Pam Cauthen Meriwether
The Transfirmer Series Supercharged Sculpting is a 37 minute power-packed weight training workout, that only lacks length to make it a really great strength workout. The fact GoodTimes chose not to chapter this DVD is unfortunate, because you could easily do some sections a second time to increase the length, thus making this even more challenging. It uses the Transfirmer box in both the stacked (14 inch) positions, the two parts next to each other, and in the incline position.
Pam leads this workout which starts with an 8 minute warm-up using the Transfirmer in the incline position. I like the music in this one a lot! It's less techno than in Ultimate Calorie Blaster. You can see all the instructors, and Alison Davis shows beginner modifications. In addition, it features a wonderful 12 minute bonus stretch section on the DVD!
After the warm-up are lunges onto the inclined box, and you can really feel the difference in your hams and glutes this way. We alternate those sets with squats in varying counts and tempos. Pam holds "heavy" weights - I used 2 12's and could have gone heavier. They don't do many reps, so you can go quite heavy.
Next are bent over rows with a bell in each hand, again using the incline position. This was nice because it helps you keep a flat back which is the safe way to do these. We also do upright rows, and they keep their height below or at shoulder level, which I was happy to see!
We then lie on the incline to work chest, and you work your core as well because it takes all your balance to stay on it! They acknowledge that as well. We do flyes, overhead press, and chest press. Again, you can go heavy because there aren't many reps.
On the floor for oblique work and planks. OUCH! Some really innovative and challenging work here! We then stack the Transfirmer and sit on it for those leg pushes in and out which really challenge me!
We then place the green part (6 inches) behind the blue part (8 inches) and stand on the blue part with weights, dipping to the very back over the green part. This is quite challenging and I wouldn't attempt it with very heavy weights. You can't see behind you and I can easily see someone not stepping back far enough and striking the edge of the green piece, possibly leading to a fall.
Leg press is next with the Transfirmer stacked at 14 inches, using weights. Traditional Firm move!
We then climb the 14 inch part without weights, and by this time my legs were fried.
Thank goodness we then went back to upper body! Clean and press and overhead presses with heavy weights. Then biceps still with heavy weights, then triceps kickbacks using lighter weights.
Keep the light weights for more biceps with side delt raises, then posterior delt work. We then do triceps dips off the 14 inch Transfirmer, alternating leg extensions for more fun.
Back to the floor for abs - more traditional crunches this time but with swivel moves as well for the lower abs. Some may remember these moves from Power Cardio (AKA Cardio Killer 2) and other older Firms. Spinal erector work completes this segment.
There is an innovative and effective stretch even without the bonus part! Overall I'd give this an A minus! I really enjoyed it! If you want a compact, decent intermediate strength training workout, this is perfect! If you're looking for a workout like Cathe's strength training or P90X, this, however, is not it.
May 30, 2005
A little about me. I'm an intermediate exerciser who has no desire to move up to the advanced stage. I like to workout and not feel like I'm going to keel over when I'm done. I love the Firm so I'm probably a little biased.
I was lucky enough to buy the whole set from someone at the ya-ya's without having to go through the whole Goodtimes rigamarole when you order something.
This workout is about 36 minutes long. There's Pam, Allie, Stephanie, Alison and Annie working out with you.
After the warm-up the workout goes lower body, upper body and abs. That cycle is repeated again before the stretch. First lower body was mostly squats and lunges, upper body was mostly chest and back and then you hit the floor for some ab work. Second leg section was leg press and then tall box climbs. Those always wipe me out and I usually do the climbs on the 8" portion. Upper body was mostly arms and shoulders and then there was more abs. I don't use weights for the lower body and I used 3's, 5's, 10's and 12's for the upper body. A stretch followed. The DVD also has a bonus stretch workout. It says 12 minutes but it wasn't that long. Pam is alone in that one and it's yoga inspired.
All in all I enjoyed this workout. It hits all your muscle groups in a short period of time. I felt worked out, not wiped out. I like Pam alot and was glad to see her leading some workouts again.
One of my favorite Firm instructors. Does an excellent job instucting the workout.
Other reviewers have broken down the workout so I will just add a few comments. I really enjoyed this workout. It is short (about 35 minute) and hits all of the muscles. You can easily heavy-up and make this workout anywhere from beginner to advanced. The music is pretty good (for Firm workouts) and there is a beginner modifier as well as Lisa Kay who seems to do some "in the middle" modifications.
I don't have a transfirmer, and was able to do the entire workout with a regular club step. The only modifying necessary, was in the first segment -- they use the incline in the warmup and for lunges, which were easily done on the club step. I did the chest work on the incline by removing a riser on the end of the step. For the leg presses, I used my club step and 3 risers (for 10"). the ab work is all done on the floor.
The lifting speed varies -- from half time counts to 3 up and one down. I liked the upper combos - she does hammer curls and side delts, and bicep curls with militaries (clean and press). Chest, back and triceps are also worked, but not in combos -- and there are no pushups!
The workout flows very well -- it goes lower, upper, abs and then lower, upper and ab/back (core) and end with a nice stretch.
The DVD also has a bonus stretch workout - which you can choose at the main menu - and is about 5 minutes long. I haven't done it in a while, but it's yoga-like and I enjoyed it.
Pam has great form and does a very good job of explaining the moves in this workout.
This was a great short workout. I'll agree with other reviewers who suggested more length would have made it a really good workout. I found myself wishing for an extra twenty minutes or so, but I do think a shorter sculpting workout has a place in every vidiot's collection. Actually, every workout has a place in every vidiot's collection, but I digress.
You can really heavy up in this workout because of the low reps, which is what I did. There is also a heart-raising set of leg press including wide leg press that hit every area of the lower body. I modified to the 8" part of the TransFIRMer for this section so I could use the heavier weights, and I can feel it today.
The upper body work continues to be my favorite thing about the new FIRM. I cannot express enough how excited and gratified I feel at having more upper body work besides lat rows and delt raises. The upper body work includes my favorite rib cage pull overs, chest press and pec flies done on the incline, and a brutal set of standing upper body including work for all part of the shoulder.
Ab work was good, but I would have liked some more work on the incline portion of the TransFIRMer, but no biggie. I did have to modify the planks and side planks, so I'm sure my abs got a great workout.
The music was non offensive fare that reminded me a lot of Project You. No dork dances, tuba solos or guitar riffs like the Classics, this music is just background fare. And I do like the nicely lighted sets.
Pam's instruction was precise, careful and soothing, and it's amazing how she's grown as an instructor since FIRM Strength.
There is an 8 minute bonus stretch portion on the DVD, which is welcome because I don't feel FIRM gives you enough stretching all the time.
I love the TransFIRMer series and the bonus sections on all the workouts are like the prize in a Cracker Jack box, especially the ab bonus on Ultimate Calorie Blaster.
I give this one an A even though I really, really wanted to keep going!
It's always a joy to workout with Pam. Her yoga training really shows through in this workout, and her presence is nice and soothing.