The Firm: Volume 6: Forever FirmJayne Poteet
Year Released: 1992
Categories: Circuit Training (cardio and weights)
Like many at VF I’ve been happily rediscovering the classic-era Firm workouts, and this one from 1992 is becoming one of my favorites once again.
Volume 6 is the last of the original full-length classic Firms, and is the least intense in that it is shorter, has little impact, and moves at a more deliberate pace than the other five volumes. (Of course, the intensity of any Firm workout also depends on the amount of weight used.) At some point Volume 6 was dubbed the “Boomers” workout, I guess because it is more doable for older bodies, and in fact the cast includes a woman in her 60s.
Funny how a workout that became too easy for me 20 years ago is now just right. In the intervening years my knees have become very fussy. However it is more important than ever to keep them strong, and the tall box climbs and the squats in Volume 6 are excellent exercises. I now modify these, though – I do them without weights and I shorten the step height for both tall box climbs and the step cardio. This workout uses a tall step and a short step. Luckily, regular Club step risers and the high step topper make an excellent substitute for both, and allow me to easily adjust step height as needed.
I like how Volume 6 has no lunges or dips (very unusual for a Firm workout) and no push-ups (my elbows are another fussy body part LOL!).
One unexpected benefit – since I had done the cardio routines before (albeit many years ago), the moves came right back to me. By the way, the choreography is basic and quite easy to follow.
Jayne Poteet leads Volume 6 and does an excellent job. Yes, she is obviously rehearsed, but that means she also cues accurately and well. (In fact, one thing I’ve noticed about Firm instructors who go on to lead their own workouts is that they have all obviously been trained on how to properly cue any video workout, not just The Firm. Plenty of other video instructors out there could use some of that instruction!)
Besides the routine itself, I love the production of the early Firms. The mansion set is large and gorgeous, yet the routine itself can be done in a small amount of space. While some of the music might be corny, at least it has personality and is a nice change from the now-standard anonymous techno-beat. The fashions are of course dated, but that doesn’t bother me (probably since I wore that stuff too!). I also enjoy the large cast, which in Volume 6 is somewhat more diverse than usual. See if you can spot future Firm video instructors Tracie Long, Libby Heath, and Pam Cauthen!
Bottom Line: If you enjoy the easier Firms such as the Firm Basics, the Prime Powers, and the Tri-Trainers, take a look at Volume 6 too. You get a great total body workout, including cardio, in just 45 minutes. Anna Benson continues to amaze me by how she was so ahead of her time, and even 20 years later her work holds up very well.
I am still using a VHS copy of Volume 6, but it is available on DVD from Anna’s website, www.fitnessfavorites.com. You can also find it at other online retailers like Amazon and Total Fitness.
Please see above. Jayne Poteet cues well, and also has a sweet, earnest demeanor that I find very appealing.