The Firm: Cardio Split 1

Nancy Tucker, Allie Del Rio, Jen Carman, Carissa Foster, Dale Brabham
Year Released: 1999

Categories: Circuit Training (cardio and weights)

I received my copy of Cardio SPlit #1 on Saturday and have done it twice since then. I was so excited to receive it, I didn't even preview it--just popped it into the VCR and started working out. I don't know if this is going to be one of my favorites but I think it is going to be up on the list. I thought I would post a quick review for those of you interested.

First of all, the tape is "split" into two segments--Lower Body is first and is 24 minutes followed by Upper Body which is 27 minutes long. The tape can either be used in its entirity or on alternating days. It is a compilation but uses completely new footage--some of which is going to show up later next year in a series called "Super Sculpt", I believe. The instructors are Jen Carmen, Dale Brabham, Carissa Foster, Nancy TUcker, and Allie Strickland. Over half the segments are led by Jen, who just dazzles in this video. The music is hard describe--not jazz or rock but kind of a combination of the two. Some of the music is used in other tapes but not so much that it sounds repetitive.

Now on to the workout (I hope my line breaks work)

WarmUp: Jen Carmen 0:00 - 4:09---nice series of stretches, squats, hamstring curls, knee lifts, and heel digs followed by more stretching
Cardio: Hi-Impact with Jen 4:10-7:45--running in place with kicks/knee lifts, jacks and knee cross. Very fast--I have to watch my knees on this one
Leg Press Segment: Nancy Tucker 7:46-11:30; leg press combo using barbell and a series of small pulsing leg presses. I really felt these. I like that she took leg presses but did them differently--really breaks up the routine. SHe follows with overhead presses and another set of leg presses like before. Tough segment--I used a 30 lb barbell and am still feeling it.
Cardio--Carissa 11:21 - 13:39; done on the short box; basic steps with fun series of glut raises.
Lunges--Nancy Tucker 13:40-16:30 Again, she did these a little differently than I've seen.SHe does standard lunges, followed by "curtsy lunges" with the barbell. Nancy gives lots of encouragement and form pointers which I like a lot too
Lo Impact with Dale 16:31-19:17 Double step combo with v-steps, hop steps and double steps -- this was fun Outer/Inner
Thigh Segment with ankle weights and dowel--Carissa 19:18-23:04; ouch, this was really effective. She does two sets, going slow the first set, squats, and then fast the second step. I did this with five pound weights and it is tough.
Allie does a quick stretch (23:05-24:00) and then its on to Upper Body
Jen starts upper body with a quick warm-up doing ball preps with dumbells in a few combos--24:00-25:19 Then she does ab work from 25:20-29:42. She does one variation I haven't seen before. You do a crunch moving your arms up, out, and down. It really worked my abs and I had to struggle through these.
Jen then does cardio from 29:43-31:40 Hi Impact with lots of running, shuffles, and crosses with the OOF ball. She calls it a Sports drill
Good morning/bent rows Dale 31:41-35:05; all done using the tall box, followed by posterior delt flies, rhomboid pinches, and push-ups. I felt she could have given more form pointers but that isbecause I'm a little nervous when I do Good mornings. I'm always concerned I will hurt my back with this one.
Cardio: Jen 35:08-38:41; 4 limb segment
Upright rows: Jen 38:42-41:30 Upright rows, biceps curls using barbell. She keeps telling you to "do it again" and I do :)
Low Impact with Dale 41:31--44:24. FUn samba combo
Bentrows, french presses, triceps dips, push-ups with Jen: 44:25-47:59
Nice stretch with Carissa 48:00-51:16

All in all, I like this tape. It is well edited and transitions smoothly. There is still not a lot of time for equipment changes but I don't feel as rushed as I do in the Core Cardio tapes. One thing that strikes me as funny is that in the middle of this beautiful FIrm set, they show at least one exerciser using bleach, detergent, or water bottles in place ofweights. I think they are trying to encourage people to use substitutes if they don't have the necesssary equipment but it just seems a bit out of place. The only criticism (if it can be called one) that I have is that a few segments are little more hi-impact than is my personal preference. But to quote Clare,I can always modify, modify, modify.

Kathy Martinez