The Firm: Cardio InfernoSue Mi Powell
Year Released: 2007
Categories: Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance
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I've been doing The Firm workouts since BSS1 came out and I am definitely a Firm Believer. I've tried other workouts but I always come back to The Firm. That being said, I have to say that I am very disappointed with this video. I couldn't disagree more with the people who said that Sue Mi's cuing was good- I thought it was horrible, especially at the beginning. Even the other MI's kept getting confused, Allie in particular. I had assumed when it came out, due to the title, that it would be focused entirely on cardio and that isn't the case at all. All in all, this isn't the worst video that I've ever done, but it certainly isn't the best, either.09/17/2010
This is a 31 minute interval workout led by Sue Mi Powell. There are 4 background Firm MI's with Robyn showing the beginner modifications. You will need a few sets of dumbbells for this workout. The set is white brick walls, hardwood floors, and foggy windows.
I like this workout but I dont love this workout. I do use it in my rotation on a fairly regular basis (I have a huge collection so "regularly" is relative).
This workout has seperate cardio and sculpting sections-before each segment a screen comes up with "Sculpt 1" or "Cardio 1" etc to introduce the next segment. I use this dvd as a cardio workout so I only use one set of light dumbbells and amp up the moves to increase the cardio effect.
All the cardio is pretty easy to follow, there are some "new" and unique moves that took me a few minutes to get, but within the 1st workout I was fine, so they cant be that difficult as I am not the best at picking up choreography. Some of the cardio moves include step touch, ski, knee pull-ski-run move, low jacks, A steps, hamstring curls,
A lot of the strength moves are more like light 4 limb work, not serious strength moves-another reason why I like to use this as a cardio workout. I use the sculpting segments as cardio breaks and use the light dumbbells to up the intensity of my cardio. Some of the sculpting moves include a lunge-glute lift-rhomboid pinch combo, side shoulder raises, etc.
I would rate this workout a lower intermediate workout that could easily be modified up or down to suit your needs.
Sue Mi is a very good lead and cues well. I would have liked to see more workouts from her before she left the Firm.
I am reviewing this workout after doing it once. I am a big Firm fan (from the classics through the Pink Firms) and this was a fun 30 minute workout. There was a LOT of 4-limbed weighted work in this workout (maybe 50%!) and I was disappointed given that it is supposed to be a cardio workout, however the cardio was very good and the music was motivating. It is really more like an AWT (aerobic weight training) workout than a true cardio workout however.
Similar to Firm Bootcamp Maximum Calorie Burn with Alison Davis, this video has titled sections (Sculpt 1, Cardio 1, Sculpt 2, Cardio 2, and Cool Down). I thought this was a little over the top given the very abbreviated time of the workout, and would have preferred shorter weight/cardio intervals (and not broken up by different chapters but just flowing into each other) to match the shorter overall workout time.
That said, both the cardio and sculpt sections were fun and I felt I got a pleasant cardio burn from the workout. I would rate it low-intermediate due to the short length. They do not recommend a poundage for the sculpt sections, I used 5# but reduced to 3# because I have DOMS from a previous day's workout. I think 5# is the heaviest one could use with good form anyway, and due to the unique movements, maybe 3-4# would be preferrable.
Like other Pink Firms, this has excellent production values. This is in the very airy white brick backed room and Kelsie, Alison, and Allie are background exercisers with Robyn as the modifier to my right behind Sue Mi. The music is on par with other Pink Firms and had a good beat, very appropriate for this short, fast moving workout.
I was a little concerned because this workout did not get good reviews on Collage, but I thought the cuing was adequate (I did not get lost and I am definitely NOT good with complicated choreography) and that the moves were not too difficult to understand. I will admit to preferring other Pink Firm workouts better (Pump, Jump, and Jab; 500 Calorie Workout; etc.) but this is a good workout for what it is, a brief 30-minute AWT workout. I would recommend this to Pink Firm fans who want more variety in their collection, who want a slightly easier low-intermediate workout, don't mind a good amount of 4-limb weighted work mixed into their cardio or for usage as a light AWT workout, or just want to see Sue Mi finally lead a workout (like me!) Grade B.
I think that Sue Mi is adorable! She has been a background exerciser since the Anna Benson mansion set days and I was happy to see her finally lead a workout. She is a good cuer and lead, about on par with the other Pink Firm Master Instructors. She did stumble over her words a little bit but it was her first workout as the instructor.
I really liked this short workout. The name is rather misleading; it's not all cardio as the name implies, but has alternating cardio and sculpt sections. The sculpt sections are classic 4 limbed aerobics, and I liked that they didn't go overboard on the compound moves. For example, I sometimes lose my balance in the "chop" move where you lunge forward then turn to the side.
Advanced exercisers and Cathe junkies need to pick something else; I can just imagine the "it wasn't hard enough" reviews. This workout is great for beginners, low intermediates, people short on time, pregnant folks and folks getting back into exercising after an injury or illness. It's only 30 minutes, but it is a good 30 minutes.
The set was my favorite, the white brick loft-style set with frosted glass windows, hardwood floors and no badging. The music reminded me of Project You, which was a plus. Light weights are used for the entire workout; I used 3 pound weights thinking this was an all cardio workout, but 5 pound weights would really ramp up the sculpt sections and get your heart rate up.
The workout was very easy to follow and featured no weird steps or hard to follow cues, a bonus when you've only got 30 minutes. Sue Mi was kind of chatty, but most of the chattiness was either gearing you up for the next move, or pointing out your form. She did mention calorie burning a few times, but at 5 weeks pregnant, it's easy for me to ignore that sort of thing.
I can see myself using this workout a lot in the months to come as I go from almost Cathe level to pregnant and nearly toppling over.
This is Sue Mi's first time out of the background, and I found her rather engaging. Her cuing was great, and she gave a lot of form pointers. I hope to see more of her.
This is short but brisk and not a bad intermediate workout. It starts off very easily, with lots of step touches, grapevines and arm movements to match. I was afraid I would get bored to death, but then that segment ends and you never have to do it again.
There are two brief weight segments and two cardio-only segments. The weight moves are compound (lunge with glute lift plus bicep curl, for example). The cardio includes the Firm-famous plyos, kicks, low jacks, and even a somewhat complicated layered on move where four knees become two knees, cross-country ski and a leap.
the workout went by so fast that it's actually a little difficult to remember everything. But I ended up feeling like it was a perfect add-on workout to really get that extra edge of sweat. By itself it would be good for a light day if you're intermediate/advanced.
After seeing her work out in all those countless old Firm videos, it's nice to see her instruct. Her voice is husky and yet just this shy of squeaky, without actually being squeaky. As it is, it's pleasant but quite distinctive. Her cuing is brisk and mostly on time, and she doesn't indulge in a lot of slogans beyond a few "burning lots of calories" phrases. She does have a tendency to constantly raise her eyebrows, giving her a vaguely strained, worried look despite the constant smile. But I find her quirky, cute and rather endearing. And honestly, as an Asian American it's a small thrill for me to see one leading a workout.