On a negative side, I don't think this tape is
aerobically challenging. I would recommend a couple times
a week, or use it together with another tape in the FIRM
series. Also, one of the thing that made me like the FIRM
so much was that they usually targeted serveral areas of
the body in one exercise, or movement. I find that in the
past couple of new releases, they steer away from that,
and isolate the part of the body they are targeting. When
the instructor does military presses overhead, I usually
add in a squat evey time I bring my arms down, so I can
work several groups simultaneously.
All in all, this
is more of a strength training tape and an aerobic tape.
Regardless of what your fitness needs are, this tape is a
Thanks heavens this tape is only 42 minutes long
because it really is tough. I had a great time, though,
burning those calories and firming my body. This is a
really great tape if you want to really sweat. I can't
say I've ever sweat this much before. Maybe it was the
humidity, but I got a "tough" workout using
The only thing this tape is really missing is an ab
section. Since it was just 42 minutes long I think they
could have added an ab section, but I just pulled out
another ab tape after I was done and completed my
I feel pretty proud being able to complete this tape.
I am really becoming a "firm" believer!
I thought the cueing in this tape was especially good
and the balance between lower and upper body was equal.
However, I use a body bar instead of a barbell and my
neck was getting pretty tired by the end.
This workout consists of clips from the Tortoise and
the Hare workouts. It's mostly Tortoise. There are no
ballroom aerobics, thank heavens! As the name says, it's
tough. But I don't think its as tough as Tough Aerobics
or Upper Body. I do like it, though! Tracie uses a
barbell, but you can substitute dumbbells.
It comes with a plain white cover, and it looks like
the label was printed on a dot-matrix printer. I know the
cover doesn't have anything to do with what's inside, but
I want a nice cover! At the very least, the FIRM should
discount the ones with these plain white covers.
Instructor comments: Tracie introduces each section,
and she seems more animated than she did in the original
Tortoise and Hare workouts.
I think Tracie Long is a powerful instructor very easy to follow, but hard to keep up with because she is so strong, I have done her tape 4 times now and already my body feels stronger.
This is the strength training tape I reach for most often! It motivates me to work hard, and is the least boring workout I have ever done. I feel like I've really accomplished something when I'm done! I also like the fact that this is a Parts tape, so all the short (useless) aerobic portions from Tortoise are gone. I have to admit that, if give the choice between MIS and Tough Tape, I will choose TT every time. MIS just seems like work and drags on forever, while TT just flies by! I just tack on a segment from 5-Day Abs at the end to get every body part. This is a superior workout that I would recommend to everyone.
Instructor comments: Tracy is very clear and relaxed - this style of teaching is the least irritating in the long run, after countless viewings. No hype or cutesy comments, just form pointers and cueing. Greatly appreciated.
I got the Tough Tape because I really wanted a "tough" upper/lower body workout. Wow! I am impressed. I have SL (which I find tougher) but TT incorporates more upper body work which is my weak point. I tend to do cardio and lower body strengthening five to six days a week (although of varying intensity) so I wasn't worn out with the leg presses; however, I only used 16 lbs. Also I don't own a barbell--yet, so it was all dumbells. The toughest part of the tape for me was the second set of pushups! I nearly died when she said four more. I wish they would have added abs onto the tape, but I just tack on another video or do my own crunches. I consider myself at the intermediate level, but with more weight this tape could definitely be advanced or little to no weight for beginners. Also the transitions were quite smooth compared to the other Parts tapes I have.
Instructor comments: I think Tracie has extremely good form and pointers. She is upbeat and keeps track of the reps, something I love about doing videos because then I can concentrate more on form.
This is another tape that I think belongs in the Video Fitness Hall of Fame. It is simply one of the two BEST STRENGTH WORKOUTS that have so far been made- and it is NOT boring, like MIS can be. I agree with Serena- I would always pick this tape over MIS anyday! I'm really dripping with sweat when I am done with this one- I push myself to give this workout my all! Yet, I always wish that it was just a little longer- I think it needs just a little more upper body work. Give this one an A+++++++++!!
Instructor comments: Tracie Long is the best instructor that the Firm has. I like her even better then Susan Harris. Her cueing is excellent and she has NO annoying mannerisms- a rare thing for any instructor, much less the Firm!
I LOVE this tape. It is total body minus abs. It is all of Tortoise minus the ballroom aerobics and one of Hare tall box section( the first one). The warm up is from Hare and the cool down is from Hare. This workout is more rounded then Standing Legs because it focuses on upper body as well. But Standing Legs is still tougher when it comes to lower body because it has more lunges and many, many more squats.
I love the music in Tough Tape!!!! Especially the lunge sequence. With this tape, you start off with squats and then you bring the barbell overhead for overhead press. Same with upright rows. I found myself being stronger in my lower body so I needed a heavier barbell to get to failure then my upper body needed. But as I kept consistant with this workout, my upper body got stronger and I could use the heavier barbell to challenge not only my lower body but my upper body as well. If this is the case with you, try to do as many reps as you can with the heavier barbell and stop when you can't do anymore. You eventually will be able to do one more rep and then the next time two etc.
I like this workout also because it is constantly changing, changing, changing. The music changes from one section to the next. The workout format changes. It keeps it from being boring.
One other great thing about this tape is that it is only 37 minutes with a 7 min warmup and 4 min cooldown. It is short, intense and it gets the job done. I mean, I don't have a lot of time. I want a video that is quick, effective and gives results and is fun! This tape is all four. If I have the time, I do Firm Lie Down and Workout (Sculpted Buns, Hips and Thighs) for some extra leg work on the floor and lots of ab work.
The tall box work is very tough in this tape. It works you hard!! This workout keeps my heartrate way up there. So I feel like it works my heart as well as my muscles. It is a truly wonderful tape.
I highly recommend it!
Instructor comments: Tracie does an excellent job on form and cueing. Her lunging is unmatched. This is the first Firm instructor that really sweats with you. She has an incredibly toned body that you know she worked hard for. She has a real business-like disposition. She's totally the opposite of Denise Austin.
This is one of my all time favorite workouts. I love this one, because it's challenging and fun, but also a serious workout. I'm definitely finished at the end!!!
Instructor comments: Cues to perfection, friendly, down to earth. Tracie really is THE best!
Ok, I know I'm a little behind the game on this one, as I am reviewing it about a year after everyone else! However, I only recently stared working out at home. Previously I had been doing all my weight training and aerobics at a gym, and let me say that this tape gave me a great workout. To be honest, I wasn't expecting much since I am an advanced exerciser who had been using VERY heavy free weights to work out. But Tough Tape surprised me!! I think the main thing that does such an excellent job of exhausting the muscles is the very short to no rest period betwteen each move. I like this, because it makes the workout fly by. I find this workout very fun to do, and I really like the music....it's not as cheesy as the traditional Firm music. I noticed the earlier comments about Tough Tapes vs. MIS, and I must agree, to some extent, that I would normally choose TT over MIS, but I personally use TT as one of my "medium" day weight workouts, and MIS is a "hard" day, so to me, there isn't much of a comparison.
I do wish that TT had more upper body work, especially back work-there is only 1 set of lat rows! And an ab section would have been nice, but I just do 5 Day Abs after.
Overall, I really love this tape. It is so fun and effective, and the time flies by because you are 1)having so much fun and 2)working and sweating like mad!
Instructor comments: I like her. She was motivating without being too perky or "whoopy". Her cuing is very good, compared to the cuing by some of the other Firm instructors I've seen.
I love this video! The first time I did it I could barely walk for the next 3 days! For a long time I have wanted a video which would work both my upper and lower body with slow moves and heavy weights but have no high-impact or step aerobics. This is the tape I have been waiting for! I feel so engergized and strong when I am finished with this workout. It definitely lives up to its name. The leg press segments are very challenging to me and I know I have done my duty when my legs start wobbling! I usually add a few segments from 5 Day Abs when I finish Tough Tape because I never feel that I have done a complete workout if I don't do abs. Tough Tape is a winner.
Instructor comments: As always, Tracie delivers. Her incredible body inspires me to keep on going even though every muscle in my body is begging me to quit. Aside from her friendly manner, the thing I appreciate most about Tracie is her perfect form. I know that if I will follow her lead I won't hurt myself. I haven't always found the same assurance with other instructors. Tracie is my all time favorite Firm instructor.
I have never had the opportunity to do a Firm video, and for some strange reason I picked this video at the store. I am 5'4"; 177 lbs and determine to lose 40lbs. I have been doing Tough Tape twice a week for a little over a month and is a KILLER WORKOUT. Its to bad that there is no abs work but the video is so good that I dont mind to pop in 5-days abs. I do this video with a 23lbs barbell, and I pyramid using 5 lbs up to 20 lbs, and I use a regular step bench of 8" and I put on top another bench of 4" its hard, but excellent for those legs and arms. I recomended to anybody who is interest in shaping the whole body.
Instructor comments: AWESOME!!! There is nothing like seeing the instructor sweting, that its when you know that's a real workout.
I purchased this tape a few months ago because of all the great reviews here and I'm glad I did! This is a great strength tape for your upper and lower body, and what's more, it's under 45 min (including warm up and cool down). I use this tape, MIS, and Standing Legs & Cory in rotation for my "strenght" days. It's shorter than the others, but it's fine for days I don't have a lot of time. I know TT doesn't include any ab work. I usually just do 5-Day Abs, or sometimes I'll do Sculpted Buns, Hips, and Thighs after TT. Now that's a great overall strength workout! I find that I have to use 7 1/2 lb ankle weight to feel any of the floor leg work in SBH&T, but that's another review!
All in all, if you're looking for an intense, relatively short upper and lower body strength workout, this is the perfect tape. Also, because the reps are done at a slower pace than previous FIRM tapes, it's easier to pyramid up to heavier weights. When I did that with this tape I got even better results than before, and a lot quicker, too! I know Target carries it for $6.99 - you can't beat that!
Instructor comments: Excellent instructor! Great cueing and personality.
I have a confession. I've always belonged to a healthclub and, yes, I
was very arrogant. I stumbled across this forum in 1998, sniffed, and asked,
"How can these little workout videos compare to my $110-a-month healthclub?"
But I needed something to do on the weekends, when I didn't always feel like
driving to the gym and didn't want to run. This forum told me that maybe I
should try Tough Tape -- it was a Hall of Famer. So I did. And that, my
friends, was the end of my gym arrogance.
I've since acquired many weight training tapes but this is still my
absolute favorite strength tape. There are already numerous reviews about
this tape, so I'll keep it short.
I'm always dripping at the end of this workout and my endorphins are
going wild! This is basically a strength workout and cardiovascular workout
rolled into one. Its place in the Hall of Fame is well-deserved. It is,
arguably, the best Firm tape ever produced. And, at the further risk of
hyperbole, I want to add that Traci Long is one of the best fitness video
October 26, 2000
I do really like this tape, it is one of my favorite Firms. It is very
lower body intensive, but there is upper body work as well. If you feel
that you don't get enough tall box work in your other tapes, this one is for
The only complaints I have are the fact that she has you doing military
presses with the same weight you do squats with. I can squat much more then
then I can press with. Since there is so much more leg work in the tape, I
don't try to stop the tape and switch, but instead I just use a lighter
weight and consider the squats warm up sets for legs. My other complaint is
that the chest work is at the end. It just felt like an afterthought.
Like others have said, there are no abs in this tape, but that didn't bother
me. I'm not a big fan of the Firm's ab work, so it was just as easy to abs
from something else or on my own.
This was my first strength tape that showed me lifting weights could be fun and help me lose weight. Iíd tried lifting weights at the gym and tried lifting weights at home but I went with the traditional sets and reps form of lifting. What that got me was great, strong muscles but I didnít lose any fat. My body responds very well to The FIRMís version of weight training Ė a little faster reps and a few more of them but still able to use up to 20 and 25 lb. dumbbells. I tended to get very bored in the gym and at home trying to lift in a more gym-style, traditional manner.
In this tape, I enjoy going from one exercise to the next without much of a break, if any. I also enjoy going between lower body and upper body exercises. I like giving my legs a break while Iím lifting for the upper body and vice versa.
I wish the pushups were much earlier in the workout before the shoulders and triceps get toasted. I also wish that either more chest flyes were included or a set of bench press or rib cage pullovers was added. Other than that, I absolutely love this video and I give it credit (along with Coryís GHA&S and FIRM Standing Legs) for completely changing the shape of my body.
Iíve met Tracie on a number of occasions and I love her dearly. Sheís very inspiring to me both on video and in person and she really knows her stuff.
This is the only video I have that consistently gets me sore for days afterward. Incredible lower-body workout. Also incorporates the upper body to a good degree, but really goes after your buns and quads.
Do NOT do this tape if you don't like leg presses - there are about 5 sets of them, and some of them are back to back (one is also back to back with dips, which is a similar movement). The last few sets take sheer willpower, especially the first time through. Great workout
I am wondering if I should review a tape which is out of print and already has a lot of positive reviews. I am going to just because this workout has really stood the test of time for me, which is extremely rare. I usually end up liking newer workouts more because I am bored with the old ones. Actually, I did get bored for a while with Tough Tape, because it was one of my first strength training workouts and I used it weekly for a long time. I don't do it very often now that I have a larger collection, but when I do, I always appreciate and enjoy the workout.
The thing I like most about this workout is its efficiency. It is a total body workout (without abs) in 31 minutes. It is perfect for the days when I want to get in cardio and strength on the same day. I haven't done the warm-up to this workout in years, which I never really enjoyed. This is pretty much an add-on workout for me, even though it is good enough to stand on its own.
It is true that not every body part is worked extensively, like the back, however I do feel like every body part gets worked enough for a such a short workout. One reason it is so efficient is that it is mostly sequenced by doing a lower body exercise followed by upper body. You are rarely resting at all between sets, and when you do, it is for a quick stretch.
The quick changes between exercises does make it more difficult to switch your weights, but I keep all my dumbbells lined up for easy access. I don't like being stuck with one weight while switching between upper and lower, and for this workout to be effective for both upper and lower body, I need to switch. Sometimes I miss a rep, but that doesn't bother me.
This is parts tape, and I am not a big fan of parts tapes, but because it is led by the same instructor, Tracie Long, I don't notice the parts aspect of it.
Tough tape is mostly responsible for me starting to like strength training. If I had to rely on MIS only, when these were my only two weight tapes, I might have never stuck with it, so I am grateful for this workout.
With strength work, I am an intermediate exerciser, who dabbles some with advanced work, but doesnít want to become a hard-core advanced strength exerciser. I have really enjoyed getting into workouts on the ball Pilates as an alternative to traditional weight work.
This is a Firm strength workout led by Tracie Long. I know this tape is an older one and is out of print, but it has stood the test of time and I wanted to add my two cents.
It is like other Firm tapes in that Tracie leads a class of background exercisers and has little interaction with them. Her cueing is good and she gives form pointers throughout the workout. The music was apparently forgettable, because I canít tell you a thing about it.
I like this workout when compared to later Firm workouts because you switch equipment less often. You do several exercises with the barbell and then switch mainly to dumbbells. I used three sets of dumbbells. On the other hand, the fact that the barbell is used for both lower body and upper body exercises has meant that Iíve had a difficult time deciding on a weight for my barbell. I can handle more weight for lower body exercises than the upper body ones interspersed between them.
There are a lot of leg presses. However, given the high number of leg presses in later Firm workouts and Cathe workouts, I think the impact of their sheer number has probably lessened over the years. Given the leg presses, plies, lunges and dips, it is a very good lower body workout. There are also upper body moves, but they are less intense to me.
Tracie is her usual calm, competent self. She gives form pointers throughout the workout.
September 11, 2004
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