The Firm: Cardio Sculpt Blaster

Lisa Kay
Year Released: 2002

Categories: Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance

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In Cardio Sculpt Blaster w/Lisa Kay, you do box, floor, and 4-limbed aerobics with light weights.
I have to say, it's a keeper. Not a party in a box, but a good 30 minute cardio workout, nonetheless. And *no* abs (so it *really* is 30 minutes including the warm-up, cool down and stretch).

The music doesn't excite me like the Maximum Cardio-era music (LOVE the music with those hesitation repeaters!), but it's ok. Yellow color scheme. Light weights (3#) for 4 limbed aerobics, low impact (they add a few jumps for "advanced" exercisers, but you could leave them out if you wanted), simple choreography (simpler than in the infomercial sets), doesn't use a lot of space (which is good because my space is just about 1 grapevine wide). You use your 6" box for the box aerobics, and the tall box for some toe taps and stretches, but could probably lose the tall box entirely without hurting the workout. Ooo, and NO yogish! Just regular stretching.

Instructor Comments:

Renee Drellishak


Yes, this is definitely NOT the old FIRM: it's mostly low impact, they use a 6" step, there's little weight work, little lower body work, no heavy weight work, and the FIRM signature music has been replaced with same-o-same-o club-style music. BUt after several workouts with CSB, I'm very happy with it. It's a nice mix of step, 4-limb, & floor aerobics. They use 3-5 lb weights. I'm advanced and I modify modify: I use an 8" step and the routines make is easy to add lots of high impact. (It's too fast to heavy up on weights.) I check my heartrate constantly and am always in the high end of my t. zone and sweating! And if you must have club music, this is pretty decent. Bottom line: While I much prefer the old FIRM, this is a solid, fun workout with the FIRM's usual high production values and 2 bonuses: the step is more choreographed than usual, and the lack of heavy weight work means I can use it on my cardio-only days. This is a good one to mix with old FIRMs or other new ones. And hey, now that other instructors are upping their prices to $25 (Cathe, CIA), this is a super buy for $15. I'm glad I didn't let some negative reviews keep me from adding this to my FIRM collection.

Instructor Comments:
Lisa Kay is friendly & cues well. I don't mind her saying how fun it is; I agree with her.



This is one of the short add-on workouts to the BSS1 system. Its focus is cardio, though they do use light dumbbells for a cardio-intensifying effect.

The workout begins on the floor, then moves to the Fanny Lifter, then you do more work on the Fanny Lifter with dumbbells. Next you stack both sections of the FL and do a squat series using the tall box and dumbbells. Then itís back to the FL without dumbbells, and then back to the floor for more aerobics.

Dumbbells are used for bicep curls, shoulder presses, and triceps presses. You could easily leave these out. I wouldnít think this would really do much for your arms unless youíre a beginner or someone who sticks with lighter weights as a rule.

One exerciser, Libby, shows beginner modifications throughout. The whole workout can be kept pretty low-impact, which I appreciate. You can also make it more challenging by using the 8 inch section of the FL or High Step or whatever equipment youíre using. The choreography is very simple, you donít do anything much more complicated than a grapevine. Because of that and because of the length, I would recommend this to someone who wants to try the Firm but doesnít have a lot of equipment or want long, high-impact workouts.

For the advanced, I think this is a good add-on workout because itís one of the few Firms that really is cardio rather than aerobic weight training.

Instructor Comments:
Lisaís cuing is much better in CSB than in the recent BSS3 workouts.



I like this when I need a cardio workout in a half hour, that is not complicated. They use the fanny lifter -- I used a high step, but you can use a regular step also. There is four limb work (which was fun) and some step work (uncomplicated) and some floor work. I used 3 pound weights for the four limbed work and got a decent workout. The workout goes by pretty fast, and has a fast stretch at the end (the stretches are not held nearly long enough) There is a beginner modifier, as the workout is intermediate in intensity. There is no ab work at all. I like this workout for it's length and ease of execution, while still getting a good sweat!

Instructor Comments:
Lisa is very relaxed and looks great. Her cues are mostly good, but a few times cues a bit late. She comes across very sweet and knowledgable.



This is an early 2000s Firm video from the series that uses the Fanny Lifter, a tall, square step which is adjustable to three heights. This unique piece of equipment is effectively used here to provide a short, fun, intense cardio workout. In addition to the Fanny Lifter (FL), light weights are occasionally added for 4-limbed work, but this is a pure cardio routine with no toning intervals.

Instructor Lisa Kay, who leads a class of 4 other Firm instructors, begins with a basic 4-minute warm-up which combines aerobic moves with dynamic stretches. The first aerobics segment is performed without the step. It moves somewhat slowly, with heel digs and back rocks, but my heart rate still got up, especially with the addition of small optional hops. The first step aerobics portion with weights was a lot of fun, combining heel digs and rocks on and off the short portion of the FL with bicep curls. Other combos included straddles with upright rows and rear dips. There was some take it from the top here, but not so much that I found it annoying or overly repetitive. Squats with hammer curls on the floor conclude this segment.

More step work follows, this time without the weights. This segment was also fun and included A-steps, hamstring curls, knee lifts, L-steps, and floor jacks. The next segment is mostly on the floor, but you add taps onto the fully assembled FL. Here you get a bit more toning work with squats and overhead presses, but you are still moving at an aerobic pace. Another fun aerobic step series follows, this time with straddles, side leg lifts, squats with 1 leg on the step, and presses onto the step. This section was also a bit easier to follow than the first step tune. The final aerobics segment consists of more 4-limb work, with grapevines/rhomboid pinch, step touch/bicep curls, and step knee (adding in a step onto the FL). The almost 6-minute cool down consisted of many typical Firm moves, including marches, step-touch, hamstring curls, sambas, tri-star, and arm sweeps; a brief stretch series using the FL concludes the workout.

Overall, I enjoyed this short cardio workout, which comes in at just under 30 minutes total. I found that my HR stayed in my target zone for a good portion of the time (22-23 minutes), plus I enjoyed the moves and was generally able to follow along. Although this is a cardio-only workout, which is what I wanted, I still would've liked to have seen a set or two of the Firm's signature leg press move; it seems a shame not to use the FL for this. Still, this is a very solid, enjoyable intermediate-level cardio workout that I'd definitely recommend, particularly for when you are short on time.

Note: this same Firm workout was released with at least three different covers, so be careful that you don't already own it when ordering!

Instructor Comments:
I found Lisa's instruction to be fine, mostly unremarkable. Like all Firm instructors, she does mirror cue, although there were a few places when she could've done a better job of cueing left-right transitions.

Beth C (aka toaster)


A little about me: I'm a FIRM Believer from way back. I bought my first FIRM, Vol. 1, in 1992 at the recommendation of a (ripped) friend of mine. I'm an intermediate exerciser who fell back to the beginning level, and thanks to 14 FIRM workouts, I'm back where I was.

I was a little skeptical of the new FIRM, but BSS1 won me over. So I got the add ons also. Cardio Sculpt Blaster did not disappoint. I'm now used to the corporate FIRM set as opposed to the Jungle, Grecian or Library sets of years past.

The cuing was great, the workout can be made easier by not using the Fanny Lifter, made more challenging by adding more power moves, or done as is. There are fun A-steps, L-Steps, straddles and a few grapevines. I'm not really a fan of TIFT, but this was innocuous and fun, and even a klutz like me could keep up. I was pleasantly worked out, sweaty but not out of breath, and ready to move forward with my evening when I finished.

The music was a little hard to hear at first, but I think in the long run I'll like the workout more because the music didn't become the major sticking point. There are no tuba running songs or 80s guitar riffs, which I've finally figured out can be a good thing.

Frankly, this is what I wish Not So Tough Aerobic Mix had been, a short cardio workout that I could do on the days between total body workouts, or on days I needed a shorter or lighter workout.


Instructor Comments:
Lisa does a great job cuing this short cardio workout, and she looks great!



This 30 min cardio workout is one of the Firm 6-pack dvds that was released after the first Body Sculpting System (BSS1). It uses the Fanny Lifter (FL) and light dumbbells. I would recommend 3-5 lb dumbbells. Lisa cues well in this one and Libby provides beginner modifications. This is the white set with the large fans in the walls on the sides. There are 4 background exercisers working out with Lisa. The light weights in this workout are to add to the cardio effect, not for muscle shaping.

There really isnt a lot of high impact moves in this and its kind of low key but easy to modify up by adding more plyos and power moves. This workout has floor and step cardio routines and some weighted step routines using the 6 inch purple section of the FL. If you want to increase intensity just use the blue 8 inch section instead. There is one section where she does "power moves" using the fully assembled 14 inch FL but you arent actually stepping up onto it- just tapping your toes on it while doing a squat & overhead press sequence with light dumbbells.

There is some light TIFTing. None of the moves are dancy or hard to follow. They are basic Firm type athletic cardio moves that are not hard to follow along to. I would rate this an light intermediate workout done as is.