The Firm: Volume 4: Time-Crunch Workout

Susan Harris, Kai Soremekun
Year Released: 1990

Categories: Circuit Training (cardio and weights)

I like this vid because it gets a lot in in less than an hour. Also, the only floor work it has are the abs, and I don't really like floor work (especially FIRM floor work because it always the same). This tape wouldn't be bad for beginners, if only more instruction were offered on form. If you already know form, and want to try the FIRM, this is a good place to start. Basically, this is low impact. There are a few jacks and hops, but the can be modified with marches. (If you can do a little impact, go for it. There just aren't that many to be problematic.) The aerobics are fun without being dancy and there are some fab lunge/squat combos. The abs aren't bad either. There's one step segment I dislike. I feel out of control. You step up and down doing military presses at, what feels to me like an incredibly fast tempo. I'm afraid I'll trip, fall, and whack myself on the head. And I'm coordinated! This brings me to my other negative comment on this tape. The shoulder work is almost overwhelming. I feel like I am constantly doing front, lateral and overheads lifts for my delts and virtually nothing for biceps and triceps. (Though I guess if you do that much shoulder work, you don't need to do biceps or triceps, your arms will shrivel into vestigal limbs.) I have naturally broad shoulders that build muscle (and tense up) very easily. So for me, all this shoulder work is too much shoulder work. I make substitutions here and there with curls and always make sure I toss in a few extra curls, kickbacks and french presses before the stretch. And I'm confused- what is that dancey thing Kai does at the end? Maybe the should've put it in the aerobic segment and added a little more time on there. All in all, a fine workout that is part of my regular schedule.

Instructor Comments:
They are both decent instructors. Susan offers more instruction than in vol. 1, so this is a better option for novice FIRM users. Kai seems like a fun person, though her cuing is off at times. (Its not really a problem since the steps are amazingly basic. if you do the workout twice, you won't even notice.)