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Review of TheFirm's aerobic workouts
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radiantface
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Sun Jun 03, 2007 10:53 am      Reply with quote
I started working out with a ball since the beginning of March. Since I had not exercised for a very long time, I started out real slow by doing exercises on the ball designed for people with back and mobility problems which lasted about 35 minutes. I followed a video produced by Ballfit USA.

After 6 weeks, I started working out with DVDs produced by TheFirm (www.firmdirect.com). I started with Supercharged Body Sculpting that last about 30 minutes. The pace wasn't too fast for me and I used a stool as my step to do lunges and other moves.

After 10 sessions of Supercharged Body Sculpting, I moved to Ultimate Calorie Blaster. It's a 45-minute fast-pace workout. I experienced a lot of frustration learning the steps as it was so fast. I nearly quit working out with the DVD as I couldn't master the steps. Plus, the workout was so intense that it created stress to my body. As a result, I had trouble sleeping. However, I persisted in learning the moves and by session 7, I was finally in step with the instructor. I also took out my heart rate monitor and use it so that I don't over-exercise. I have to say this DVD really does help you burn lots of calories if you persist on with it.

Next week, I will learn the Aerobic Shaping workout so I will post my review after I have used it for at least 10 sessions.
havana8
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Sun Jun 03, 2007 11:07 am      Reply with quote
Wow! I've used The Firm videos for years and have had excellent results with them... I remember when I started them that I really did see results in 10 sessions.
kittyd
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Sun Jun 03, 2007 11:07 am      Reply with quote
Good for you! I know getting back into working out is tough..hence not gotten back into yet. Keep up the good work. What have you noticed so far in how you feel or any results that you have seen?
havana8
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Sun Jun 03, 2007 11:07 am      Reply with quote
p.s. Is the Aerobic Shaping also from The Firm? I'd love to hear how you make out with it...
katee
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Sun Jun 03, 2007 11:20 am      Reply with quote
I adore The Firm workouts - especially the really early ones. My all-time favorite was the Aerobic Workout with Weights that's led by Susan Harris. Truly an awesome workout.
tsjmom
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Mon Jun 04, 2007 8:21 am      Reply with quote
I LUV the Firm workouts. I started out with them in 1990 and they were truly revolutionary. My favorite one was Volume 2 (w/ Janet Jones Gretzky). I just really liked the aerobic weight training concept.

I do have to say I don't order from them anymore. IMHO, when they were bought out by GoodTimes, they became much easier (read: less effective) workouts. I also got sick of having to buy a whole new pckg complete w/ another piece of cheesy equipment. I still have and use the original boxes b/c they were high quality wood (and fairly $$).

The creator of the Firm workouts (Anna Benson) came out w/ a new series (in 2005) called KickButt which is VERY similar to the original Firm. They use the concept of fusion excercising: a combo of pilates, yoga, cardio, and weights. I'd rate these as intermediate, whereas the <1999 Firms I'd rate as intermediate to advance. You can find them at Collage Video.

You can tell I have a lot to say on this topic (and knowledge, if I may say so myself Wink ) b/c the Firm is what really got me into excercising in the first place Exclamation

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havana8
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Mon Jun 04, 2007 8:39 am      Reply with quote
tsjmom wrote:
I LUV the Firm workouts. I started out with them in 1990 and they were truly revolutionary. My favorite one was Volume 2 (w/ Janet Jones Gretzky). I just really liked the aerobic weight training concept.

I do have to say I don't order from them anymore. IMHO, when they were bought out by GoodTimes, they became much easier (read: less effective) workouts. I also got sick of having to buy a whole new pckg complete w/ another piece of cheesy equipment. I still have and use the original boxes b/c they were high quality wood (and fairly $$).

The creator of the Firm workouts (Anna Benson) came out w/ a new series (in 2005) called KickButt which is VERY similar to the original Firm. They use the concept of fusion excercising: a combo of pilates, yoga, cardio, and weights. I'd rate these as intermediate, whereas the <1999 Firms I'd rate as intermediate to advance. You can find them at Collage Video.

You can tell I have a lot to say on this topic (and knowledge, if I may say so myself Wink ) b/c the Firm is what really got me into excercising in the first place Exclamation


It's really what got me interested in exercising too!! We were in the Caribbean for a few months looking for more to do and found them in a video store. I loved them so much that I bought my own copies when I finally got back home. I never liked the ones that came after as much and only ever kept Volumes 1 (Katee's favourite), 2 (your favourite) and 3. I will definitely make sure to look for the one from 2005 that you mentioned. Are there any others you you loved?
katee
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Mon Jun 04, 2007 8:51 am      Reply with quote
tsjmom wrote:
I LUV the Firm workouts. I started out with them in 1990 and they were truly revolutionary. My favorite one was Volume 2 (w/ Janet Jones Gretzky). I just really liked the aerobic weight training concept.

I do have to say I don't order from them anymore. IMHO, when they were bought out by GoodTimes, they became much easier (read: less effective) workouts. I also got sick of having to buy a whole new pckg complete w/ another piece of cheesy equipment. I still have and use the original boxes b/c they were high quality wood (and fairly $$).

The creator of the Firm workouts (Anna Benson) came out w/ a new series (in 2005) called KickButt which is VERY similar to the original Firm. They use the concept of fusion excercising: a combo of pilates, yoga, cardio, and weights. I'd rate these as intermediate, whereas the <1999 Firms I'd rate as intermediate to advance. You can find them at Collage Video.

You can tell I have a lot to say on this topic (and knowledge, if I may say so myself Wink ) b/c the Firm is what really got me into excercising in the first place Exclamation


I absolutely agree! The new Firm workouts usually aren't advanced enough for me to get a really good workout. The Benson sisters WERE the Firm. When they were bought out, it just wasn't the same. I had all my old videos transferred to dvd and then saved the files on my computer so I could make more when I wear them out.

Anna Benson's FitPrime workouts are, imo, comparable to the original Firm tapes...
tsjmom
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Mon Jun 04, 2007 9:24 am      Reply with quote
Just for you havana8 and b/c I loveeeeee (as Katee would say - nice to have you back Wink) I picked thru and came up w/ a list of my favorites. Keep in mind I have about 20-25 Firm videos.

Cardio Burn w/ Tamela (very tough)
Firm Parts Tough Aerobic Mix (tough cardio)
Super Cardio (one hour of some of the hardest cardio ever)
Core Cardio 2 w/ Dale
Original volumes 2, 3, and 4 (complete w/o)
Firm Parts Total Body Shaping Mix w/ Tracie (one hour w/ a bit more emphasis on toning - great)
Strong Heart w/ Heidi (similar to above)
Firm Parts Not So Tough Aerobic Mix (for lighter days)


Fat Blaster (a bit easier)
Tough Cardio Mix (same as above)

The first section is far and away my absolute favorites. I need more cardio as I can put on muscle pretty easily, but don't let the cardio emphasis fool you. They're all about aerobic WEIGHT TRAINING.

Now that I'm almost 40 I'm not looking to push my body to the limit (ie not much Cathe Friedrich), but the Firms can be modified greatly. I've also gotten really into kickboxing as my all time favorite type of w/o. Don't want to hijack your thread though Laughing

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tsjmom
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Mon Jun 04, 2007 9:26 am      Reply with quote
PS that's a great idea Katee about transfering the videos to DVDs. I paid $50 for volume 2 Shock and it was worth every penny Exclamation

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havana8
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Mon Jun 04, 2007 9:33 am      Reply with quote
tsjmom wrote:
Just for you havana8 and b/c I loveeeeee (as Katee would say - nice to have you back Wink) I picked thru and came up w/ a list of my favorites. Keep in mind I have about 20-25 Firm videos.

Cardio Burn w/ Tamela (very tough)
Firm Parts Tough Aerobic Mix (tough cardio)
Super Cardio (one hour of some of the hardest cardio ever)
Core Cardio 2 w/ Dale
Original volumes 2, 3, and 4 (complete w/o)
Firm Parts Total Body Shaping Mix w/ Tracie (one hour w/ a bit more emphasis on toning - great)
Strong Heart w/ Heidi (similar to above)
Firm Parts Not So Tough Aerobic Mix (for lighter days)


Fat Blaster (a bit easier)
Tough Cardio Mix (same as above)

The first section is far and away my absolute favorites. I need more cardio as I can put on muscle pretty easily, but don't let the cardio emphasis fool you. They're all about aerobic WEIGHT TRAINING.

Now that I'm almost 40 I'm not looking to push my body to the limit (ie not much Cathe Friedrich), but the Firms can be modified greatly. I've also gotten really into kickboxing as my all time favorite type of w/o. Don't want to hijack your thread though Laughing


Wow! 20-25 Firm videos? Now that's devotion. Laughing Seriously, though, thanks so much for these recommendations. I will look for those today. Now.... about your kick-boxing. Do tell! I'll bet that does wonders for the legs.
tsjmom
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Mon Jun 04, 2007 11:15 am      Reply with quote
Are you trying to flatter me havana? Well, it's workin' Laughing I find that kickboxing not only works legs but the abs and arms (I wear 1 1/2 lb weighted gloves on each hand) as well. Plus, it gives me the added bonus of using up some mental aggression Mad Mad I feel really empowered doing kickboxing.

My faves (only cuz you asked Wink ):

Cathe Kick punch & Crunch (awesome)
Turbo Jam (the cardio party ones - they're longer)
Hardcore Kickboxing w/ Janis Saffell
Powerstrike (they're not as well made but are actually taught by real instructors so you get great pointers)
Kimberly Spreen (down to earth)(Cardio Camp W/O and a new one at collage video that I'm lemming - just really like her style)

Some of the Tae Bos are ok. HTH Cool

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heathercolorado
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Mon Jun 04, 2007 11:40 pm      Reply with quote
The Firm's "Standing Legs."

I still can't finish it, and I still curse at it every time it kicks my butt!

Have about twenty Firm videos/DVDs, but this one is still my favorite.

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lipglossdoll
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Tue Jun 05, 2007 2:23 pm      Reply with quote
I agree, totally love the firm workouts as well. Very Happy
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Tue Jun 05, 2007 6:14 pm      Reply with quote
tsjmom wrote:
Are you trying to flatter me havana? Well, it's workin' Laughing I find that kickboxing not only works legs but the abs and arms (I wear 1 1/2 lb weighted gloves on each hand) as well. Plus, it gives me the added bonus of using up some mental aggression Mad Mad I feel really empowered doing kickboxing.

My faves (only cuz you asked Wink ):

Cathe Kick punch & Crunch (awesome)
Turbo Jam (the cardio party ones - they're longer)
Hardcore Kickboxing w/ Janis Saffell
Powerstrike (they're not as well made but are actually taught by real instructors so you get great pointers)
Kimberly Spreen (down to earth)(Cardio Camp W/O and a new one at collage video that I'm lemming - just really like her style)

Some of the Tae Bos are ok. HTH Cool


I absolutely looooooove Turbo Jam! I was doing it everyday, though, and then my knees started to hurt, so now I rotate. I think Tae Bo works, but I find it soooo boring!

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Tue Jun 05, 2007 6:33 pm      Reply with quote
heathercolorado wrote:
The Firm's "Standing Legs."

I still can't finish it, and I still curse at it every time it kicks my butt!

Have about twenty Firm videos/DVDs, but this one is still my favorite.


I love this one.. does anyone remember me doing it over and over and posting about it last year at this time? Laughing I even got Mary H to buy it! That's the best firm leg video.

I have moved on from firm workouts to P90X. BEST WORKOUT EVER! Ohmygosh I can't rave enough about Power 90 X! I even installed the chin up bar and am getting some serious results. The ab ripper X is the HARDEST ab workout I have EVER found on video! P90X comes with 12 workouts all together and you do them for 3 months and get totally ripped. I'll post my "after" pictures at some point. LOVE p90x!

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Wed Jun 06, 2007 7:07 pm      Reply with quote
PheobesMeow,
I'm looking forward to your "after" pics! I would love to get the P90X set!

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Thu Jun 07, 2007 7:00 pm      Reply with quote
Half.com has a lot of the workout dvd/vhs stuff cheap. Like Standing Legs http://product.half.ebay.com/The-Firm-Firm-Parts-Standing-Legs_W0QQtgZinfoQQprZ3264159
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Fri Jun 08, 2007 8:19 am      Reply with quote
I collected some Firm tapes and then it started to bug me that all the participants were in Jane Fonda type leotards and had perfect little 20 yr old bodies. That plus some of the cheesy moves, verbal directions and endings of moves struck me as kinda soft-corn ------------. Not that I have anything against that! But not while I'm working out.

I have DVDs by Teresa Tapp, Jari Love, Firm, Pilates, BeachBody ... some others I can't remember ... weight equipment, a fitness ball, & a treadmill. I like to rotate what I do. I've considered Power 90x several times and now I'll have to look into it again, thanks, PhoebesMeow! Tae-bo is pretty boring to me too, and I have to watch I don't overdo kicking because of knee tendinitis leanings.
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Sun Jun 10, 2007 9:51 pm      Reply with quote
Cathe Friederich is good too. I love her weight training tapes.
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Fri Oct 05, 2007 10:16 pm      Reply with quote
Sorry for the late review about The Firm's Aerobic Shaping.

Yes, I did move on to it after Ultimate Caloria Blaster. It's a little easier to learn than Ultimate Calorie Blaster although the length of the exercise is a bit longer.

Did I see results? Oh yes! I knew I lost weight without checking the weighing machine as I could fit into shorts and pants that were previously too tight for comfort. Friends who had not seen me for 3 months immediately commented that I had lost weight.

I liked that I had better sleep quality more energy, a more well-toned body.
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