FitPrime Weights First

Tracie Long
Year Released: 2002

Categories: Circuit Training (cardio and weights) , Total Body Workouts

I did this tape for the first time this AM and the workout is KILLER, Tracie is just in peak form and I really worked hard. I loved the variety and I actually enjoyed bouncing the ball (I used my daughter's play ball) while doing lunges - it really kept my mind off the agony...

I think I'd like to refute some of the misconceptions about this tape:

Oh no, all one side FIRST?
This workout is not entirely split so that you do 25 min on one side, then move onto the other.

After the warm up you do some squats and then about 15min of exercises where you alternate LEFT leg work (non-dominant side) with BOTH side efforts. Left side lunges, then upper body work, then left side step-ups, then more upper body. Then you do squats for about 3min.

Then you do 15min of work on the RIGHT leg but in between lunges & step-ups you do DIFFERENT upper body exercises. So it's not repetitive (FIRM Lower Body Split comes to mind here) where you feel as if you could have just copied the first 15min of film and played it in a mirror to do the other side. There's lots of variety.

What, there's a lengthy stretch RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE?
Not really. Before Tracie moves onto the right side, she does a ONE-MINUTE stretch. Yup. One minute. Could FF through it if it bugs you, really.

Isn't this ball & stick thing contrived and unnecessary?
I really felt like the stick was used for one unique balance exercise and the rest of the time it was used entirely as an OPTION if you needed it for balance. I didn't use it at all during the forward and backward lunges, I think using your balance strengthens supporting muscles more.

The ball was very good for the ab & core work at the end. I liked it in the lunges because it DID keep my mind off the agony - really, you don't "count reps" when you're bouncing the ball.

You probably don't need the ball for the warm-up tosses at the beginning - but to tell you the truth, it got me reaching and squatting more deeply than I would have without it. This might not last, I"m famous for skipping warm-ups. But Tracie got me to warm-up and that's the first time I've done that with a video in years.

I heard the music is new-age and the camerawork and the production quality is shoddy
I thought the music in Weights First was good although I prefer rock music (Cathe's Pure Strength series with the 70's & 80's rock 'n' roll!). It was very well cued and obviously was recorded especially for this workout. Several tracks reminded me SO much of the Tortoise and other FIRM workouts it was deja vu.

In the beginning the lighting varies between cameras on the close shots of Tracie, but this only affects the first few minutes of the workout.

I played the video on my 27" tv and didn't feel that the picture was grainy at all. I'm wondering if some folks got poor reproductions.

This is NOT amateur camera work. It may not be the best lighting, but it's not poor camera work. The camera switches between long & close-up shots, follows Tracie while she moves and occasionally close-ups on her picking up weights so you can determine the size you'll need.

The parts where folks complained about the camera cutting off Tracie's head cracked me up because it was obvious to me that the camera was trying to capture the exercise as closely as possible - for example when she tosses the ball hand to hand in the warm-up. The camera also follows her when she squats and stays on her so you can see her face and trunk and hear her cue.

I think that the camerawork is better than many tapes and it didn't affect my workout.

Here's the breakdown of the tape:
warm-up 6.5min
good mornings & squats 2min
15min Left side lunges, squats, tricep extensions & rows on left side, step-ups & upper body (upright rows & some others I'm forgetting!)
stretch 1min
squats 2.5min
15min Right side lunges, squats, triceps extensions & rows on right side, step-ups & upper body (push-ups on the ball & step, bicep curls)
abs & yoga stretch 15min (includes 3min abs with Oof ball, 3min stretch, back to abs with ball & hyperextension lower back & core work, and final yoga stretch 9min)

One comment on safety - I find good mornings hard to do safely with any amount of weight on the barbell and since Tracie alternates with squats, I really did want to up the weights. So I'm going to substitute deadlifts for the good mornings next time and load up.

Also, Tracie does upright rows with a barbell, a known stressor for wrists and shoulder rotator cuffs. I substituted overhead shoulder presses with heavy dumbbells.

This is a unique and challenging workout that really reminds me of some of the better FIRM workouts - I've waited four years for a challenging well-designed FIRM workout and this comes pretty dang close. I'd liken the production quality to that you'd see with a BodyBar workout.

Hopefully others will judge this tape for its own merits. I'd like to see more tapes like this one produced and I hope the production budget and quality get more consideration in future projects.

Dawn P