Kickbutt Push Pull

Heidi Tanner, Kimberly Spreen
Year Released: 2005

Categories: Circuit Training (cardio and weights)

This workout has already been broken down thoroughly, so I am just going to add my own opinions. I am reviewing this workout after having done it several times. Push Pull is a remake of the original Fitprime From the Ground Up, led by Heidi Tanner. Having done both, they are near exact, with the main difference being that FTGU is done barefoot and Push Pull is done with sneakers. The exercises and music sequencing is all the same. In general I do not think one needs both workouts in their collections. I prefer Push Pull because I like the updated set and production values, I prefer using shoes, and I like the inclusion of Kimberly for the cardio routines. This is a mostly strength oriented AWT workout with several cardio intervals which really keep the heart rate up. Heidi leads the majority of the video (the warm up, all strength work, all floor work, and final stretch) while Kimberly leads the three cardio intervals. This workout clocks in at about 50 minutes.

The workout starts with a warm up of quick moving cha chas, sashays, and side shuffles, combining curtsey lunges into a fairly intense (more so than other WFHN warm-ups) cardio warm up. The standing strength work begins with a lunge and biceps set, then a slide lunge set, leg press, one leg squat with overhead press, pushups with opposite hand on tall step (intense, gets my pecs every time!), four sets of triceps work (dips, pushups, French press, and kickbacks, done throughout the leg work), two sets of double arm back row and rhomboid pinches. The cardio with Kimberly is all kickbox-themed: the first set is mostly kicks with lots of roundhouse kicks to get up the heart rate, the second set is mostly punches with some good twisting and rotational work, and the third set is mostly v-step and knee repeater combinations. The cardio is sprinkled throughout the strength work. Heidi does lead what I might consider a 4-limb cardio segment using very light weights, keeping the arms at shoulder height and doing various tall climb variations on the tall step (I used 3# bells and could barely keep my shoulders up the whole time). Then down to the floor with Heidi for Pilates-inspired core work, one leg teasers and some crunch variations. I enjoy that the floor work was timed at the end of the workout instead of the beginning. Then the final stretch.

This is a very quick moving and intense workout. My heart rate gets up and stays up consistently throughout the workout until the floor work. I used mostly 12# bells and upped the intensity on the cardio, and got in a high intermediate workout. The moves are all creative and have little twists on them to make them more intense, like the tall step used for the pushup sequence. I usually get DOMS in my upper body more here as there is quite a bit of arm and back work in the DVD. This is one of my more used WHFN workouts because it moves very quickly, is fun and intense.

Like all WHFN workouts, the production values are excellent and the set has a classical look like the mansion set of the old Firm, but updated and fresh. The music score in Push Pull has a western/country theme, very peppy and fast moving which mirrors the fast moving moves and pace of the workout. Heidi and Kimberly both did a great job leading the workout. The background exercisers all had good form and didnít do anything distracting or annoying. This workout always makes me feel good and WELL worked, but not puke in a bucket hard. I would consider the workout to be high intermediate but easily modifiable up or down depending on poundage used. I would recommend this to any who enjoy Anna Benson productions, AWT, and/or are looking for a creative update on a classic Firm workout feel and intensity. Grade A!

Instructor Comments:
Heidi and Kimberly are both great instructors. Kimberly has an obvious flair for kickboxing and that shows here (all three cardio sections are kickbox-themed). Heidi is classic, she was wonderful in the early Firm days and she continued to be elegant and professional in her WHFN days. They both smile and are encouraging.

Emily B.