The Firm Express: Overdrive

Kelsie Daniels
Year Released: 2010

Categories: Circuit Training (cardio and weights) , Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance , Total Body Workouts

I am a big fan of the Firm (from the BBH-era all the way through the Firm Express series) and while I waited for a bargain, could not wait to get this series. I am a BIG fan of the short (30 minute-ish or less) intense, HIIT-style workouts, and these do NOT disappoint! The exercises are sort of all over the place (I would not recommend these for any serious strength training) but are fabulous for short cardio routines, even the strength workouts. Each workout in the system effectively gets your heart rate up and makes you feel like you really got something effective done in just 20 minutes. I tend to add 3-4 minutes to the end to stretch. Like all Firms, there is a high production value, and I like how the instructors are somewhat coordinated (their outfits), and the backlighting changes color for the bursts (which also have an on-screen timer). I donít like that the FE workouts are each on individual DVDs (so thereís 13 DVDs in the system Ė excessive!) and wish they would have put each cycle on one DVD so you could mix and match. There is a Gaiam ad at the beginning but isnít excessive. I think my only other complaint would be that the warm ups (thankfully not the cardio or strength as much) can be unnecessarily complex, but I am choreo-challenged and still follow along fine.

I would rate all of the FE workouts in the intermediate range, maybe high intermediate depending on poundage used (but you canít go too heavy due to the combination moves), and I often sub the bursts with a harder exercise to get my heart rate up more. They are definitely great to add on to another workout or to use on a day that youíre short on time. I have not done the system as designed and just use the workouts as a standalone or add-on. I really get a lot of use out of these and have paired them with lots of other workouts. They are so fun and short! I would definitely recommend these for anyone who enjoys short, high intensity workouts.

I probably had the biggest expectations for the Overdrive cycle (the fourth cycle in the system, and is supposed to be the toughest), because Kelsie is my favorite Pink Firm instructor. She tends to have tough, athletic routines. I really enjoy her C/S and S workouts but was lukewarm about her cardio workout, a kickboxing routine which could have been GREAT but was disappointingly less intense than I was expecting. I think they designed the bursts to be easier because the rest of the routines were tougher, but I wish it would have been altogether more challenging. But, I do think her C/S workout is the hardest in the whole FE set (lots of burpees!!) and is my most used of the whole set.

Instructor Comments:
As I mentioned, Kelsie is my favorite Pink Firm instructor and is very professional and encouraging. She is very pleasant to work out with. Like all the other FE instructors, she is very inspiring and motivational!

Emily B.