Allie, Allison, Annie, Emily, Rebekah
Finally, after years and years, a FIRM workout that's all cardio with no boxes, Fanny Lifters or steps. I'm a low intermediate exerciser, and I loved this workout!
I'll leave it up to the next reviewer to do a full break down of each section, but basically there's a warm up, then cardio segments led (in order) by Alison, Emily, Rebekah, Annie, and Allie, who finishes up with the cool down and stretch.
Each segment had different music and different moves, like side lunges and boxing moves that reminded me of Project You Push/Pull, Latin moves (led by Allie), and some good ol' cardio moves like side to sides and grapevines led by Emily.
The set is nice and bright, the gals look great and the transitions between instructors are smooth. There was one segment (I think with Annie) where the music and the moves got a little off, but if you keep following the instructors, you won't get lost.
For some reason I get some of the best results with "plain" cardio on the floor, and I used Kathy Smith cardio workouts for years to supplement my FIRM body sculpting and AWT. I'm thrilled to finally have some fun non-step cardio from the FIRM.
I loved having the group instructors!
Cardio Party offers simpler choreography than a lot of the Gaiam Firms. Some sections are fun but I find it overall less intense than many of the new Firms, and I question the sequencing of the routines. I have done this dvd two times.
The workout starts out with Alison doing the warmup and a section from Cardio Overdrive. It is not as complex as some of the other Firm moves but I find it more challenging. There are some moves that will feel unfamiliar – a two knees-kick-knee combo took a while for me to learn – but it’s not hard.
Then Emily leads a section that is very similar to the kickboxing segment in CAWT. I love this one so I don’t mind having it again – it seems to end slightly earlier than the CAWT version though. I found this one quite easy to learn as I have been doing it for years.
Then Annie and Rebekah lead their workouts. The footwork on these is very simple. Unfortunately I also found these segments repetitive and boring. There is one part where Rebekah says “now you’ll really start to have some fun”. Then you do about twelve v-steps with the same foot leading. I found Rebekah’s cueing not easy to follow – there is a move that is either grapevine to three knees or grapevine to knee. She mostly cues the three knees part before the grapevine starts, but there is one point early on that she cues the three knees right *after* the grapevine. I do not usually get annoyed by music but the music in Annie’s segment seems so grinding and repetitive.
Then Allie leads a segment similar to one from Cardio Dance Slimdown – a tape I personally love but I’m sad to say she does the Latin segment which is my least favorite. It’s a shorter and IMO less fun version than the one on CDSD.
The dvd is chaptered. Sort of. If you skip Allie’s dance segment you also skip the two minute cooldown which I liked a lot – leg circles, plies, etc. I have been skipping past that chapter and then rewinding.
I am puzzled by the sequencing. I find the first two segments intense and the last three easy. Wouldn’t it be better to alternate the segments? I suspect I’ll usually shorten this one by skipping over one or two of the parties I don’t really like.
On the plus side, everybody’s makeup looks great and as there is very little impact there is usually no difficulty finding the modifier. The instructors do use a little baby talk, calling each other “girls” etc. and I swear Annie actually says “ain’t”.
Overall this is a pleasant tape but not my favorite of the Cardio Weights.