The Firm: Cardio Burn

Tamela Hastie
Year Released: 1999

Categories: Circuit Training (cardio and weights) , Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance

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The video has been described and broken-down pretty thoroughly. I really liked the musc as a few songs had an 80s new wave/rock sound.

I love short videos and pull this one out again and again. I am completely sweating and love the idea of getting some cardio and then going to the weights. It is a nice mix of a bit of everything and I feel like I worked!

Of course, I wouldn't do this type of workout daily, but it does have great variety and the time flies!

Instructor Comments:
She has a fun, friendly way about her. Others have commented on her poor form, but I only noticed this after I read the reviews. I would definitely do another of her workouts.

Rachel B (countrygirl)


Now I had originally purchased this tape back in 2000. I tried it a couple of times and had a difficult time with it because I was not an advanced exerciser. You see, this workout requires a lot of endurance and energy. So I sold it.

Now, after becoming more advanced, I re-purchased this tape and I had the best time with it! Cardio Burn is a fun video and it really gives you an incredible fat burning workout by keeping your heart rate up.

The tape begins with the warm-up and then progresses in a series of floor aerobics, step work (with some tricky footwork that takes practice), and minimal weight training. Yes, all of your muscles are worked in this tape, but the flavor is mainly cardio. Lots of plyos and power moves, but it is over before you know it. The weight work that comes after the cardio is still enough to keep your heartrate up and then the tape finishes with a great set of abdominal moves and a cool down/stretch.

Try this tape if you are a seasoned, advanced exerciser who is familiar with the FIRM. Don't try this tape if you are a beginner. Trust me, it is worth it when you can build up you strength and endurance because you will get the maximum benefits.

Instructor Comments:
Tamela Hastie is very upbeat and motivating. I like the fact that she seems very "real" as I did the workout - meaning that she had an awesome personality that made me feel as if I was putting my best effort forward.

Jennifer Haag


I saw that there were some negative reviews of this video, so I hesitated to try it out, but I'm glad I did. Wow! I am a low advanced exerciser and have been doing Maximum Cardio for a while. I expected something similar, but I thought Cardio Burn was very different and lots of fun! I would say this is a notch tougher than Maximum Cardio because of the high impact segments. As others have mentioned, there is an abundance of plyometric jumps in this one, so it's not for everyday. The ab segment also seemed tougher than the one in Maximum Cardio, but it's not too long. Tamela Hastie is very friendly and encouraging. This video has all the great variety of all FIRM videos with more of a traditional aerobic feel and a much less cheesiness. Thumbs up!

Caroline Kim


review of both The FIRM- Maximum Cardio and Cardio Burn

I was very disappointed in these tapes. I am a long-time FIRM fan, and own several classic and newer titles. I concede that you will get a decent workout (as usual), but the combinations are sooooo BORING. It has gotten to the point that all of the tapes sound and look the same. From the prissy, pretty, robotic instructors to the up/down, lunge/squat moves, the yawn factor is high!!!! I've seen the same combos since Firm 4, (which I bought for $49.99- you know how long ago that was!!) The Benson sisters consider themselves "Rennaissance Women." Come on girls, get wih the program, drop the 80's attitude, and try something new.



This workout is becoming one of my favorite Firm's!! The warm-up uses a weighted ball and you don't have to have the ball for the rest of the workout. The stretch uses light weights. I like this because you get some light toning as you stretch the calf and hip flexor. The workout starts off with 2 step sections. One is more low impact but the second section is more tricky and high impact. You have to really memorize the choreography because the cueing is confusing. The rest of the workout flies by and is so much fun to do. It is high impact choreography circuited with light floorlimb toning(like squats with a side delt lift). The high impact choreography is power squats and alot of jogging. There are some fun turns. Tamela looks like a cheerleader. The light toning is tough though because you get alot of reps. I never thought a 5lb dumbbell would be tough! The aerobics section finishes off with some tough tall box climb. She does over 50 reps and my heartrate is way up there! The rest of the workout is toning for the body. A barbell and dumbbells are uses. Tamela does some fun lunges with plie work. The lunges are fast like a lunge you would do as you chase a tennis ball. I liked how they put lunges right after the tall box climb. This really felt good in the glutes. She then does a hover squat/squat combination with pushups. I love the music on this section! Really jazzy. The dips to classical music are tough when you use a heavy barbell. She also does some bunny lunges as you hold the barbell in an isometric bicep hold. The bunny lunges are tiny lunges to the side. The bicep curls with the barbell are nice and slow so you really feel it. The workout ends with some minimal tricep work. She does 2 sets of French Press and 1 set of kickbacks. The ab work is very good. It's alot like Pam Cauthen's STrength ab work. Alot of upper and lower ab combo crunches and side oblique crunches. Very thorough. The cool down is very short and I wish she held the stretches a little longer. She does the stretch to Swan Lake music. It's a great fast 45 minute workout. It just flies by. Tamela wears a blue tank top and shorts outfit. The set is the famous Firm mansion setting with peachy/orange wall color. The music is more new wave and light rock. Kinda like U2 or Bruce Springstein. But there is jazz and classical music too.

Instructor Comments:
Tamela reminds me of a mixture of Susan Harris(the long blond ponytail is back!) and LaReine Chabut(playful eye with the camera). Tamela is full of smiles and energy. I just love working out with her as a teacher. It's amazing that she has 3 boys! She has a very inspiring body type.

Mandy Lee


I liked this workout right from the start but decided to reserve my opinion until I had given it more time. I love it now. I can say this is a Firm cardio that puts me at my 70-80% zone for at least 30 minutes of the workout if not more. I have worked out with the Firm for about 10 years and have never had injury problems, so that is not a concern for me with this video. It does have quite a bit high impact which might be a negative for some, but it is something I enjoy. I use this video on my cardio/light wt workout days. I like the long segment of tall box presses and also the addition of curtsey dips (although they are called something else I think). I have always liked the four limb sections and this one has a delt segment that I get a burn on, if I use 8 lbs, which is max for me on delts. I also like the ab workout, it has some different oblique moves that I love. The tape covers triceps pretty well, with pushups, kickbacks and french presses. It takes a lot to get my biceps and this tape doesn't do much for them except kick up the cardio on some low impact segments. One thing that stands out for me on this video is the music. It reminds me of the sweeping orchestral soundtracks on westerns from the sixties! I find it keeps me moving from beginning to the final stretch. So overall I would have to say that I bought this tape at Walmart for $12.99 and I am extremely satisfied and pleased with it! It's a lot of fun and I'm dripping with sweat at the end. It doesn't get much better than that!

Instructor Comments:
This was my first experience with Tamela and in the beginning she annoyed me. There was something about the way she tilted her head that got on my nerves! But now after doing the tape 6 or 7 times I have to say I really like her. Her cuing is great and she isn't abnormally scrawny or muscley, so I think she is motivating to look at. Her voice is easy to listen to and the workout is so challenging that her little quirks don't get to me. I also prefer the one instructor Firms like this one.



I purchased this video because I really liked Tamela in "Core Cardio 1" but I didn't think I would find it intense enough. WRONG! It slays me -- by the time we move to the weight segments I think, "Enough already!" I am an advanced exerciser and do Cathe's cardio regularly. IMO, this one is harder than "Interval Max" and "Power Max" in cardio intensity. The cardio sequences in "Cardio Burn" are not as long as a Cathe cardio workout, but for some reason those plyo jumps, when performed jumping as high as one can go are very challenging. I love this video and to be honest, until Cardio Split 1 and Super Sculpting I was beginning to think that the Firm had lost its magic for me. Not true. I strongly recommend this video -- it was money well spent and I place it in my personal

Instructor Comments:
I am very partial to Tamela Hastie, having met her in person on a Firm Roadtrip while she was 6 months pregnant with her third son and still going strong. Tamela is a great instructor, IMO, and I find her very motivating! I loved her in the "Blast" series and had to have a video that was entirely her instr

Amy Steppe


This was the first Firm workout I tried and liked.K-mart had it on sale for $12.99, and I think that it's worth that price. Again, I'll say, Firm cardio(in general), is not really cardio. So, if you're looking to get that heart rate up and hold it there for 40 minutes; this tape is not for you. Too mant changes of equipment, first tall box, then floor, add weights, drop the get the picture.

This starts with a short workout(which I've come toexpect from the Firm), if that doesn't suit you, add your own.Then moves into short box work with no weights: toe taps, "karate" front kicks with punches, L steps, knee repeaters, jacks, squats and lunges side to side. Remove the box,and hi/lo with no weights(faster tempo)-calf pumps, Vstep with hops back,hammer curl jacks and double kicks. Then, you get small weights for more hi/lo, but a slower tempo-suats with lateral raises,tap side-front-side with uppright rows, sambas & heel ups. Another tempo chande, faster and no weights-power jumps run, double rins, hip twist and pivot circles(that's what I call them). All of this ends with some tall box work with a barbellhover squats, lunges, dips, squats with raised heels(killer). There are some push-ups and a short ab section. I found this workout fun(especailly for the firm), and this surprised me. Well worth it's price.

Instructor Comments:
Yes, I'll say it again, the Firm instructors are "stiff". Tamela, I think, has the hardest time trying not to be "stiff". She says several times "This is fun", but it's feeble at best. Others have commented on her "poor" form, but I didn't see that. Tamela appears to be very tall,long body and even longer legs. This makes for the appearance of her leaning too far forward during squats and similar exercises.



Well, this video was quite a disappointment. I haven't seen any other reviews, but I'm sure someone has broken down the workout specifics already. Basically, the majority of the problems here center of the horrid form of Tamela and the cast. The box says great for beginners to adavanced- NOT! Tamela's upper body hunches over her legs during the step aerobics. Her thighs collapse inward on squats (esp. plyo moves). Half the cast has overarched backs throughout the workout. And most of them can't do a plie correctly. There are high impact aerobics with weights, and the stretch at the warm up is no stretch, its an opportunity to squeeze out some more toning. The bunny lunges aren't instructed at all. I'm unclear as to what they are for and how to do them. This video has some really fun stuff, from the aerobics to the toning portions. And Tamela really is pleasant with a warm and real smile. And I get the feeling when she says "this is fun" she actually means it. Given that, I wanted to like this tape. With all the problems with form I can't recommend this at all to beginners, and I even have a hard time recommending it to advanced. No matter how experienced you are, I think the person who is being presented as an instructor, a professional, a master, an expert, however you want to call them, should use good form and take some time to remind the user of it as well. Would it be so horrible to remind people not to hyperarch their backs? Would it distract that much to remind the cast that thighs stay parallel in a squat? Even instructors go to master classes to get updates on choreography and to perfect thier form to better teach their classes. This video is too intense for an exerciser not to use good form. And when you present your videos as the best, the instructor's form should pass muster. Sorry, Firm, this one doesn't make the grade.

Instructor Comments:
Tamela is cute, and perky. She reminds me of the women who lead Firm vol. 5. Her cueing is average for the Firm, and her form in many spots is atrocious. She says this is fun constantly. She has a nice smile and is pleasant though, so I can overlook all of this but the form problems.



Since noone has broken this video down yet, to my knowledge, I will do so.

The work out starts with a warm-up with a 2 lb. weight ball. (I used a 2 lb. dumbell instead)

Then on to a "stretch?" and warm-up with dumbells. A more traditional stretch would have been better.

Next comes stepping with a 4" box which includes simple steps with karate kicks and some propulsion moves at the end.

Next, you alternate two sets of mostly high-impact floor aerobics(with some plyometrics) with dumbell weight-work while your feet are moving. (A real Firm staple).

Then on to a mostly low-impact floor aerobic routine with plyos added.

Now it's time for 14" box stepping followed by barbell(or dumbell)lunges and plies.

No you're not done yet!! Next comes two alternating sets of "hover" squats and push-ups. I had never done hover squats before. They are killers but you really need to watch your knees!

Next a set of Quad-dips, cross-over lunges, and bicep curls all done with a barbell.

Now several sets of dumbell french presses and tricep kick-backs.

Finally, a short ab-work section followed by a stretch.

I am an advanced exerciser. Overall, I would give this tape a "B". I was sweating and a bit tired by the end but it just can't compare to the earlier Firm tapes by Susan Harris, et al.

Instructor Comments:
Tamela Hastie is OK. She is energetic and in good shape. She does a fairly good job of cuing and shows fairly good form. However she said "This is fun" in a fake tone once too often for me.

Barbara Price


I am pleasantly surprised at how intense this tape is and how much I like it. To give some background, I'm an advanced exerciser and a Firm fan who hasn't been completely thrilled with their offerings in the past few years. I have the Blast tapes and really like CC1 because it's intense. CC2 is okay, but I couldn't stand Bust and Butt and traded it at the first opportunity.

Cardio Burn started out with a short warm up with the ball (which I don't have) and a stretch with 3lb weights. I actually enjoyed this and don't think it compromised safety at all. It then dives right into two short box sections, the second one being the tough one from CC1 with all the over-the-tops. Then it's on to several higher-impact and 4-limb aerobics sections. One of the 4-limb sections reminds me of Volume 2 - fun! Next are all the sections with plyo, which was pretty tough. After this is tall box climbs - I like how long this section is. Then we move into the weight work, which I really thought was great. A full set of lunges, a full set of dips, two sets of hover squats, a short set of bunny lunges that incorporates some brutal bicep work, a set of triceps kickbacks sandwiched between some French presses, two sets of pushups, and some great ab work that was straightforward and effective. IMO the weight work was reminiscent of the Classic Firms, which I think is a plus. It doesn't cover all the major muscle groups (shoulders, back, etc), but since I don't consider this a weights tape it didn't really bother me. It ended with an okay stretch. I stretch on my own, so I never care what the stretches are like.

Overall, this tape scored high in all the categories that matter to me - motivating music, fun routines, good instructor, good quality production, solid weight work, and most importantly, intensity!! I was dripping with sweat by the end. I'd rate it a notch less intense than CC1, but I like it better because it's not so disjointed and the transitions aren't at such a dizzying pace. If you use heavy weights for the weight work I would rate it about as intense as Tough Aerobics Mix. Grade - A

Instructor Comments:
I thought Tamela did a great job. She's upbeat and pleasant, and I think she does a fine job instructing. Her "this is funs" aren't as apparent in this tape as in the Blasts, and when she says it I kind of agree with her! The cast is more natural looking than in past Firm tapes - not as stiff, and a lot of them seem to be really sweating!

Elizabeth Graves


I just did this video for the first time this morning, so I thought I'd submit a review. I really enjoyed this video and had a lot of fun. When I got done, I just had that feeling of "wow, I liked that workout". It really reminding me of some of the classic workouts with more aerobics and less intense weight training, ala, Vol 2 and 3. I liked the hi-impact aerobics, which oddly, I wasn't too impressed with in Core Cardio 1. I think it's the way it's all sequenced, that it flowed. Right after a plyo series, you'd move into some 4-limbed aerobics and my HR could recover. I had my HRM on, and got 35 minutes in my training zone, which I thought was good for the length of tape. I did not use as heavy weights for the lunges, dips,and squats that I would for heavy work, because I just wanted to feel the moves, not train heavy for this workout (Did PS Legs yesterday).

Anyway, maybe it was the novelty of having ONE instructor the whole time, but I thought it flowed really well, and the music was great. I felt refreshed afterward, but not wiped out as other FIRMS can leave me, since the weight work is minimal (probably why it's a FIRM CARDIO tape...).

Instructor Comments:
I thought Tamilee did a great job, and was happy and pleasant. Her comments about "this is fun" were not as frequent as they seem to be in Core Cardio 1 because of the spacing, so they didn't bother me.

Lucy Loftin


I just wanted to put my chump change in on this too... this video is just too dreadful to not write in. To be fair, my box has a banner that says for intermediate and advanced. As has been previously mentioned, the cast and the instructor use terrible form. And there are very few form pointers. I know, many advanced videos don't include them, so I won't slight them for that. I also think all that equipment is so silly, especially since so much of it is used only in passing and in no meaningful way. Like the ball. All they used it for was in the warm up, and I didn't have a handy replacement so I used nothing and felt like I got fine warm up that way. Who wants to pay $40 for a ball you use for 5 min.? Also, all the steps you juggle... I understand why the Firm uses 2 sizes, but maybe they could come up with another workout that only uses one again, or do a workout where you use one step, do all the stuff you do with it, then put it away and bring out the next step, then put it away... I feel like I'm juggling equipment. And I think the barbell is misguided. The cast and leader used very poor form and need to learn proper form with light weights before they "heavy up" with their barbells. Also, and this has nothing to do with Tamala's instruction, I'm confused why the camera kept focusing on her rear end, especially when her shorts were riding up. It really seems to undermine the Firm's idea that are building strong women and not babes. Finally, I have to agree- if you're going to go about saying that you have the best videos available (and the best workout system around) you better make darned sure that your productions are worthy of that claim. Like all Firm videos, this one looks great, but its claim on being the best is only superficial.

Instructor Comments:
tamala is cute and smiles a lot. she doesn't strike as a very professional instructor- her form, as someone else mentioned, is appalling. she does have a pleasant demeanor though, and seems quite enthusiastic.