I got my copy of THE FIRM PUMP, JUMP & JAB from Mary at totalfitnessdvds.com today and HAD to do it. I've been longing for another Kelsie led workout since Steamin' Cardio. I'm horrible at reviews but I really liked this workout. It got my HR up and was a lot of fun, IMO. Kelsie alternates sections of kickboxing and 4 limb movements. She said to pick up medium to heavy weights so I started with 10s and had to pyramid down. I think they were using 5 lb Pink Cardio weights in the video but it's hard to tell. There were a few moves that felt awkward to me but it may just be from being the first time. I absolutely adore Kelsie as a lead. She just really motivates me to do more. The cover says it's a 45 minute workout but I clocked it at a little under 41 including warm up and cooldown. There's also a bonus segment called Hit Every Muscle in 5 Minutes that's closer to 6 minutes. I'm looking forward to doing this one again soon.
This new workout from The Firm is designed to be a fat-burning routine which blends kickboxing and sculpting intervals. It is led by Kelsie Daniels, an instructor who has been a favorite of mine since back when she worked with Firm founder Anna Benson on the original FitPrime series. The only equipment you need for the workout is a set of dumbbells; Kelsie cues you to use "medium to heavy" weights, but I found that sticking with 5-pound dumbbells throughout was challenging yet allowed me to focus mainly on the cardio benefits of the moves. The workout is filmed on a nice, bright set, with big windows in the background overlooking what appears to be a building courtyard. Kelsie is joined by four background exercisers, one of whom shows lower-impact modifications.
Kelsie gets you moving right away with an fast-paced warm-up that includes punches and active stretches; the warm-up lasts just under 5 minutes, and you are moving the entire time. The first weighted series follows. This segment begins with a squat/hammer curl combo, eventually adding a kick and then moving into a lunge with back kick. The squat series is repeated on the other side and then the section finishes with some push-ups which include punches.
Next is the first kickboxing segment. Kelsie builds up a fun combo in an add-on style; eventually, you'll do a jab-cross-hook-upper-knee-front kick-back kick-front kick, with the combination itself automatically moving you from one side to the other. A second series using the weights follows, starting with dips and shoulder press, adding in a glute lift. The next move is a crescent knee with opposite knee raise and side twist, and finally, there is a 1-legged squat with tricep kickback.
Then it's on to another fun kickboxing segment, starting with a side-to-side shuffle and three punches on each side. After this, there's a dip with a knee lift that turns into an optional jump kick, and finally, a series of side kicks. The final weights work follows, this time starting out with side lunges and triceps, eventually adding a roundhouse kick and then ending with a 1-armed row. The segment concludes with another compound move, curtsy dips with side laterals, and a final balance move, side laterals while balancing on one leg.
At this point, the workout moves to the floor for push-ups and abs work. I question the decision of The Firm to include this segment in a shorter workout like this one; I think it would've made much more sense to use the time for an additional kickboxing segment. This section begins with a very short plank work series and then moves on to crunches, some of which were new an different, such as doing punches during bicycles. Overall, however, this entire segment was less than 5 minutes long, so it didn't seem all that worthwhile. The 5-minute cool-down is performed entirely on the floor, and it included some very nice stretches for the hamstrings, quads, and hips, all of which were definitely needed after the lower body emphasis of this workout. The total time for the workout was about 42 minutes.
The workout also includes a bonus segment called "Every Muscle in 5 Minutes!" It's actually just under 6 minutes long, and it features Kelsie working out alone. She opens with a fast-moving lunge from side-to-side, adding on several sets of push-ups. Next comes a back dip with an overhead press and then a front lunge with a row; this is repeated to the other side. Finally, she finishes off with a slow side-to-side lunge to stretch. As might be expected, this short segment felt kind of rushed, and I'm not sure that it really added anything to the overall workout.
Despite my ambivalence towards the floorwork and bonus workout, I really enjoyed the main body of this workout! Kelsie keeps you moving non-stop, so even the weighted segments felt more like cardio work to me. I found the music to be much more fun and upbeat than in other Firm offerings, and I was also impressed that this DVD is actually chaptered, something you almost NEVER see from the FIRM! Although there are a few things that I think could have been done better, overall, I'm very happy with this workout and know that I will use it often.
I have always liked Kelsie! I find her to be more of a free spirit than the typical Firm instructor. In general, I think she does a pretty good job cuing, although I do think she could've been a bit more specific at times here--e.g., provided a bit more directional info, etc. However, I was able to follow along fairly well the first time through and expect that for most people, there will be no more than a slight learning curve to this workout. PS--Did anyone else notice that two of the background exercisers are from Karen Voight's Sweat Effect, part of her Sleek Essentials series?
Beth C (aka toaster)
November 2, 2008