The Firm: Complete Aerobics & Weight Training (BSS2)Emily Welsh
Year Released: 2003
Categories: Circuit Training (cardio and weights)
This workout has already been thoroughly broken down, so I am just going to add my impressions here. This is one of the Body Sculpting System II (BSS2) workouts put out by The Firm under the tutelage of Goodtimes. I think this is one of the best Firm workouts that Goodtimes produced. It is a comprehensive 58 minute AWT workout led by Emily Welsh with a strength emphasis (even the cardio is strength-oriented). The set is uncluttered and the theme is blue (all of the master instructors wear similar blue tops and black pants). This workout, like all BSS2 workouts, use the Fanny Lifter and the sculpting stick, which is used at times like a barbell or like a dowel. I have and use the Fanny Lifter for this workout; I donít have the sculpting stick so I just use a barbell, dumbbells, or dowel as appropriate-you do not need the stick to get the most out of this workout, however you do need the FL or a comparable step.
The workout is very comprehensive and has longer strength intervals (which includes upper and lower work) followed by aerobic intervals. The aerobic intervals included kickboxing, 4-limb, and primarily low-impact floor aerobics. I particularly liked that there was nothing dancy or complicated, and they didnít overdo the step aerobics like they do in some workouts. The strength portions included two sets of leg press (yes!), hover squats, lunges onto the 8Ē step, plie squats, two sets of one arm lat rows and one set of double arm lat row, French press (both standing and prone), triceps kickbacks, two sets of biceps-the shoulders were worked by way of the 4-limb work. There was a great ab set at the end-Emily gave lots of attention to the lower abs, not just the upper/obliques like many workouts.
The workout is an hour long but the time went by very quickly. Emily kept a good pace between exercises but didnít go too fast with reps, making it easy to pyramid up in weights. Like another reviewer said, she did a good job at organizing the exercises so not many poundage/equipment swaps were needed. The music was especially good Ė I recognized many of the tunes from other Firm, 10 Minute Solution, even Ellenís Studio workouts. It was sort of like a ďbest ofĒ track! The music that I didnít recognize was still very good. The production quality was high like all the other Firm workouts.
This workout is a great addition-dare I say a must have- for Firm lovers. While I would say this doesnít have the intensity of a Firm Classic workout, it does have the charisma. The aesthetics are different (no mansion set, smaller class, more modern) but this is probably the most like a Firm Classic of the newer Firms. At the end I feel thoroughly worked out, but not beaten or exhausted. Like I mentioned, the moves were executed slow enough to be able to heavy up in poundage (a con of the newer Firm workouts, IMO) and Emily incorporated a lot of exercises to make it an efficient and effective hour. This workout is intermediate but can easily be modified up or down to suit your needs. Overall grade A!
I think this is the first Firm workout that Emily leads and she does a great job. She is confident, speaks clearly, smiles, encourages you, gives form pointers, and mirror cues. The exercises and aerobic choreography is basic and straight forward, no complex moves with a learning curve like in her later Pink Firm workouts.