Video Fitness

Prime Power: Fat Burning

I've only done this video once, but here goes. I liked this tape a little more than the Lower Body Shaping tape, at least the first time around (that may change!).

This tape uses the same equipment that PP: Lower Body Shaping uses: dowel rod, dumbbells, towel, stool.

With this tape also, my heart rate stayed in the lower half of my target zone.

I think this tape has a greater variety of exercises than the PPLBS.

It begins with low-impact aerobics with light weights (3-5 lbs). Next are frontal kicks (using the dowel for balance). Lat rows are next, and it's a pretty challenging set. After doing frontal kicks on the other side, there is a set of pushups, followed by seated double lat rows. Next are hover squats with power breathing. The next section is more low-impact, this time with no weights. The next set of pushups is pretty challenging. It incorporates 3-count pulses at the bottom. Those were kind of tough. I noticed during the pushups that the form of some of the exercisers was kind of unusual. They had their knees positioned right under their hips. I tried it (briefly), and it seemed to make the pushups much easier, unless I did it incorrectly. After that were isolated biceps curls, seated on the stool, double triceps kickbacks, followed by French press. There were squats with the dowel, and heavy hammer curls with forward toe taps and dips. More French presses, and then low-impact aerobics w/out weights. Next was seated shoulder work with lateral arm raises, frontal arm raises, and rear delt work. This was followed by military presses. There was range-of-motion work, including work for the obliques and power breathing.

Next was floorwork for the hamstrings, abductors and adductors. For the hamstrings, you are in the table position with the stool under your chest to support your back. Their stool surface is much smaller than the surface of the 14" step, but the step still worked fine. Lying-side adductor and abductor work with a dumbbell followed the hamstring work.

Ab work was very similar to the ab work in the other Prime Power tape: it used a towel for head/neck support, and was pretty much limited to crunches, lower crunches, and oblique crunches.

I hope this isn't too detailed, but maybe it will help those who aren't sure if this is the tape for them. I felt good after completing both these tapes, but I didn't feel wiped out. Of course, I'm one of the weird people who likes to feel wiped out after my workouts -- at least some of the time. Oh, I was also going to mention, most of the time the music was pretty good, it complemented the workout very well, but for a couple of sections, the music did NOT seem to go with this workout. During the first stretching section the music was "Stars and Stripes Forever." It just seemed kind of bizarre to me.

Instructor comments:

Stacy demonstrates excellent form, and like Kim Bartlett in the other Prime Power tape, she's in great shape.

Melissa F.
4/12/97

Melissa F. gave a complete description of this video. I'll just add my comments. I've been doing advanced step videos and FIRM videos for about a year. I did Prime Power Fat Burning this morning for the first time and I just don't know what to think. I didn't break a sweat, didn't really get my heart rate up, and didn't feel like I had worked very hard afterward.
I use The FIRM strictly for strength training since I don't feel the cardio sections are really long enough or challenging enough for me. I do think the cardio sections in this video are little more interesting than some other FIRM videos, though.
I was excited that the warm-up had a good aerobic song I've heard before, but then the Stars and Stripes or whatever it was really disappointed me. Also, doing inner thigh work to waltz music seems a little bizarre, and actually drowned out the instructor at times.
The upper body work was pretty good, but the lower body sections weren't nearly challenging nor long enough for me. I suppose that's why we need to spend more money to get the Lower Body video. Next time I'll definitely use ankle weights for the floor work. The broom handle I used instead of the dowel worked well but, again, these sections weren't very tough or long enough. Also, using a towel behind the head to pull yourself up for crunches seems to defeat the purpose. And the dowel certainly isn't necessary while sitting on a stool for the final stretch!

From my personal standpoint, this video would be good for 1) beginners, 2) older (define that as you will) exercisers, 3) those of us who want to 'stay' in shape and 4) days when you don't have the energy for a tougher workout.
Don't get me wrong. It's a good video - even with the hokey jungle set. It just doesn't totally work toward my current fitness goals.

Joni O
4/30/97

General Comments: The Prime Power workouts are produced by the FIRM under the name "Body Labs". The tapes, to date, come in a plain black box with a typewritten label. The workout takes place on a tropical, jungle-like set.

The workout lasts about 45 minutes... and is much, much easier than a typical FIRM workout. The weights are lighter, the sets are shorter, and the low-impact aerobic sections are a little bit longer than usual. I wore my heart rate monitor, and found that my heart rate was near the very bottom of my cardio-training zone through most of the workout. I did, however, really enjoy the workout and will continue to do it. I think it is an ideal workout for off days. It also might allow an exerciser to fit in more FIRM days in a week without worrying about overtraining.

Some long-time FIRM users might notice... the cast is all new. I think only 1 person looked vaguely familiar. I don't know about everyone else... but I always enjoyed seeing "familar faces" in successive FIRM volumes. Anyway...

What I Liked About the Workout:

  • The warmup was fun and efficient. It lasted 4 minutes. (a little longer than typical FIRM)
  • I liked using the towel for neck support during ab work.
  • The delt work was pretty challenging and thorough.
  • The low-impact floor aerobics were a little more choreographed... but still easy to follow. The FIRM actually included some combination moves, V-steps and grapevines.
  • I liked the instructor. She gave good cues and was easy to follow.
  • I liked using the dowel during stretching for balance.
  • I *really* like using the stool for lower-back support during the hamstring work.

What I Did Not Like:

  • I did not like using the dowel during squats because it stopped me from using weights. Personally, I think squats are too easy without weights.
  • I thought the floor work for the inner/outer thighs was too short & easy.
  • I didn't like the "tick-tock" style oblique stretches. I thought the FIRM said moves like this actually thicken the waist???

The Jury is Still Out: I'm not sure about the music for this workout. It seemed to range from classic "carousel" music to more dancy music with actual singing. (I've never heard a vocalist during FIRM tapes before!) The music fit the workout moves but it didn't match the jungle set. The only sound effects that coordinated with the set were occasional bird and monkey noises in the beginning of most segments. I'm also not sure how I feel about the jungle setting. It was cute... but I don't know if "cute" is a good thing in this case.
It isn't distracting, but it also doesn't look as classy as the FIRM's mansion setting.

Christine Letsky
4/23/97

The tape is trash. What are they thinking? It's the first time in 16 years that I've turned a Firm tape off in disgust.

I hated it from the moment I had to stretch to the U.S. Marine Marching Band. For the first time ever the FIRM used a song with lyrics and the result was pure lyric monotony. UGH.

When they got to the song that sounded like alarm clocks were going off incessantly I had to turn it off. I was about to lose my mind at that point.

The choreography is awkward. I thought I would like the new dowel. I didn't. My heart rate almost completely stopped during some very slow sections. Kick punches are a drag.

I would recommend any other Firm video which is why I was so shocked by how much I hated this one. I'm scared to turn the other Prime Power lower-body tape on.

The instructor was the least motivational I've ever seen in a Firm tape.

Carol
8/5/97

I received the tape today, so bear in mind this is a first-time impression.

The jungle set and animal prints are different and fresh, considering current fashion trends, but with time will grow as dated as the avocado green and harvest gold kitchens circa 1971.

The music is O.K. I rather liked the vocals in the aerobic section. I did not have a problem with the music, unlike some other reviewers. But it's not as good as the music on Strong Heart and Strong Body tapes.

The dowel is worthless. I much prefer weights. The lower body training is a waste of time for the seasoned Firm Believer. I guess since these are "Prime Power" tapes, they are preparing me (a middle-aged Baby Boomer) for the cane and senesence....They are also trying to ward off my need for Depends with all those internal contractions--they get carried away with those things. The aerobic section is not very aerobic, even for beginners. One problem I have always had with the FIRM is that their aerobics just are not aerobic enough for me, albeit their weight sections more than compensate.

Summary:

This tape is good for beginning exercisers, people who are resuming exercise after an illness or surgery, or for those who want a easier tape on days they don't feel like working out intensely.

The tape really also emphasizes internal pelvic contractions and upper body work at the expense of adequate aerobics and lower body toning.

Instructor comments: Nothing spectacular, nothing terrible. Could be placed in a generic box with "Video Instructor" written on it. In other words, she's there, that's it. I prefer Susan Harris, Tracie Long, Heidi Tanner, or Pam Cauthen. But she is better than Janet Jones-Gretsky and Sandahl Bergman....those instructors on the Classic Videos. Professional performers in exercise videos aren't for me.

Amy Steppe
9/13/97

I like this better than Lower Body. However,although the title says "Fat Burning," this is not aerobic. Even doing high-impact for many of the moves, my heart rate didn't get up to the aerobic zone.

The weights segments are very good. It is primarily upper body work, but there are a few squats. The deltoid segment is pretty tough using 8-lb weights. I about died.

I really like the set. It's a fake outdoor setting -- they're really inside, but it looks real. I'm tired of looking at boring gym walls all the time, so this is a nice change.

I would recommend this to beginning exercisers.

The instructor in this has some really great muscle definition. But I don't think she got it from this workout. She is very good at cueing and demonstrating proper form. I think she would be very good in a traditional FIRM video.

Annie S.
9/15/97

I am a FIRM FANATIC, I have all of the FIRM Vids with the exception of the two new vides which just came out (Step and BootCamp), I purchased my first FIRM when it first came out in 1988? Back to the review, sorry... I had not done this one in a while and it was great!!! not too hard, yet tough enough to let you know it worked. Gives a great upper body and lower body workout also great cardio!!! There are simply no videos like the FIRM, yet I have several others.

Instructor comments: Excellent great cueing!

Linda Rawson
daysfan@ivillage.com
3/17/00

This is one of the very few Firm videos that I actually sold....I didn't find it very challenging and parts of it were so corny it was unbearable (the marching band music especially). Having said this, I think this video would be good for a beginner because it is pretty easy in my opinion, compared with the other Firm videos I love like Tough Tape, Maximum Body Shaping and Firm Strength.

SassyGirl
sassydudo@hotmail.com
7/3/02



Video Fitness copyright © 1996 - 2009 Wendy Niemi Kremer    All rights reserved