The Firm: Crosstrainers - The TortoiseSusan Harris, Tracie Long
Year Released: 1995
Categories: Circuit Training (cardio and weights)
The Tortoise and The Hare: The Firm
These videos work in tandem, and I only use them as a team, so I'll review them together. I do think I like the Tortoise better, but its just personal style and not a reflection on the quality of the Hare. These are both very complete workouts, only calves and rear shoulders are shortchanged. The ab work is good. I always feel it. And I don't mind the ballroom aerobics. They're nice for a change of pace and are actually pretty simple. Once you've tried them once or twice, you won't get confused by the terms like tango close, and will out your own spice into the cha chas and hip rolls and the like. I really dig the charleston and quick step. Susan has really picked up the flair and expanded the charleston beyond the usual step that tons of videos do. Susan does a good job of leading the stretches and the charleston, but I really liked Tracie and felt she was doing a fine job. I couldn't understand why the change was made. Its not a big deal, though. Also, I don't use a barbell, and use dumbbells instead. This does make a difference on form. I wish they'd have an exerciser or two demo the moves with the dumbbells as well. I think it is more common for women to have dumbbells than a barbell (and the Firm barbell is so expensive!) and barbell sets are big, expensive and awkward (I know I couldn't fit one in my apartment). ON the plus side, the aerobics are primarily low impact, with power options if you want them, and weight work is thorough and tough if you want it to be, or easy going if you prefer. A great workout. the Firm's best...
Tracie is a thoroughly professional instructor. She is motivating and friendly, without being pushy or cheesy. Her form is impeccable, and she does instruct well enough that a novice to the Firm could use this tape. (I'd still recommend the user have some resistance experience, however). Her physique is amazing.