The Firm: Maximum Cardio Burn (BSS2)

Allie Del Rio
Year Released: 2003

Categories: Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance

Well, I was ready to put the entire BSS2 series on the back of my shelf but this workout redeemed the entire series. "Cardio" was a little misleading, at least to me, because I got quite a bit of muscle shaping from tall box climbs and ab work that never seemed to end. I'm an intermediate exerciser who started over after a hiatus, and after 2 months I'd call myself "low" intermediate.

Abs were pre-exhausted from standing core moves so that by the time I reached the floor, the first set of upper and lower had my abs on fire. I ended up sitting out the final set of "hiccups", which long term FIRMies will recognize as the serratus works from FIRM Vol. 1.

Since other reviewers have already given break downs of the workout, I'll say that those cardio segments were quite challenging, and my heart rate was up there for the whole workout. To me this workout was every bit as challenging as the original volumes; if you're an advanced Cathe junkie, cut us beginners, intermediates and re-entry types a break. Cardio is something I really don't like, which means I need to do more of it. :p

I used the green sculpting stick from the Gaiam kit, and found it might actually be a little too heavy. My upper body got quite a workout, even though I used my 2 lb. dumbbells instead of the twigs. Beginners, either skip the stick or use the BSS2 sculpting stick.

The music was interesting, at least to me. Tunes like Funkytown were done Kraftwerk early techno style, and I liked it. It was retro, but not. The cardio moves struck the right balance between too easy and too complicated for those of us with two left feet, though I did choose to use the shorter part of the Fanny Lifter since it was my first time using this workout.

Some familiarity with kickboxing moves would come in handy since there was no instruction, and I think the workout presumes that we'd all done Tae Bo. I recommend Kathy Smith Aerobox or even Project You Foundations before -- it will help you actually do jabs and crosses without injuring yourself.

Overall, an A workout.

Instructor Comments:
Allie did a good job leading this workout, though a little more attention to cuing would have been welcome. Form pointers were good, and she was able to create the right mood -- not to laid back, not too hyper.