Video Fitness

Firm Parts--Total Body Shaping Mix

I don't review a lot of videos, but after going through the new reviews page and not seeing ANY reviews, I felt compelled to write one! I have been using the Firm for years, and although I've been disappointed with a lot of the most recent releases, this one makes up for it! It is my absolute favorite Firm video, and I've done them all! After the warm-up, there is about 40 minutes of standing weight work with 4 or 5 "cardio bursts" throughout. They would have to use Jen Carmen's segment from Super Cardio with all the plyos! I still haven't gotten used to that! The weight work is the usual Firm moves: leg press, lunges, dips, lat rows, biceps, etc etc. This is followed by 20 minutes of floor work, including inner thighs, glutes, abs, and the stretch.

Instructor comments: This workout is compiled from the Cross Trainers, Tri-Trainers, Cardios, and Supers. Most of the segments come from Firm Cardio and Firm Strength, although there is quite a bit of Tracie Long (always a plus)from Maximum Body Sculpting and Sculpting With Weights. I can't say there are any Firm instructors I dislike; cueing is almost always good, and they all seem pleasant. Not to mention that they all have incredible figures, which is extremely motivating on days that I just don't feel like moving!


Total Body Shaping Mix is going to be one of my favorites. One could re-title it "The Best of The Firm: Cross-trainers to the Present". The tape starts with Heidi Tanner's warm-up from Firm Cardio. Not my fave Firm warmup but that's OK. Then on to Tracie Long for stretches. Then the workout begins. It is all familiar footage (boo!) but very well constructed and they definitely found the very best segments to use. The transitions are the most excellent I've ever seen! VERY smooth. This is a tough workout, definitely a challenge. It has a "killer" feel to it that is very similar to the early classics, but with updated moves. The 4 or 5 aerobics intervals start off so innocuously but about 60 seconds into each one, here come the plyos! Your heart rate stays up because you switch from heart-thumping weight work like squats, lunges, dips, pushups, etc. then head right into the aerobics sections. Generally the aerobics sections give you about a minute of low impact to catch your breath, then on to plyos, then back to weights. That cycle is repeated over and over: heart-thumping strength segments, brief recovery aerobics, plyo aerobics, back into heart-thumping strength. It's a very challenging progression. The tape is 1:06:36 long but it flows well and flies by! This one is definitely TWO THUMBS UP!! My two thumbs are about the only things left I can raise right now. . . TBSM ranks right up there with Super Cardio and Super Sculpting as one of the BEST the Firm has created in recent memory.

Instructor comments: All the Firm instructors are professional and inspiring and this tape is no exception.

susan np

The workout is my new favorite. I have every Firm except the Basics and Prime Powers. The tape uses some of Tracie Long's Basic tape which I don't use, so it's nice to have some of the Traci's sections mixed into a advanced Firm video.

This is a 66 minute workout with 7 instructors. The Firm did an excellent job on this compiled "parts" tape. It's classified as a Tortoise video (slow and heavy) but I would also consider a Classic (50% weights/50% aerobics). The videos they uses were the Firm Crosstrainers Cardio and Strength, Super Sculpt, Super Cardio, Maximum body Sculpting and Basic Sculpting with weights.

This workout is fun and time flies by. There are 2 tall box sections! Yay! The warmup is from Firm CArdio with Heidi Tanner. I try and make it more kickboxing since Heidi does do a front kick and punch. I just make it more Tae Bo'ish. The stretch is from Traci Longs Maximum Body Sculpting. The music reminds me of the king and I musical for some reason.

The workout has 6 fun cardio sections(all floor aerobics with lot's of plyo's and some sections use light dumbbells) mixed with weight lifting for both the upper and lower body. The aerobics are higher impact. The workout ends with inner thigh work and table work as well as 2 ab sections.

The workout starts off with a fun hi/lo floor aerobics section from Fat Blaster that Allie Strickland leads. Then Tracie does the Squat/pushup section from Maximum Body Sculpting. Then comes the tall box by Nancy Tucker in Super Sculpt. This really gets the heartrate up. I love the music on this section. Next comes Pam Cauthen with her floor limb over head press and tricep kickback aerobics. She also does a plie with upright rows and bicep curls. I love the music on this one too. Plus this section hasn't been used in any other parts tape. The lat row and French press from Traci long's Basic Sculpting is a nice welcome since my heartrate was so high from the last segmant but not for long because then you do more tall box(yay!) and dips from Pam's Firm Strength. This has never been used in a parts tape as well so it's nice and refreshing. If your heartrate isn't high enough, then comes a super fun and long floor aerobics by Jennifer Carmen(Super Cardio) The music really helps push you and she does tons of plyo's! Heidi is next with dips and hammer curls and the leg sweeps( when you lean on the tall box with ankle weights on) and lat rows from Firm Cardio. I just stand and do bun sweeps the way Nancy Tucker does it in Super Sculpt. She stands in front of the tall box and uses the dowel for balance and squeezes the leg back. For some reason, I really feel it in my glutes when I do it this way. Dale's four limb aerobics with light weights is next from Super Cardio. It's when you march in place with the weights (I kinda feel like I'm power walking during this section) with ton's of plyo's. At least Dale counts down the plyo's! Whew! Heidi's slow lunges with overhead press is next. I love this music. Traci is back to finish off the workout with her Bicep curl/Tricep kickbacks/Side delt lifts and then a nice low impact aerobics from her Basics Sculpting tape. the workout ends with Pam's inner thigh work as well as some more tricep work on your back from Firm Strength and Heidi's killer table work from Firm CArdio. This section always makes my glute muscle numb since it's so tough. The ab section is from Pam's Firm Strength and is excellent since you use ankle weights. There is also Traci's ab section from Maximum Body Sculpting which I love but it was always too short for me. Now, with this workout, they combine it with Pam's tough ab section with ankleweights and it's just right. The stretch is from Heidi's Firm Cardio which is nice since it's a towel stretch.

This workout just flies by since it's so fun. Well, fun in that it really works the body! It's not a wimpy workout. It has great weight work both for the upper and lower body as well as light dumbbell work for the upper body too. It's a challenging workout and I love it!

Instructor comments: All 7 instructors bring about their own personal style to the workout. Dale and Traci and Heidi have cool and more conservative way of teaching without spunkiness and pizazz. There form and bodies are inspiring with great muscle tone. Jennifer Carmen and Allie have lot's of spunk and bring more energetic attitudes to the workout with smiles and that star quality. Pam is calm and has a shy personality but she is tough! Nancy is the Firm's newest Southern belle that makes you push yourself and her positive comments helps keep you going throughout the workout.

Mandy Lee

This is a Firm Parts video. And its a long one to boot, aprox. 70 minutes. It is compiled from the Firm's Cardio/Strenght, Max. Body Sculpting, Super Cardio/Sculpting, and possibly other tapes that im missing. Its is a combination of total body weights and cardio segements.

The breakdown of each segement has already been well described, so I will just give my thoughts. I found that the tape was well put together. The only 'beef' that I had was the re-re-recycled Firm Cardio footage. I really like Firm Cardio, but I feel that it has been over used in lots of parts compilations. Even though Heidi's table work is killer! This tape to feels a lot like some of the classic firms with the rotating cardio then weights.

It would seem that the first half of the workout is pretty darn tough. When you go to the tall box to do lat rows, im dripping on my box! With that said the last half or quarter of the tape is a little bit less intense, probably because there is no tall box or hard standing leg work left to do. I find that with lots of leg presses, lunges, dips, and squats/abductions, this tape is more intense for the lower body than the upper wich is par for most Firm tapes. For the upper body there is Lat Rows, Biceps curls, French Press, Military Press ( I think) and lots of shoulder work, light and heavy. In truth its not nearly heavy or rep intensive for me to consider this a through heavy upper body day. But its good for a moderate upper body day. I found it was a great complement to a P.S. Strenght Series Rotation.

All in all this is a great Parts tape, probably one of the best. Im finding that I love this tape.

Instructor comments: All of the Firm instructors featured in this tape do a good job. At many times they may seems a little stiff and at times are slow to cue (the aerobic sections). But that in no way distracts or takes away from the workout. My favorites in this tape are Nancy Tucker and Dale Brabham for some reason their segements stick out to me. But all the instructors did great!

Susie F.

This workout is new to me, but has been around for a few years. Overall a great workout that has stood up over time.

The DVD is classic Firm -- nice sets and good production values. There is some excellent editing and this is much less choppy than some of the early parts tapes. Most of the sections still look great, though the Heidi Tanner section looks especially dated. Did we really workout in black stockings? Something that may annoy people purchasing the DVD - there is no chaptering.

You will get a fairly complete workout and it keeps moving. The time flies. It's not easy, but it's not impossible either. The leg presses come early in the sequence, so you aren't exhausted and can really push out every rep. I do have a few quibbles with the exercises. There are a lot of plyos and there aren't modifications shown. If you're anti-jumping you'll need to make something up. Also, the chest work is pretty skimpy. A set or two of pec flies would have been a good addition.

Definitely a video worth having in your collection.

Instructor comments: All of the instructors are excellent, but I think Dale and Pam really shine.


June 2004

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