again!!
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Solid overall workout
Beth Cholette | Upstate NY USA | 11/16/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I know that there are a lot of long-term, die-hard Firm fans out there, but I'm not one of them. However, through trial and error, I have acquired a few Firm workouts that I like and use regularly. I had high hopes for this particular workout, as it seemed to combine many things that I enjoy, including moderate-length cardio, 4-limb work, kickboxing, and some functional fitness moves as well. I do feel that this DVD provides a solid overall workout, but some aspects left me feeling a bit disappointed. The workout includes an 8-minute warm-up, 23 minutes of cardio, and an 9-minute cool-down/abs segment, coming in at just over 40 minutes total.
Instructor Allison Davis begins starts off with the warm-up, which felt overly long and boring to me. Admittedly, the moves were pretty typical Firm offerings--eg, march, in-out march, step-touch, back cross, hamstring curl, step squat, knees up, kick front--but it would be nice if the Firm did something different for a change. About 3 minutes into the warm-up, you perform a very brief series of moving stretches. After this, I was thinking that the warm-up was over, but instead, Alison introduces some new cardio moves (v-steps, calf pumps, low jacks, and hops), and THEN, she actually goes back and repeats all of the original warm-up moves! The way this opening sequence was structured just seemed to make the warm-up drag on and on.
Luckily, I enjoyed the workout itself significantly more than the warm-up portion. Alison moves into the first segment of 4-limbed cardio, which lasts about 5 minutes. She suggests 3- or 5-lb. dumbbells; I used the latter but found that they were a bit heavy for some of the upper body moves. She introduces a sequence which is repeated 3 times total, going slightly faster each time: squat with overhead twist press, knees with french press, forward lunge with lat rows, front kicks with forward press, side lunge with upright row, side taps with biceps/triceps press, and finally, rear dip with biceps curl (staying on the same leg each time through). During this segment, my heart rate stayed up, and I enjoyed the functional nature of many of the moves (ie, twisting and bending, similar to what you might see in one of Tracie Long's videos). Next comes a floor cardio segment. This section was okay, but again, it felt rather repetitive, especially because Alison teaches in an add-on "take it from the top" style. She begins with a chasse and samba, gradually adding in a cross step, press foot, pivot, and v-step. Given that this section is 6 minutes long, the simple above sequence is repeated MANY times.
Another 4-limb section follows using the same format as the first 4-limb segment. Exercises here included travel squat with alternate upright row (which felt awkward), front lunge with delt flye, side leg raise with punch, side lunge with lat row, front-side-front step with medial delt raise, and then finally, a rear dip/biceps combo working the other leg. As with the first section, this sequence is performed 3 times total (approximately 4 minutes). The final segment (and the longest at 8 minutes) is cardio kickboxing. I love kickboxing and did enjoy the punching and kicking included here, but I would've preferred more variety and interest in the choreography. The moves included a shuffle with an inner side kick, knee-kick, alternating knees, jabs/uppercuts, jab-cross-knee, and a front kick/punch. It would've have been great if this segment had included some rear/roundhouse kicks, more punches, a few additional combos, and a few additional combinations.
I found the final cool-down to be rather odd. It starts with about 2 minutes of aerobic cool-down work which includes samba with a heel lift, side leg extension with a body wave, squat/round back, and side touch with pull down (as I did throughout the entire workout, I found that the arm movements felt a bit "fussy" here). Then you pick up one of your dumbbells for about 3 minutes of standing abs work. I usually really enjoy working the abs this way, but I found the moves here (twist with knee lift, plie with 1-hand overhead press, plie with twist) to be a bit awkward. The sequence is repeated once on each side. Next comes a 2-minute final stretch; this actually has some nice lunge work, including a side reach and twist. But then inexplicably, the workout ends with 2-minutes of push-ups/plank work--why not put this before the final stretches? I definitely didn't like having to do additional strength work after I had already warmed down (there is only a quick down dog and deep breaths to finish).
The best thing about this workout was that I was in my target heart rate zone for a very good portion, close to 35 minutes. For virtually this reason alone--and also because SOME of the moves were actually fun (just too repetitive)--I will keep this DVD, at least for now. I would recommend this workout to someone who doesn't mind a lot of repetition and who is looking for a basic but fairly intense floor cardio workout.
UPDATE 4/26/07: This workout has grown on me over time. I've found that if I skip the warm-up, the remaining routine feels much less repetitive, and I get a strong cardio workout in under 30 minutes. If I could change my rating, I would upgrade to 4 stars."
Good total body workout :->
Little Miss Cutey | Melbourne, Australia | 08/19/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Firm bring us another good workout. They've been in the business for so long now, and they keep making quality workouts that help burn fat. This one is almost 45 minutes and it's effective and will have you sweating. This is intense and it combines aerobic exercise with weighted toning. It uses the Firms four limb movements - where you might do lunges with alternating bicep curls to maximise the burn. The instructor is Alison Davis and she is professional and a good cuer so you know what to do next and almost don't have to look at the TV. You will need some weights for this, and that's about it. If I were to pick one thing I didn't like about this workout, it would be that the stretch is too short. If you are like me, you might go ahead and continue stretching even after this has finished, but overall, it's a good exercise dvd that will give you good results."
Not your classic Firm...but still a decent workout
L. Jonsson | Charleston, SC United States | 11/06/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Pluses about the above workout:
The above DVD is a fast paced, dance based workout that has a few weight segments in it. It is quick if you are pressed for time Allison Davis is an inspired aerobic instructor that is easy to follow. Despite only needing 3 to 5 pound weights for the workout, it was suprisingly tough on my arms. It also has a tough abs section. I was surpised that I hurt the day after I did this workout.
There is very little leg work in this DVD. You will do squats and front lunges but nothing else. The dance steps are involved, and might scare away someone who is dance challenged (like my husband, who normally does FIRM workouts with me but will not go near this one). Also, the music sounded familiar. When I checked my vast collection of excersize tapes/DVDs, the music came from Cathe Friedrich's CTX series.
This is still a decent workout, just not a classic Firm one. I would buy it again. I do this workout on my light days when I do not feel like excersizing."
D. Golub | Cleveland, OH | 01/30/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This workout makes me sweat. The 40 minutes goes by quickly, because there are different types of workouts, with the weights imbetween. I sweat as much or more as when I use my Nordik Trak. I am 47, and I liked how it repeated, so I can now follow it after about 30 times of doing it. I liked the different types of exercises, it broke up the work out and made the 40 minutes fly by. So far, I prefer this workout over all my other workout DVD's. The moves were not hard, and I could do them all."
BB & Ace | 10/07/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
I have been a big fan of the new FIRM workouts for awhile now, ever since GT Media got a hold of them in 2000. I love every one I have gotten so far. These new workouts got a bad rap from other places, but I personally loved this one! I always watch the workout before I do it, and I liked what I saw, so when I tried it was even more pleased. As a Certified Fitness Trainer, I found the moves and pacing to be accurate and interesting- as well as fun! Allison, the lead, had excellent cuing. The only flaw was that her execution of some of the moves could have been improved. However, the entire workout is great! It's moderate intensity aerobics, both 4 limb with light dumbells and low impact. All of the segments went by fast for 45 minutes. My first time through I barely messed up because the cuing was so perfect. The set was bright and clean, and the music was cool- I look forward to getting more of the workouts!- Catwoman, http://www.cat-isthenics.com"