The Firm: Strength (aka: Strong Body)

Pam Meriwether
Year Released: 1995

Categories: Circuit Training (cardio and weights)

This has to be my absolutely favorite Firm. It is a video filled with exercises that will target all the trouble spots that we all hate. Pam starts off with a great warm up to super upbeat music and then a nice stretch set to jazzy music. The only time you need a 8-10 inch box is during the stretch. If you don't have one, you can really do the stretch on the floor. This is a fun circuit video which alternates heavy weight training with floor aerobics ( low impact).

The first segmant is aerobics using 3-5LB dumbells. You do a fun chacha with a triple step and then some squats. You do a bicep curl and side delt raise with the chacha. Then some lunges, dips and squats are next with heavy dumbells. You can make it easy ( no weights) or tough ( heavy barbell). Some other unique features in this video includes some excellent back work using a barbell and a towel. I would highly recommend getting a barbell for this workout but if you don't have one, you can still use dumbells because Pam switches to dumbells as well.

The aerobics are fairly simple to learn. Nothing complex. There is 2 sections of tall box ( 12-14inch) work which are very great for the glutes, hamstrings and quad muscles. This workout includes also is a killer workout for those awful drooping triceps muscles. I say this because it is one of my trouble spots. Pam keeps the workout fresh by doing pushups then French press then some more pushups and then French press again. My triceps are really burning at this time! Whoa! Then she does some plyo hops but when I was 9 months pregnant and doing this workout, I just did quick low impact squats when Pam jumped. Then when you think your done, nope, Pam does a final set of tricep kickbacks. This workout has really toned this area let me tell you. There is a great set of squats at the end of the final standing leg work that really puts the finishing "burn" on the workout. I am dripping with sweat at the end. Then she does some great arm work for the shoulders.

Oh , my absolute favorite part is the lat rows with heavy dumbells and upright rows. The music has a latin flair to it that I will never tire of. Also speaking of the music, it is excellent in my opinion. I never seem to get tired of hearing it.

The floor work starts off with my favorite. Inner thigh raises and then she goes into some more tricep work using dumbells. The ab work is very unique because you use dumbells and ankle weights for resistance. The cool down is relaxing and I feel well deserved! I would highly recommend this workout to anyone! A+

I also really like the set of the workout. It's in a library with white statues and paintings. The colors of the set are deep purples and pink and the background exercisers are wearing pink, purple, yellow, blue. Such great colors. Pam is wearing creme with black. They are working out on beautiful multicolored rugs that match the set.

Instructor Comments:
Pam is a perfect instructor for this video because her body reflects the title. She is very Strong looking. Her form is perfect especially during the tall box and she has a gentle way of teaching with her quiet voice. It goes to show you that you can still be feminine and muscular at the same time. Pam shows this throughout the workout. She is very tan and more toned compared to when she was in Firm 6 ( one of the background exercisers). Her blonde mane is pulled back into a nice braid and when she does her final Firm 1 "pose" at the end, she reminds me of Susan Harris a little bit.

Mandy Lee