The Firm: Cardio Sculpt Blaster

Lisa Kay
Year Released: 2002

Categories: Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance

This is an early 2000s Firm video from the series that uses the Fanny Lifter, a tall, square step which is adjustable to three heights. This unique piece of equipment is effectively used here to provide a short, fun, intense cardio workout. In addition to the Fanny Lifter (FL), light weights are occasionally added for 4-limbed work, but this is a pure cardio routine with no toning intervals.

Instructor Lisa Kay, who leads a class of 4 other Firm instructors, begins with a basic 4-minute warm-up which combines aerobic moves with dynamic stretches. The first aerobics segment is performed without the step. It moves somewhat slowly, with heel digs and back rocks, but my heart rate still got up, especially with the addition of small optional hops. The first step aerobics portion with weights was a lot of fun, combining heel digs and rocks on and off the short portion of the FL with bicep curls. Other combos included straddles with upright rows and rear dips. There was some take it from the top here, but not so much that I found it annoying or overly repetitive. Squats with hammer curls on the floor conclude this segment.

More step work follows, this time without the weights. This segment was also fun and included A-steps, hamstring curls, knee lifts, L-steps, and floor jacks. The next segment is mostly on the floor, but you add taps onto the fully assembled FL. Here you get a bit more toning work with squats and overhead presses, but you are still moving at an aerobic pace. Another fun aerobic step series follows, this time with straddles, side leg lifts, squats with 1 leg on the step, and presses onto the step. This section was also a bit easier to follow than the first step tune. The final aerobics segment consists of more 4-limb work, with grapevines/rhomboid pinch, step touch/bicep curls, and step knee (adding in a step onto the FL). The almost 6-minute cool down consisted of many typical Firm moves, including marches, step-touch, hamstring curls, sambas, tri-star, and arm sweeps; a brief stretch series using the FL concludes the workout.

Overall, I enjoyed this short cardio workout, which comes in at just under 30 minutes total. I found that my HR stayed in my target zone for a good portion of the time (22-23 minutes), plus I enjoyed the moves and was generally able to follow along. Although this is a cardio-only workout, which is what I wanted, I still would've liked to have seen a set or two of the Firm's signature leg press move; it seems a shame not to use the FL for this. Still, this is a very solid, enjoyable intermediate-level cardio workout that I'd definitely recommend, particularly for when you are short on time.

Note: this same Firm workout was released with at least three different covers, so be careful that you don't already own it when ordering!

Instructor Comments:
I found Lisa's instruction to be fine, mostly unremarkable. Like all Firm instructors, she does mirror cue, although there were a few places when she could've done a better job of cueing left-right transitions.

Beth C (aka toaster)