Pam Cauthen Meriwether
The Firm Transfirmer Series Jiggle Free Buns is a 33 minute workout led by Pam Cauthen Meriwether. She is joined by Alison Davis who shows beginner and low impact modifications, and Allie, Annie and Stephanie. I like the music in this one, but Stephanie's cueing was a bit off at the beginning, and I think they missed some glute lifts on the left leg in the first segment. Unfortunately since GT didn't chapter these DVD's, I wasn't able to go back and look again.
Other than that ... I like this one better than Jiggle Free Arms. It has cardio segments in between the strength training, as does JFA, but this time the segments seem more focused on lower body work, giving the overall feeling of the workout as a "true" lower body workout, as opposed to a cardio & weights workout, as I feel JFA is.
The warm up uses the green section of the Transfirmer in front of the blue. Squats and lunges are next, using "heavy" weights. I used 2 12# bells for most of the entire workout although there were places I could have easily gone heavier. The lunges are sideways onto the green section and Pam does a great job with form pointers here.
The first cardio segment uses both sections of TF, and this time plenty of side shots are shown so I know definitively we are not standing on the blue section and stepping back over the green! We are stepping onto the green.
The next strength segment uses the green section on an incline, and features lunges onto the incline, hamstring work from the blue part as an option, and dips on the floor. We then keep the TF inclined for the next cardio segment, and again use both sections for straddles, over the tops, and some unique and fun moves like "hot cross buns"!
We then stack the TF and do leg press with heavy weights. Your heart rate will climb here. They do them off the back, off the side, then lose the weights to climb the TF itself. WHEW! As if that weren't enough, you then pick up the weights again and do hover squats, with some lifting feet and then dragging the foot in, just for fun! We end this long segment with plie work, still using the weights.
The final cardio segment consists of floor work, then use of the 14 inch TF for runner's lunges and glute lifts. The cool down gradually turns into dynamic and then static stretches, and is thorough and effective.
Overall, I like this one better than JFA, but Jiggle Free Abs is still my favorite of the Jiggle Free three. I give this one an A minus.
June 5, 2005
I’m not going to describe the workout in detail because Carol did a wonderful job. I really enjoy this workout and usually do it with Jiggle Free Arms to make a total body workout. I like the pacing and organization of this workout for the first two weights sections Pam suggests your medium dumbbells and for the last section your heavy ones, but I think many regular exercisers could just use heavy.
Unlike most Firm workouts there is only one set of leg presses but the last few reps of the set make up for it. After doing a few reps to the back and then a few reps to the side Pam has you do two partial leg presses then a full one for several reps. I find this very challenging. As much I as I dread these coming up I feel so accomplished afterward that I am glad they are there.
The other challenging thing was in the first cardio section. Pam does a move she calls “hot cross buns” that I originally found quite confusing. She teaches it slow once on the right and not at all on the left. It took me quite a while to get this move. For comparison in Aerobic Body Shaping Allie teaches a box step four times slow on the right and twice slow on the left. I already knew how to box step and it was on flat ground, I was not familiar with the ‘hot cross buns’ and it used the TransFirmer with the 6" and 8" section next to each other. I think the Firm got the learning curve reversed on these two moves. After doing this workout a number of times I now enjoy ‘hot cross buns’ and really feel it in my outer thighs.
The last cardio section is a space hog. You grapevine around the TransFirmer and then do runners lunges off the ends. I need to place the TransFirmer very carefully in my space for this part.
In general I like Pam. I find her cuing clear for the most part. In this workout during the stretch she calls every lunge a runner's lunge and I found that confusing until I was very familiar with the workout.
I’ve tried this workout twice, the first time using a FL, club step and Bosu; second time around, i used my TF. I will try to describe how you can do the workout using alternate equipment or the TF. Pam uses the TF in 3 of the 5 possible positions: 1) what i call “staircase”, 2) T-ramp, and 3) wide 14” tall box, in that order. These 3 positions form the outline of this workout into 3 segments. Non-TF notes: I used my FL to do the staircase, i used my club step w/1 end resting on a Bosu for ramp postion, and for the tall box, i used my FL in the 14” position; you could probably add risers under your club step to make it 14” high.
And if you have a TF, you can just follow Pam. Be prepared to lift the FL without hurting your back – you’re bending with your back suspended outward, holding a wide and bulky step that weighs about 15#. The club step, by comparison, is lighter and hollow and not bulky since it doesn’t have “feet” attached to it like the TF.
Dimensions of the TF:
Width = 31”; depth = 14”; dark blue is 8” high; turquoise is 6” high.
Warm up, 5 min: staircase position. possible to use a FL, with the 6” closer toward you and the 8” directly behind the 6”, like a small staircase. Pam basically steps onto the 6” and then taps the other foot onto the 8”, easily done on a FL. You don’t really put your weight or lean into that top step – mostly just tapping it.
Club step: you can just step up on the platform with 1st foot, then tap the 2nd foot onto the club step, or kick with that 2nd foot.
1st segment after warm-up:
Lunges on 6” – easily done on both FL and club step.
Hot Cross Buns move: TF is still in the staircase position. you’re basically doing a “grapevine” while stepping up onto the lower and then the upper step, like climbing the staircase sideways. You can do this on the FL. Club step – you can step up sideways and then maybe do a kick with the second foot. This move works the inner and outer thighs.
TF is then placed into a “T” shaped, incline position (8” forms the top of the “T”, parallel to the TV; 6” is perpendicular forming a ramp resting on the 8”). Thank goodness the ramp is not in the sideways position as they did in BSS3!!! the FL cannot be made into this formation. I took my club step and rested 1 side onto a Bosu and had my 8” FL piece standing by. Pam does a few lunges on the ramp, then she has you do a step-up with 1 foot onto the 8” portion. A Non-TF version would be to ramp onto your club step in an incline position, then do the step-ups onto the 8” FL piece. When switching legs, you’ll need to move quickly over to the FL if the ramp is blocking it. The TF would make this move a lot easier.
On the ramp, Pam has you walk upwards onto the ramp with the lead foot, while the other foot is on the floor. You’re doing a graduated climb with the 1 foot. She also has you straddling the ramp and does a few “over the tops” at the ramp bottom, going over the ramp and onto the floor a few times.
The TF is placed into the 14” tall box position, parallel to the TV screen. Non-TF suggestion is to set up your FL in the 14” position or add several risers to your club step. The raised club step is better than the FL in this case because she does the wide leg presses after doing narrow leg presses. Step-ups and leg raises can easily be done on a FL or raised club step.
She then does weighted hover squats, which can easily be done on a FL or even a chair. She also does some grapevines around the perimeter of the TF, which you can do with your club step. If no club step is available, just walk wider around your floor doing grapevines.
The 14” height is also used to balance against when doing the runner’s lunges and hamstring stretches.
All of this is done in about 30 min ~ amazing, considering that Pam remains relaxed and unrushed. You can heavy up with dumbbells because the weighted moves are low rep and slower paced.
cues ahead, motivating, encouraging, unrushed.
I pulled this quick 33 minute workout from my shelf (finally) because I wasn't up to a 55 minute AWT workout. No one told me this was Standing Legs' evil twin in disguise!
I'm a low intermediate, able to survive FIRM Strength, Tough Tape and most leg presses with no problems. I had to take a BREAK during this short workout. Yes, a short break for water and to catch my breath.
They've done new and improved stuff to the ol' 14" leg press, and that stuff is working! Leg press off to the side, leg press stepping wide, leg press with pulses. Add on cardio and plyometrics and you have a serious lower body workout in 33 minutes.
I was so glad to see some deadlifts in this workout, though I could have heavied up a bit on them. I don't think deadlifts have been around since Power Cardio, and I missed them. This workout is so much better to me than tons of leg presses followed by lunges and squats; yes, those moves are here, but the additional changes, plus lunges on the incline mean I felt work in higher up in my buns, and I'm pleased to say there is no "squaring off" of my rear end as with some folks.
I finished off (or, rather, the workout finished me off) as though I'd done a full 55 minutes of work. The music is modern health club, and I'm kinda amused at the Star Wars comment about the last tune because that's exactly what I thought about when I heard it.
I also liked using the TransFIRMer stacked short part in front of taller part, making the Hot Cross Buns move my new favorite of the dork dance. For whatever reason I caught on even with one short demo.
A+. Another fun workout with the TransFIRMer, which I have come to love more than any other piece of equipment.
Pam looks fantastic and is just as much fun as she was in FIRM Strength. If anything, she's gotten better looking over the years.