The Firm: Fat Blasting Cardio (BSS3)

Lisa Kay
Year Released: 2004

Categories: Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance , Step Aerobics

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I'm a low intermediate exerciser, getting back on the regular exercise wagon. And let me start by saying I hate cardio. There. No IMAX, Step Reebok, or other stuff for me. That said, I need to do more of it. I thought this short workout would fit the bill, but it wasn't quite what I expected.

On the plus side, I really liked the music. I also find lunges and steps on the incline to work my legs in different areas than the normal step.

But I had a horrible time following the steps. I'm not a TIFTer, but I do need a little of it. I ended up doing some stuff on the floor because it was just too much to get my two left feet to follow. No instruction was given for any of the steps you view from the side, and I had a hard time keeping up.

The choreography was definitely not standard FIRM fare, which I actually prefer because I don't like to think during workouts. ;-) I also found the multicolor set just a little too much, but it was a short workout.

Even with the lack of cuing and confusion created by semantics (one reviewer already talked about the Mambo Left Side), I still got a decent workout.

I give this one a B-, to be used only when following a rotation.

Instructor Comments:
Lisa looked great in this workout, but I wish she'd given more instruction on the moves.



This is a great workout value for the time spent -- just 30 minutes. And you can incline your Reebok step and do just fine. The choreography is not terribly simple nor repetitive, which is good if you're doing the workout over and over. Haven't gotten tired of this one yet!

Instructor Comments:
She excludes a few cues, but her overall presentation is good. She seems genuine (even though we all know Firm videos are scripted). I do not find her annoying for some reason, unlike many other Firm instructors. Her technique is clean.

E. Piela


Another dud for me. The dark set, the silly incline and the non-existent cueing. Some of the music on this tape just doesn't do it for me either. Also, I was hoping for a pure cardio tape from the Firm. On my cardio days, I don't want to be using weights or doing lunges or squats since I just did those yesterday on strength day! I don't see why the Firm insists on putting squats in every single workout they ever produce. My knees just won't take it so this tape is in the garage sale pile.

Instructor Comments:
I just can't help but be more and more annoyed with Lisa Kay as an instructor. When she says 'Feel the power of the incline!' it sounds so ridiculous! Her cueing was so awful too...



This is a Firm workout that uses the incline box. It has an aerobic emphasis with a little bit of toning thrown in. The choreography isnít terribly difficult, but the cueing can be hard to follow in places. The cueing is mirror cueing in most places and changes while using the incline. This workout includes a few equipment and incline changes, but there seems to be plenty of time to make the changes needed. There are four-limbed aerobics, aerobics on the box at the high, low, and incline positions, and some aerobics on the floor. The workout is approximately 30 minutes.

For reference, I am an intermediate exerciser and enjoy Firm cardio, but generally not Firm strength workouts.

Instructor Comments:

Karen (Rhae)


I really liked Lisa's other 30 minute workout, Cardio Sculpt Blaster, so I was looking forward to trying this DVD. What a disappointment! The Firm has always been easy for me to follow, but not Fat Blasting Cardio. The combination of harder choreography and Lisa's abysmal cueing was bad news for me.

Instructor Comments:
I've liked her other Firm workouts, but she seems both rushed and unconcerned about clear cueing in Fat Blasting Cardio, which is part of the BSS3 set.



Some background on me: I am advanced in cardio (IMAX2 and other Cathe, TLP, Christi, and FIRMS are my favorites), low-advanced in weight work (Cathe at almost Cathe's weights and FIRM). I enjoy the pre- and post-Goodtimes FIRMs.

I'm sure someone else has already broken down the exercise sequence of this DVD (and I'm not good at that anyway), so I'll just give my overall impressions of the workout.

I really enjoy this The first few times I tried it, I found Lisa Kay's cueing to be baffling. For example, she cues "left side mambo on the box" when she means to mambo leading with the right foot on the left corner of the box. A few times she doesn't cue a new move at all. At first I would end up on the wrong foot during many parts of the workout. I can usually learn Christi Taylor and Cathe F.'s routines fairly easily, and I'm a person who prefers minimal cueing, so I found this irritating. I was also irritated when she kept commanding me to "have fun with this."

Because of my irritation and because of my contrary personality, I decided to take on this workout as a challenge. I would learn it and learn it well if it was the last thing I did - and I would have fun with it, by golly! I ended up totally tuning Ms. Kay out and just watching the moves, which are really fairly basic and not nearly as complex as her cueing makes them seem.

The result? I no longer curse at Lisa (except during the "have fun" parts) and I like the music and the incline box. I especially like the part where the box is inclined and you lunge onto it and then shift your weight forward to balance on the front foot. I do wish the workout was longer than 30 minutes, but it does make a good add-on or busy day workout.

Instructor Comments:
Lisa Kay is a pleasant enough instructor, in the usual scripted, FIRM sort of way. Her cueing is... perplexing. She says, "Have fun with this," a lot.



This is the cardio from BSS3. It's about 30 min long and is a nice cardio workout. I'd say an intermediate workout.
It is a little more complex in footwork than your average Firm cardio. The step work is a little more advanced. There are also segments where you use the box on an incline.
I did like this workout, and will use it when I want a shorter cardio workout without killing myself.

Instructor Comments:
Isn't the best one to cue, but she sure looks great.



About me: I'm an advanced exerciser who enjoys high impact and moderate choreography. I prefer athletic choreography.

Type: Step and floor cardio
Level: Beginner to intermediate
Impact: Moderate (Low impact version is demonstrated)
Length: 35 minutes

This workout uses the new Firm box. This allows the choreography to be more interesting with moves like A steps and over-the-top moves. The problem is that these moves are not broken down or explained. Considering that the Firm has marketed this towards beginners and that the Firm has never used these moves before, I think there should have been more instruction. Nonetheless, those with a basic background in step with be able to follow along despite abysmal cueing.

I do enjoy the workout itself. The step segments seem to last longer than usual Firm cardio workouts where each segment is usually just 2-4 minutes. This creates more flow in the workout. This also gives you more time to learn the combos as they are repeated several times in each segment. The nice thing is that once a segment is done, it's done forever. So there is a lot of TIFTing within each segment but not within the workout.

The segments are fun as the choreography is varied but simple enough that a person who isn't very coordinated can catch on. For example, one segment has lunges off the step, squats off the step and over the top moves. These are all repeated with different arms but someone who has trouble with choreography could stick with simple arms and do the legs. The workout also takes very little space.

This workout would work well as an add on to other cardios or as a stand alone cardio workout on days when you also do weight training.

Instructor Comments:
Very pleasant but cues late or wrong. She missed a few cues completely. Like all Firm instructors, she is scripted so often says silly things like "That was tough!"