Kickbutt Push Pull

Heidi Tanner, Kimberly Spreen
Year Released: 2005

Categories: Circuit Training (cardio and weights)

Push Pull reproduces the FTGU workout with vivid music & color but less intense cardio. Kimberly is a talented addition to this workout and directs the kickboxing moves with more precision than Heidi did in the original FTGU workout.

This workout is not as intense as the original FIRMs and I would not consider it as difficult or intense as the FIRM's Blast workouts (Maximum Cardio, Power Cardio, Cardio Burn) or even the FIRM BSS1 & 2 workouts. I would say the cardio is as intense as a Tamilee Webb cardio workout and the toning/Pilates segments too short to further any true strength gains for an intermediate exerciser.

If you're a Cathe-fan who likes intense cardio & focuses weight training you'll be disappointed in Push Pull.

If you liked FTGU and want a high-beginner low-intermediate workout with fantastic music & picture quality, you may want to add Push Pull to your collection. I am an intermediate exerciser and I can see using Push Pull on those days where I"m sore or coming back from an injury and I want a lighter workout.

I received my Push Pull/Steamin' Cardio DVD from on Monday (a day BEFORE the official release date). A bargain at $12.55 + $1 S&H.

Comparision of FitPrime From the Ground Up and WHFN/Kickbutt Push-Pull:

Heidi Tanner (strength & stretching), Kimberly Spreen (cardio)

Equipment: dumbbells, exercise mat, tall step. They use

Picture quality: Exceptional. Colors are very vibrant. So vibrant that in some transitions Heidi's red leotard causes an optical smeared effect. Can see skin tones well and skin imperfections when close-ups on exerciser's legs or chest.

Music: Exceptional. Very motivating, choreographed to moves perfectly, played very loud yet doesn't drown out voices. Mostly instrumental with some vocals, mostly the same tunes from FTGU. Choreographed to moves perfectly. Most tunes are a cross between tribal, jazz and pop - if that's possible. Music selections and matching are a very strong plus for these workouts.

Set: Greek columns, blue/night sky between with bright stars at top. White stone greek statues between columns supporting cauldrons with flames over their heads - although it's an obvious 'Halloween' flame effect. Few large ficus plants in white grecian urns in the corners, the same greek god-watercolor painting on the far left wall as seen in the FIRM 1 & 4.

Overall color scheme is deep blue & white, very striking. Colors are very vibrant.

Greek tiled floor. Heidi is on a dramatic modern multi-colored wool rug that I've seen at retailers.

Cast: 6 background exercisers including 3 from original FIRMs, such as Narty Waters. Exercisers are wearing different-colored tankini-tops with black capris, bike shorts or yoga pants. All are energetic & healthy. One exerciser demonstrates use of equipment substitutes such as water bottles for dumbbells, household stool for high step, and large books for yoga blocks.

Heidi is wearing a red camisole, visible black sports bra, and black calf-length tights, white athletic shoes. She looks healthy, not as relaxed as in FTGU.

Cueing is excellent. Heidi appears to be a bit more nervous than in FTGU - she doesn't use all the cues she used earlier such as the example "dipping your foot in very cold water". Always making suggestions on how to better balance or use the core.

Kimberly is in a red camisole with either black trim & straps or maybe it's a black sports bra & black capris, white athletic shoes. Kimberly is enviously shapely & gorgeous, like a cross between a young Geena Davis & Marilyn Monroe. She is natural on-camera.

Kimberly cues the kickboxing very well and has better form than Heidi demonstrated on FTGU. She keeps great form on her roundhouse kicks. Kimberly sometimes has that kickboxing posture where her shoulders slump forward, I know it's probably second nature but I wished she would stand up straight between segments so we could see how statuesque she is!

The camera transitions from Heidi to Kimberly by cutting to Narty or an exerciser putting down her weights or moving the step, then the camera returns to Kimberly already on center stage. Heidi's voice over says "and now, cardio with Kimberly". Kimberly thanks Heidi and introduces the move quickly while demonstrating.

Transitions back to Heidi are more direct, Heidi comes up, the two high-five each other and Heidi introduces the next exercise. I have to admit after the fourth 'high-five' I was starting to wish they'd just nod as they passed by...

Camera work: The camera angles are similar to original FIRM productions. The camera mostly focuses on the lead instructor in front of a mirror with 4 of the 6 background exercisers visible in the mirror.

DVD format: The DVD has very colorful motion menus with music & flying stars everywhere (as seen on the Kickbutt covers). The top menu allows you to select the actual cover of the workout you want - Push Pull or Steamin' Cardio. The Push Pull workout is chaptered very well, 19 chapters dividing cardio/toning segments - exactly the same as FTGU.

Each workout has a sub-menu labelled 'Select Tune' which is a mix-and-match menu. Folks with programmable DVD players will be able to program from both workouts.

The DVD main menu also has selections for an equipment list (that has pictures of equipment substitutes), first-time tips, credits, and a pass-through to Steamin' Cardio. Interestingly their is no 'back to top menu' link...

The first-time tips describes weights required, pick the right step height, what is your non-dominant side, how to avoid soreness, work up slowly, etc.

The Workout:
3.5 min WARM-UP
No static stretching, it's a dynamic cardio with some sweeping arm movements (cardio mambo-shuffle), identical to FTGU. PP eliminates the static stretching (plie, hamstrings, overhead arms) done in FTGU. The music is VERY motivating.

30 min AWT
Alternating 2.5-3 minute cardio/kickboxing intervals with 3-4 minute toning/stretching segments (exception: the leg-press/squat segment is 10min long). 14 min of cardio total.

These appear to be the exact same segments from FTGU except that the higher-intensity crescent kicks, tuck-jumps & lunge-jumps have been eliminated. Instead of crescent kicks Kimberly does front knee-ups. In another segment Kimberly does a boxer shuffle where Heidi had done a bouncing jump in FTGU. Instead of lunge-jumps in the March Out-In segment Kimberly does double-knee repeaters.

Also - in the kickboxing segments you can tell that Kimberly is trying to keep good form with some moves that would not ordinarily be combined by a kickboxing professional - doing two roundhouses - one on each side in succession.

Another observation: in FTGU Heidi sometimes suggests what weight to use - "I'm using 10lbs" whereas in PP there are no mentions of recommended weights except to say 'get heavy weights".

Includes leg stretches, back rows, core work.

5.5 min STRETCH
Includes runnner's lunge, overhead stretches.

mambo hippy mambo
dip hypers dip hypers
shuffle bob bob & weave Kimberly
dip drags drag dips
speed bag speedbag
nd step press nd press & dip
nd squats nd hovers
d step press d press & dip
d squats d hovers
lunge mambo march out-in
push-ups 3-limb push-ups
step stomps climb & stomp
western-style legs (hamstring/quad stretch)
back rows kneeling row
spine seated ankle-knee
nd v-sits nd core teaser
adduction flyes & v-thread
d v-sits d core-teaser
down dog warrior salutation

51.5 min 51.5 min

Instructor Comments:

Dawn P