I don't understand the positive comments left at Collage video about this tape. The exercises felt sloppy to me, eg. a lunge with a rear leg raise (which really doesn't do a whole lot for the rear leg and you lose control with your form) and same with the dragging your feet during wide leg squats. There are other less effective forms of regular weight work for the sake of being innovative like uneven squats, or kicking then squating. I've never felt those do much and I'm not at an advanced level.
I didn't like the music in this tape of the 3. The rest of this workout is OK. I just felt after doing other Firms that I couldn't wait to do this again or "what a workout!" but didn't get this from this tape at all.
She repeats that the sculpting stick is the perfect tool and that following the beginner is key too much.
This video incorporates kick-boxing, step, free weights and the new body bar. As with the other two videos in Body Sculpting System 2, intermediate and advanced exercisers will need to heavy up on most of the routines. Overall, I felt that I got a decent workout that was face paced and fun. I enjoyed the new movements on the tall step that work the inner and outer thights as I was getting a little tired of the usual "step-ups."
I would recommend this and the other two videos in this series over any of those in Body Sculpting System 1 - they may not be as challenging in terms of the weight work, but they're more innovative and fun.
Emily can be a little repetitive in her cueing, but overall she does a good job. Usually I don't like lots of "Whoo, that was GREAT!" from an instructor, but she doesn't bother me for some reason. Her form is good, she's enthusiastic and it's always nice to see a new face in Firm videos.
With strength work, I am an intermediate exerciser, who doesn’t really want to move up to advanced work. Most of the time, I do traditional strength work with weight. However, I have enjoyed branching out into Pilates and workouts on the ball as well. As far as the Firm goes, I prefer the “middle age” Firms – the Cross Trainers, Maximum Body Shaping, Super Sculpting, etc. Most of the newer Firms, I just haven’t enjoyed as much. Complete Aerobics and Weight Training was a pleasant surprise and exception.
Emily Walsh is a pleasant and organized instructor. One of the things I really liked about this workout is that they managed to group exercises for which you used the same equipment, so there seemed to be a few less equipment changes than usual. Emily leads four background exercisers. One of them, Suzanne, is the designated modifier and they manage to keep her on the screen much of the time. The workout lasts 58 minutes.
The equipment you need for this workout is a tall step, a short step, various sets of dumbbells, a light bar. I don’t own any of the Firm equipment (Fanny lifter, sculpting stick) and I did fine. I did have equivalents for everything though.
Here is a breakdown of the workout:
Squats w/ one foot on step w/ overhead presses
Lunges off step w/ bicep curls
Push ups on step
Cardio combo – Steps with upper body moves and punches
Lunges onto tall step
Bent over lat rows w/ both arms
Tall box step ups
Squats with kicks
Cardio combo – Step glutes, L steps w/ leg lifts
Leg presses French presses
Cardio combo – Kickboxing kicks and punches and tri-star
Lateral and front raises
(Go to floor work)
Rib cate pullovers and lying French presses
Abs – Combo of upper, oblique and lower abs crunches
Cooldown and stretch
She has a pleasant, but straightforward manner. She gives lots of form pointers throughout the workout.
October 25, 2004
A great toning workouts that keeps the heart rate up for the entire standing section.
I like this one better than my old Firms because she does new moves with the step and the stick ,and I feel it working on my hamstrings and inner thighs better than the regular leg presses and lunges.
I also prefer the low impact aerobic than all the pylo moves. the step section is really fun!
the cardio isn't that hard but the heart rate is up from all the lower body work.
I thought it was tough. sometimes she used the stick and it was too light so I just used weights or heavier bar instead.
I didn't like the fewer reps for the triceps. there were 4 exercises for the triceps , but not enough reps. that was a little disspoitment for me.
I also hoped that at least one of the sculpting tapes on this set will include floorwork for the legs but there was'nt any . the last minus is the shoulder work .neither TS or CAWT works the shoulders hard.
All in all, it's fun and effective, but still have a room to improvment.
I have had very little experience with The Firm, but lately, I've been enjoying videos that feature aerobic weight training (such as the FitPrime and WHFN series), so I decided to give this a try. Complete Aerobics and Weight Training is a 58-minute workout which combines cardio segments with cardio/sculpt intervals to give you a great workout; it's led by Emily Welsh. Equipment used in this workout includes The Firm "Fanny Lifter," a 2-part step (both the full step and the low position are used here), 3 sets of dumbbells, and The Firm "Sculpting Stick" (dumbbells can be substituted and/or you can use a wall/mop for balance).
The workout begins with an basic 6.5 minute warm-up that quickly gets the heart pumping, especially with the set of push-ups at the end. Next comes 4-limbed toning work, combining squats and dips with shoulder presses and bicep curls. Upper body only work follows, and then it's the first cardio segment, which includes some fun punches and flows nicely from one combination to the next.
More lower body work is next, this time incorporating the bar for balance--you could double up with the weights and forgo the bar, but this section is tough even with it! The stick is also used as a weight for hover squats, but I just substituted heavy dumbbells, which worked fine. The next cardio segment uses the low portion of the Fanny Lifter. Because I don't do step aerobics, I had a little bit of trouble picking up the choreography here, but still, I found the moves to be fun and especially enjoyed the kicks.
Alternating lower and upper work follows with plies and bicep curls. The stick is again used for balance leg presses with abduction. There is also triceps work with the french press and triceps kickbacks--the latter set is short, so you probably want to use both arms for the entire set instead of alternating as shown. The final cardio segment uses the ends of the sculpting stick, or "twigs," but just pick up light weights (I used 3#) and you'll be fine. Again, the moves are kickboxing-inspired, with punches, side kicks, and a fun little hop move.
The final toning work is on the floor and includes a 1-arm triceps push-up, flies, pullovers, triceps press, and chest press. The floorwork finishes with a nice abs section that moves quickly through several different crunch variations. (During this section, I recognized some of the music from the Crunch Fat-Burning Pilates floor segment.) A nice final stretch is performed mostly on the floor; Emily is thorough, but none of the stretches are held very long (although I did really enjoy the final neck stretch!). I felt great at the end of this workout--nicely worked out, but not exhausted--and I was pleased to see on my heart rate monitor that I had stayed in my target zone for a full 40 minutes PLUS had burned 341 calories. I really enjoyed this workout and know that I will use it often; I will be looking to try other Firms as well.
I thought Emily was fine overall--not too bubbly, not too bland. She generally cued well, although I could've used a bit more guidance during the cardio segments and there was one time when she miscued her right and left mirror cueing
Beth C (aka toaster)
March 4, 2006
I'm on the fence with this one. On the one hand, I was sweaty and felt pleasantly worked out afterwards, but not beaten or drained. I felt this was more aerobic than weight training, but I didn't heavy up since it was my first time doing the workout. But I liked FIRM Cardio and CardioSculpt better.
First, the good: I loved the upper body moves. Having done FIRM since 1992 and the original numbered volumes, I love that there is more upper body work than delt lift and lat rows. My arms are already showing new definition from BSS1 and now this set, and it's a welcome change.
But I'm not as pleased with thsi workout as with CardioSculpt or BodySculpt. Here's why: The Sculpting Stick was totally unnecessary for this workout. I have the green sculpting stick from a newer workout, and quickly put it aside until it was used for overhead pulldowns near the end of the workout. I could have easily used two dumbbells like in FIRM Strength.
Second, there were some moves that I felt were unsafe for me (intermediate) and definitely for beginners. The lunge with the rear leg raise did NOT work for me at all, and my knees were sore from the few that I did. They show a modification of doing a heel raise instead of a leg raise, but frankly a lunge/dip would have been sufficient.
The other unsafe move involved holding the two twigs while punching forward. I used 2 lb. weights for one punch, then put them down immediately. The set reminded me of Project You Push Pull and Foundations, and I didn't think additional weight was necessary. I also had a hard time anticipating the next move, and agree with the first reviewer who said the workout felt a little choppy. I may decide to trade this one when the new FIRM Pump, Jump & Jab workout is released later this year (2008).
It's a B- because of the questionably effective moves.
Emily is energetic and gives good form pointers.