Some others have noted that this video is much easier than the first one and I agree BUT I still really like it alot. The first day has the instructor doing "breath" work. I laugh when I watch her. I don't know how she keeps a straight face doing it. She inhales through her nostrils quickly and intensely. The breath work seems like one of those natural childbirthing classes. I do this tape in between other FIRM parts segments (i.e. one set of tough tape leg presses, 1 set (or day) of abs, back to leg presses, back to abs). Day 3 is Tracie Long and is a welcome relief for me. It starts seated on your tall box and does some twists and stuff. I really like it, it's new and refreshing. As others have mentioned, Days 4 & 5 are from FIRM Strength & Cardio. By the time Heidi is telling me to "thread right", (where did the term thread come from anyways?), I have totally beaten my abs to smithereans. But, even if I did this tape one day/one segment I would still find it challenging.
Instructor comments: The only somewhat negative comment I have is about the new instructors. The one from Day 1 looks like a toothpick. I prefer to see body-types like the instructors from previous FIRM workouts. I don't know why the FIRM chose the other new instructor either, I don't find anything appealing about her at all. (voice, looks, motivation or anything). Sorry I don't know their names just yet but they are from the tri-trainers.
I love this tape. You have to do at least the first three days (total 16 minutes) to get a good workout. Great music on all segments. Never boring. I found the rocking move a little confusing - I kept doing regular crunches - but I finally caught on after three times. Days 1-3 are from the new Tri-Trainers and days 4-5 are from Firm Cardio and Firm Strength.
The first 5-Day Abs tape was a great concept on paper, but Tracy James--the original Stud Boy--and his cheesy hosting antics were just too much. This tape is superior in every way. The workouts are taken from more recent FIRMS--Crosstrainers Cardio and Strength, plus the newer Tri=Trainers. For some of the workouts, you will need to keep a light dumbell and either a tall box or 10-14" step nearby to properly execute some of the moves.
I like this one because each daily routine is gets the job done efficiently. This is also a very versatile tape. I mean, after I've sweated for 60 to 70 minutes in a cardio routine, what's another 5 to 7 minutes to help strengthen my abs and back? Those who use strength routines like the Tough Tapes can use this to fill in the ab work that's missing. And, of course, you can supplement any routine that doesn't suit you with one or more of the ones herein. This is a great addition to my collection. The only thing missing is a good replacement for Stud Boy. I'd like to suggest they put out a 3rd tape--maybe call it 5-Day Abs the Movie--and tap my fellow Kentucky native George Clooney for the MC duties. I'd buy it even though I'd be too busy salivating to work out:)
Instructor comments: I don't care much for Jennifer--she comes across as too perky to be true. But the rest of the ladies are a delight to work out with--especially Tracie and Pam. Proof positive that strength and femininity can be a beautiful mix:)
More 5 Day Abs was a compiliation of ab segments from Better Body & Buns (Jennifer Peluso), Fat Blaster (Lisa Kay), Maximum Body Shaping (Tracie Long), Firm Strength (Pam Cauthen), and Firm Cardio (Heidi Tanner).
I rather like the video and regularly rotate it with the original 5 Day Abs as well as Tracie Long's Sculpted Hips, Buns, and Thighs workout. While I think that the original 5 Day Abs was harder, this video provided newer and more varied moves, and as such worked the abs just as much. Since nobody has broken down the video yet, I thought I would provide a description of each part.
Section 1 with Jennifer Peluso incorporated "breathwork" which was just Pilate's The Hundred but made easier because your feet were on the floor. I straightened my legs and held them at a 45 degree angle to intensify the move. She rotates between breathwork and "rock and lift" ab work (this is rotating upper crunches with lower crunches) before moving on to side oblique work (think Volume 4 with Susan Harris with both legs to one side).
Section 2 with Lisa Kay was my favorite. I think the moves were most intense, and the music was the best. She starts with a brief set of crunches using a hand weight on the chest, then goes into the second segment, primarily focused on the "rock and lift" movement. She adds a twist while your legs are up to add oblique work here.
Section 3 with Tracie Long was easier, but it was so much fun that I really enjoy it. You start out on your tall box, and do oblique work by bending side to side, then twisting side to side. This is really fun, and if you mind your muscles, it is challenging. You really have to keep your form though, otherwise it won't work at all. Then she goes to the floor and does 2-count upper then lower abs, which I actually didn't find as challenging. Then she goes into upper and lower body crunch combinations, and does an upper crunch while pushing your heel out with each leg (think Volume 3). She says "that feels good!" at the end which always makes me laugh.
Section 4 is with Pam Cauthen from Firm Strengh, and starts out with weights on the chest while doing upper crunches, then overhead crunches with reverse curls. These are challenging. Then she goes into a series of combined upper and lower body crunches (same old same old) then long lever lower body reverse curls. This section is ok and will fatigue your abs if you do all of the sections in a row.
Section 5 with Heidi Tanner is my least favorite. She uses the tall box to rest your feet on, while you alternate bringing your knees to your chest while upper crunching (think Volume 6) then goes into oblique work by extending your arms on each side. Finally she removes the box and does some reverse curls and extends the leg on the curl. The music was dull, and while the exercises were creative, they were not intense and even after 4 other segments, I did not feel any burn. I usually skip this part.
Form was excellent and the moves were MUCH more creative than the original 5 day abs. I love the original but am so glad that I decided to shake it up with the newer video. Impact level is not as high, but it is much more engaging and the music is really good! It made me want to get the videos which it was compiled of. As for me, I'm 24 and have been doing exercise videos for 2 years and love them SO MUCH!!! I especially love the FIRM. They have a wonderful comination of being both fun and effective.
The instructors were all quite good - my favorite was Lisa Kay from Fat Blaster. They all had excellent cueing.