The Firm: Maximum Cardio

Carissa Foster
Year Released: 1999

Categories: Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance

This is one of the 3 newest Firm releases. I was pretty excited to get this tape, but it was very disappointing to get a brand new tape that has the feel of an old over used tape. Many of the sections from Maximum Cardio have shown up in multiple firm parts before the actual workout was release to retail markets. I own many of the "parts" and with all the repeating footage this tape just wasn't either "new" or "exciting".

The workout is approximately 50 minutes in length. This includes a short warm up and cool down and the workout itself.

Like the usual Firm production it includes a large class. The workout includes an aerobic phase that alternates floor aerobics, step aerobics, and four-limbed aerobics with lightweights. Most of the aerobic sections are fairly easy to learn and to execute. As apposed to its counterpart Cardio Burn, the aerobics is moderate impact with plyos and high impact mixed in. The weighted ball is used in the warm up and also in some of the floor aerobics segments. You don't have to have the ball you can substitute or use nothing at all. I don't really think that the ball adds much to the workout; it's just a nice addition to the routine.

The cueing in many of the step aerobics could have been cued better. Cueing was either late, or inaccurate. Making some of the transitions a little sloppy. So you may find you were alternating legs while Carissa was doing one leg at a time. Its not a big deal, but you will notice it. The floor aerobics sections use moves like grapevines, shuffles, jump roping, and drills with the ball doing jogs and high jogs. The step sections are mostly variations on a basic step, with some pivot turns and lots of repeater moves. The four-limbed aerobics on the step included moves like lunges and glute lifts on the step and the floor four limbed aerobics used squats and alternating squats and marches all using light weights and traditional upper body moves like overhead presses, delt lifts and bicep curls.

After the aerobic and four limbed sections you move on to weight work. The weight work is really not worth mentioning. You don't fully work any of the muscles that are hit upon. It's almost an after thought. The weight segments is approximately 10-13 minutes long. I think it would have sufficed for this tape to have more cardio and four limbed aerobics rather than the weight work at the end.

All in all I would rate it as the best of the 3 new Firm Cardio's. It's not as high impact as the other 2 tapes. I give this tape a B+; it just doesn't stack up the stellar workouts they produced with Cardio & Strength. I will say that if you really love the Firm Style I think you will find this tape more to your liking.

I really wish that the Firm wouldn't use parts of a "new" tape in the compiled parts series before the workout is released.

Susie F.