The Firm: Tri-Trainers: Total Body Fat Blaster (aka All Cardio)

Lisa Kay, Nancy Tucker, Allie Del Rio
Year Released: 1998

Categories: Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance



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This is a fun 45 minute mostly cardio workout. It's from the old Anna Benson Firm days so its got a ton of background exercisers, good music, and is in the mansion type set. There is no beginner modifier. The three leads alternate segments.

The workout consists of mostly step and floor aerobics. I always work up a nice sweat and have fun doing this workout. The music is super-upbeat and really makes you want to workout-especially in Allies "chica kielbasa" segment. There are a few 4-limb aerobic segments where you use light dumbbells and then there is a semi heavy lunge and weighted lower body sequence led by Nancy near the end. The workout closes with a tough ab workout led by Lisa and a cooldown stretch. The ab work is unique and fun and includes some planks and pushups.

My main gripe with this workout is that Nancy's weighted lower body section at the end doesnt really fit with the rest of the workout. I know its the Firm, so they like to add strength work to every workout so I accept it and move on. When I dont skip over this section I just use light dumbbells and it does actually keep my heartrate up since Im using large muscle groups. She uses a dowell in this section with one dumbbell but I usually just use two lighter dumbbells.

Lisa's cueing is not the best in this one, it adequate but she is off and cues too early. The moves are all simple and athletic so even despite this cueing issue, its still pretty easy to follow or catch back up with if you miss a step.

I would rate this workout intermediate but like most Firms, its easy to modify it up or down to suit your needs.

Instructor Comments:
Lisas cueing-not good. Allie & Nancy do a fine job though.

lindseylu8

01/29/2010

This workout has already been broken down, so I am just going to add my opinions on the workout.

This is the first true cardio workout that the Firm issued. Included is step aerobics (fairly easy choreography), floor aerobics (mixed intensity – there is quite a bit high impact here), four-limb aerobics (I use 5# weights and this is the maximum I would recommend), and two brief tall box climb segments. I use the fanny lifter for this workout: the purple 6” for an easier day, the blue 8” for a greater challenge and leg intensity, and the full 14” for the tall box climbs. The first 30 minutes are dedicated to aerobics, then there is a short lunge/dip segment on/off the short box, a brief cool down, then there is a push up/spinal erector/ab segment then the final stretch. It really is an excellent workout and has a great fun factor.

The ab section was especially well done, even with some great ab sections that the Firm has put out, this one might be the best and most intense. This workout introduced the “rock and lift” move that really fatigues the upper and lower abs and is used in later Firm workouts. There was some spinal erector work which was a very nice extra bonus and which the Firm did not include much, if any, of in their earlier workouts. As others have said, the music in this section is especially good.

For comparison, I consider this workout, while still challenging, to be easier than the later three Firm Cardio workouts (Maximum Cardio, Cardio Burn, and Power Cardio with Carissa Foster, Tamela Hastie, and Dale Brabham respectively).

It has an unmistakable Anna Benson-Firm flair (with the mansion set, etc.). If you like Anna Benson productions, are looking for a solid intermediate cardio workout with mixed intensity, some toning and step aerobics, and a super ab section, I would highly recommend this. A+!

Instructor Comments:
Allie, Lisa, and Nancy are all great instructors. They all have excellent cuing and look like they are having a great time. Allie appeared to have the most aerobic tunes, however Nancy made up for it by having the post-aerobic toning segment, then Lisa got the ab segment.

Emily B.

01/15/2010

This is one tough little workout! Don't let all those "Gee, it's not like Cathe" reviews lull you into a sense of complacency. For those of us who are nowhere close to Cathe, this one has you dripping sweat. This workout was originally called "All Cardio" and I remember pre-ordering this one years ago. And that's what you get: all cardio with abs at the end.

Since others have long since broken down all the moves, I won't waste time with it here. I modified the tall box climbs by using the 8" section of the Fanny Lifter, and I was still huffing a puffing. They use the short wooden box (I think it was 6") which works great with the purple section of the FL.

The music is great; my favorite track is during the "rock & lift" part, which is about the only thing that felt good during those super hard sets. My lower abs were burning and I was nearly cussing at the TV during that last set.

A great shorter workout that packs a lot into a short amount of time, and adds one of the toughest ab sections the FIRM ever did. I grade it "A".

Instructor Comments:
All three instructors were great!

f1mom

07/01/2008

I wanted to review this video because I like it so much and I do not feel the reviews here do it justice. Many of the reviewers seemed upset since the video was marketed as something it was not. This video comes from the same people who dreamt up the descriptive titles of "Low Impact Aerobics" and "Firm Cardio" (The first video being very high impact and the second being a strength tape with little aerobics). After reading the reviews I expected an 45 minute intermediate tape of typical firm cardio options (4-limbed, step, tall box climbs, mixed impact etc.) and I was not disappointed.

There is so little weight work in this tape that I use 3 pound dumbbells and count it as cardio only. There are a few (2, I think) four limbed aerobics section (one off and one on the step). One set of lunges and one set of dips plus push-ups, planks and abs work. This is a nice tape to do on the same day as an upper body tape.

I find this video very fun and the constant changes keep my interest. I find myself reaching for this video often because it is short, intense and I feel great when I am done. It is a video for one of those days when I am debating between doing a killer workout or vegging on the couch. Somehow at 45 minutes it seems like a happy medium.

My only complaint is that I can never get the choreography in the last step portion with Nancy Tucker. But I am working on it. With the exception of this segment, the choreography is pretty basic. I found the high impact moves more tolerable then those found in other firms. Plus I know from experience that in firm-speak "Prepare for low impact aerobics" means "We are going to do a little bit of low impact then a whole lot of high impact". I do the whole video (tall box climbs and all) on a 10" step, this makes it a pretty intense workout.

There is something about the bright colors in this video that is very appealing.

Leanne Seaward

03/25/2002

I did this tape only once and must say that this tape is FUN, FUN, FUN!! That's saying a lot, coming from me, as I have been very disappointed with the newer FIRMs.

I am the die-hard classic FIRM Volumes fan and compare all FIRMs to Vol. 1 with Susan Harris. If I'm not screaming for mercy, I don't think a video deserves the FIRM title (LOL). I still don't know what the big deal is with the Crosstrainers: FIRM Cardio and FIRM Strength. Maybe they'll grow on me. Hare was a joke, but I do like Tortoise. I'm not a big fan of the Parts-type mixes.

Having said that, I was very pleasantly surprised at the fun factor of this tape. I got almost all the steps the first-time through. Although this isn't an advanced workout, by adding some propulsion moves and using a 10" step for the aerobics parts, I was able to keep my heart rate up and got a good workout. It's a very nice add-on tape, especially to a FIRM tape that doesn't have a lot of cardio. I love the box aerobics work and this tape has plenty. All of Allie's sections are fun, like the pivot turns, and the bunny hops to mention a few.

Instructor Comments:
All cued well, especially Allie

Sung Tse

03/08/2000

The Good: Fun, fast moving workout. Great ab section. This would be a good workout for exercisers moving beyond the Firm Basics. It would be a very light workout for experienced exercisers. I use it on active recovery days when I want to keep my heart rate below 60% & avoid weight work, but want to get my muscles warmed up. The Bad: This is marketed as an intermediate to advanced workout - it is not. It is supposed to deliver shape "your entire body with weights, while its high intensity phase (28 minutes) delivers maximum calorie burn." The sculpting & toning segments are very short so even if you loaded up on weight, you wouldn't get much toning. Even with modifications, I can barely get my heart rate into the training zone. The tri-trainer format provides long, awkward transitions between instructors. Users have to keep moving. Many of the positive reviews from experienced exercisers describe major modifications. I'm not a big fan of pausing a tape while I do extra sets, much less rewinding. This is not a bad workout, it's just not the workout promised by the Firm.

Instructor Comments:
Different attributes that really have nothing to do with the workout are often irritating. Firm reviewers often complain about the make-up, cold personalities, & breast implants. My irrational annoyance with this group of instructors was with Nancy Tucker. I couldn't get thoughts of skin damage & cancer out of my mind. Lisa Kay leads a terrific ab section, but her voice is very emotional & she sounds likes she's about to burst into tears. Allie Strickland has an appealing manner & infectious smile, but had the poorest cuing.

Debra Lester

03/02/2000

I really like this video. It's mostly cardio, w/ some toning thrown in, but the toning is really negligible. The 3 instructors switch back and forth between floor aerobics (led by Allie), step aerobics (led by Nancy and Lisa), and four limbed aerobics (led by Nancy and Lisa). All of the aerobics sequences are very easy to follow and fun! The music in the video is great and the choreography is fun to do. Like I said, there's some toning thrown in, but it's not a lot--some biceps curls, dips, squats, and lunges. The abs sequence is really good, though. The "rock and lift" is a lot of fun! This workout is 45 minutes long, so it's probably a good choice for someone who is short on time, but wants a decent cardio workout. I'd rate this workout as upper beginner/intermediate. Advanced exercisers could definitely use this as a light day workout. Two thumbs up!

Instructor Comments:
All 3 instructors were very, very good. They all demonstrated clear cuing and were very easy to follow. Lisa's timing was off during a few of the sequences, but it didn't detract from the overall workout. Nancy's abs are a great inspiration! :o)

SAC

12/26/1999

I'm an active beginner. This was one of the first FIRM tapes I purchased and I didn't care for it very much. I'm not a serious "Firmie", but I have found other Firm tapes I like much more. (For example Not So Tough Aerobics and Better Body $ Buns). I liked the description in the Collage catalog and thought it would fit my needs. Particularly because the only floor work is the abdominals at the end.

It was a decent tape for me in my early stages, but I didn't find it fun enough to stick with it. Now that I am a little more advanced, I find it both inadequate as a strength tape and inadequate as a cardio tape.

When I did this tape the other day, I had just done Better Body & Buns the day before and I pretty sore. Therefore, I used light weights and eliminated a lot of the more serious toning sections. That left me with a pretty inadequate cardio workout. One of the step sections was pretty strenuous (on my 8 inch Rubbermaid step stool), but it didn't keep my heart rate up for a long enough period of time.

It really bothered me that the instructors kept saying "low impact aerobics are next", but they would proceed right into (high impact) plyometric jumps!

I know that other people like this tape a lot. And it may be a good workout for people who don't like to separate thier cardio and strength work the way I do. But I wouldn't want anyone to think that all Firm tapes are like this one.

My favorite part of this tape is the music. I like the drumming and light vocals in one section. I'm still trying to figure out what the lyrics are saying!!

I'm not quite ready to put this video on the exchange, because through my one year fitness journey thus far, I have found that my needs and philosopyhy keep changing. So I'm going to give this tape a little longer to grow on me.

Instructor Comments:

Jennine

11/07/1999

I am an Intermediate, and this tape is the perfect level for me! I wish that Allie lead ALL of the aerobics, or they took out those monotonous short box sections. They seem to drag on forever! Allie's sections are really motivating and fun. I wish she had done the whole tape, except for the :"rockin' abs" with Lisa Kay. Boy is that the most fun ab workout or what? I'm actually jammin' and dancin' with my abs! Awesome!!!!!! (Just wanted to add my impressions since others have really broken the tape down).

Jamila

09/22/1999

Just wanted to say briefly that this is a fun tape that goes by quickly. It is not what I consider an advanced workout - but that's OK because I do it on days when I want a short, upbeat, fun workout so that I won't feel guilty, but not something that will knock me out for the rest of the day. I too am a big Cathe F. fan and so to make it more difficult, I add propulsion to some of the step moves. I like the music too, because most of the Firm music is dull and boring. Of course, I don't own every single Firm tape for the music!

Karen Hunter

04/14/1999

Maybe I'm the only one who loves this video. It isn't KILLER, but maybe that's why I like it. It is fun. The music is fantastic, the instructors are good, and the activity changes every few minutes so it's never boring and time flies by. No endless combinations to learn and then do over and over. Just the right amount of high impact-- won't kill your knees, but keeps your heart rate up.

Your heart rate will stay in your training zone for the whole "high intensity" sequence" if you work hard. I use a 10" box for the small step aerobics. I find that when I'm done with this video, I feel energized and pleasantly sweaty.

I wish people wouldn't dog this video because it "isn't hard enough" and there isn't a lot of weight work. That's the point. This is a "fast and light" workout, like the Hare, and is far better than the Hare. This is perfect to use the day after heavy weights. The weights here are mostly used to increase aerobic intensity.

After the nightmare that is Core Cardio I, I find myself appreciating this video more. Its warmup and cooldowns are very thorough. The ab work is thorough and tough ("rock and lift" hurts!). I think this workout is excellent for any intermediate or advanced exerciser as long as you can deal with semi-easy choreography. It's tough to be in a bad mood after doing this video. It's very uplifting and you'll be humming the tunes in your head all day. Wish I hadn't waited so long to buy this.

Instructor Comments:
All three of these instructors are pretty good. I particularly like Allie Strickland... go figure, because I can't stand Jennifer Carman and they have the same kind of personality. Nancy Tucker is pretty nondescript and no-nonsense. Lisa Kay gets a little too worked up about a move at times. :) I like her because she has a realistic body-- even a little tummy bulge. I'm glad to see the FIRM respecting different body types. There are even a few people in this video that I'd consider to be overweight-- it just shows that many shapes are fit.

Sara Whitney

04/14/1999

This is an "okay" workout, but it just doesn't grab me. I don't like the FIRM method of aerobics. But I do want to say that this one keeps your heart rate up better than other FIRM tapes I've seen. It ranges from beginner to intermediate level. I thought it might be good to do on a light day, but I found it just didn't interest me. I like more choreographed aerobics. Grade B.

Instructor Comments:
All the instructors are okay with me.

Annie S.

03/27/1999

The mix of aerobics is challenging, but better to be done on a wooden surface. I found doing the high impact moves on a cement floor left me with a soar back the next day. I like the "rock and lift" move in the abdominal section because it challenges the lower abs in a new way. All in all I would definately recommend this video as I would most any Firm video.

Instructor Comments:
I found all three instructors to be more real than the three on the Better Body and Buns tape. Lisa Kay looks like a real person! She doesn't have some perfect figure, but she's in terrific shape. Nancy Tucker is a little too tan, but her cues are good and her voice is tolerable. Allie Strickland sometimes borders on talking in that annoying way that Jennifer Carmen does, but I like her energy and she's easy to follow.

Lena Yester

03/01/1999

A lot has been said about this video, both positive and negative, so I'm just going to add my personal opinions about it. I really enjoy doing this video. I agree with other reviewers when they say that it is not an advanced workout, though. If I had preordered this video under the premise that it was advanced, I would have been disappointed. However, I got it from Collage, who rated it as intermediate to advanced. I would call it a high intermediate video. This is one of the videos that I pick as a combo with strength training--with the 45 minute length it is quite doable (especially with Tough Tape and I'm sure my soon-to-be obtained Tough Tape II, since Fat Blaster includes ab work and the Tough Tapes don't). I also pick this video for a day that I want a decent workout but have to force myself to exercise. It's a good video to do the day after you do heavy weights, or if you don't have an abundance of energy. With the variety of changing instructors, plus the combination of hi-lo, step, 4-limbed aerobics, 4-limbed aerobics on the step, and tall box climbs, this workout moves too quickly to be boring. The music is also superior to many other Firms. This isn't the "typical" Firm workout, in that the only times you use weights are for the 4-limb aerobic sections and for dips and lunges on the step (and even here you use light weights). The ab section is short but effective. There is some nice spinal erector work, which is neglected in many other videos. I didn't feel that the plank/pushup section was very effective, though. I did like the stretch at the end with the dowel to classical music (what IS that music--I've heard it many times before). I would recommend this video to intermediate to advanced exercisers; just be aware that this *is* a cardio tape, and it is not at the intensity of the Classic Firms. It's a fun tape!

Instructor Comments:
I felt that all of the instructors were adequate. Form pointers were given. The instructors seemed like they were having fun instructing the workout. They all looked quite fit, each showing a different healthy body type.

Kristin Aziz

02/01/1999

I'm trading away this video after having done it only once. Not because it's a bad workout--I think it is well-cued and interesting and just flies by--but because I think it's too easy for a Firm tape (When I do a Firm tape I want to scream for mercy at least once during the workout)and not fun enough (to me) for a cardio tape. I've already arranged a trade and I suspect the new owner will be more than happy with it (This is definitely *not* one of those trades where you feel guilty for "unloading" a yucky tape.)

One thing--I sort of thought it would be "All-Cardio" the same way that Strong Heart/Firm Cardio was---still lots of weights but more emphasis on the aerobic sections. Nope. When they said "All Cardio" that's exactly what they meant. I don't think you even need to break out your weights for this one at all.

Instructor Comments:
The instructors all did a good job, but I cannot bring myself to work out regularly with Jennifer Peluso. The breathy/sexy/ what's-with-that-thing-on-her-head was too distracting for me.

Renee Drellishak

09/10/1998

If this is considered an advanced workout, I can't imagine what the Firm Basics are like. I would call this a Basics tape, no matter how the Firm wants to bill it. I also wondered whether the Firm's target market was getting older, or something, so they were purposely making the workouts easier.

I was very disappointed. For a tough cardio or all-over workout, I'll take Firm Parts Tough Aerobic Mix or a Firm Classic (2,3,5) anyday. Even Standing Legs gives me a better cardio workout.

I feel sad that the Firm isn't producing the unique tapes they once were. For me, they've become very run of the mill.

Beth

07/20/1998

This is the first FIRM video that I've ever bought that I disliked enough to send back to Collage. Thankfully, the tape was slightly defective, and the folks at Collage were nice enough to let me swap Fat Blaster for Tough Tape 2. Anyhow, I didn't like this tape for a variety of reasons. I guess first and foremost is that the workout is 95% cardio. This is not a problem if you like cardio video workouts. I don't. I thought this tape would be more like the Cross Trainers definition of cardio. (i.e. still lots of weights) But, this cardio really was cardio... lots of hi-lo and step segments. Not my bag! I didn't like the impact level of a lot of the workout either. There was too much bouncing. (bunny hops, rock steps, etc). It's strange, I like plyometrics and running (both high impact), but I hate bouncing around at home. Also, the music seemed off-pace at time, especially the first aerobic segment. I guess this isn't a *bad* workout, it just wasn't my cup of tea. Someone who like cardio and the FIRM would probably really love the tape.

Instructor Comments:
All three instructors were very fit and pleasant, but for some reason (maybe it was the workout) they grated on my nerves. I couldn't seem to follow their cueing on the short box step segments. Of course, I *am* choreography impaired, but this is the FIRM we're talking about. They aren't know for complex choreography, and I still kept getting tripped up.

Christine Letsky

07/13/1998

Fun, Fun, Fun - I am really enjoying the new Firm tapes that I have received so far. This tape is 27 minutes of medium intensity cardio fun. The best segments are with Allie - good high impact, plyo moves. The tape should be combined with another higher intensity cardio workout, which is never a problem for me, since I love long workouts. If you need to get all your cardio done in 30 minutes, this may not be a good choice. It's only effective in a combo routine with another tape.

maryann parker

06/15/1998

Others have given detail on the workout, so I won't repeat that. This is a fun workout, but not advanced, as promised. The time flies, even when repeating the aerobic section, which has fun and different choreography. Lots of variety. The tall box aerobics are a great change. The abs are good, too, but the segment is short. I do like this tape, but only for an "easy" or light day, or for addition to another workout tape. Hopefully when "connected" to the other two Tri Trainers, it will be a terrific combination.

Instructor Comments:
The cues are good, and the instructors are all down-to-earth, and seem to enjoy what they're doing.

Apryl

05/12/1998

The video is 45 minutes long, with a 3 minute warm-up, 28 minutes of low & high impact aerobics, 7 minutes of push-ups/ab work, and 7 minutes of stretching. I really enjoyed this workout because it's easy enough to follow (not too dancy)and it's got a good balance between strengthening moves on the tall/short box and straight-ahead aerobics (plyometrics, marching, and dance moves). The push-ups segment is very short, but the ab work is challenging and the stretch at the end is nice & long. I've been doing Firm videos since 1992, and this is definitely one of my faves. I'd recommend it on an "easy" day (if you're sore, for example)or a day where you haven't got much time. I wouldn't call this video easy (you will sweat), but it doesn't leave me sore like The Firm Vol. 1, 3 or Standing Legs do (probably because it doesn't require the use of heavy weights, and is called "All Cardio"). It emphasizes the lower body - there's not much upper body work. I also like the fact that it's a great cardio workout without a lot of high-impact moves (the aerobic step-up box is used a lot).

Instructor Comments:
I found all three instructors to be enthusiastic (especially Allie) and motivating. They all gave clear instruction, even though I did have a bit of trouble following Lisa on some of the short box moves the first time I did the video.

Amy Vonk

04/27/1998

I absolutely adore this tape! It is fun, fun, fun! Nice upbeat music with some classical during the cooldown. Easy, yet fun choreography. This is one tape I really look forward to doing--it's a reward for all that tough weight training for me.

I loved the "Rocking Abs" portion and the high box stepping sequences. This tape is great for days when you want to just have fun and not be so serious with the weights. While weights are used in 4-limbed aerobic sections as well as with the dowel during a short-box press sequence, it is not near the intensity of other Firm tapes.

Used in conjunction with "Tough Tape" or probably with the soon-to-be-released "Better Buns" and "All Weights" it will make for a really good workout. Cardio work kept my heart rate elevated, but I did find that I had to keep moving between instructor changes and use 8 to 10 lb. weights during the 4-limbed aerobics sections. I also added impact to the step-up moves.

I had the pleasure of meeting the instructors and some of the cast members on the Columbia Firm Road Trip. Cast members from "All Cardio" as well as Jen Carmon and Heidi Tanner (Strong Heart lead)taught the classes I attended.

What a wonderful, inspiring and warm group of women! All the warmth they project through their tapes is intensified 1,000 fold when you meet them. And they look even better in person!

Grade: A+ (for enjoyment and music)
B+ for Challenge Factor for an Advanced Exerciser
..But who wants to have their butt kicked in the sense of exercise every day?

Instructor Comments:
All three are great! I especially like Lisa's style, but they are all really good. Their form and presentation is awesome.

Amy Steppe

04/26/1998

Allie starts the tape with a 3 min. warmup (approx.) with some brief stretches, and then she says prepare for low impact. This section to me is really mixed impact, grapevines with plyo jumps, bunny hops, etc. Then Lisa Kay does a low step section with basic steps, L-steps, and over the top, like the step segments on Strongheart. When I first did this video this step part really didn't raise my heart rate so I added some power moves a la Cathe Friedrich to the over the tops to make it more intense. All of the segments basically show you a basic pattern and then repeat it several times, which can get rather repetitive. After the step segment she does 4-limb aerobic moves with light weights. In my opinion, I felt this should have been at the end of the tape rather than this section because it brought my heart rate way down. After this segment Nancy does a tall box segment where you step on the tall box to a slower tempo. Allie comes back to do another mixed impact section which kind of reminds me of the aerobic section of Volume 2. After this there is another 4-limb section using the short box, and then Lisa does another step segment (which again, reminds me of one of the step segments in Volume 5). Allie does another tall box segment and a mixed impact segment. Nancy continues with a short step segment (I also added power moves to these) and she does dips off the step with the dowel and light weights and a series of lunges where you step the lunging leg onto the short step. I feel this segment should have been put where the 4-limb segment I mentioned should have been removed because after this segment my heart rate was higher, but then it was time for the cool down, I wanted to continue. Finally there is a series of planks and push ups, back work, and abs, which I really liked the "rock & lift" move, which is where you do a reverse curl and on the negative motion, you do a crunch with the upper body). Last there is a final stretch with the dowel. I like the use of the dowel with the stretches but not with the lunges, dips, etc. I feel its not necessary unless you have trouble with balance. I like this video, The Firm has added some better choreography, and I will probably use this in conjunction with Tough Tape or the other two Tri-Trainers or when I've hit the snooze button one to many times (which prompted my review today by the way). Its a decent (although not too intense) cardio workout in 45 minutes.

Instructor Comments:
All three of them were likeable instructors. I though their cueing was good and they seemed like they were having fun, maybe its their southern accents, it made them seem more friendlier.

Wendy M

04/24/1998

I've done this video three times...that includes rewinding to do the aerobics twice in a row the first time I did the workout. I've used this tape as a followup to strength training, so my heart rate was somewhat elevated when I started. The warmup/stretch is fairly short, I think about 3 minutes. The aerobics section is a little less than 30 minutes. I would have liked a longer workout, but actually this has been working well as a followup, especially with Tough Tape because of the lack of ab work in Tough Tape. The workout incorporates several different types of aerobic activity including high-impact (jumps, jacks, jogging), box aerobics (they use what looks like a 6" box, I use my Step-Co step at 8"), step-ups on the tall box (12-14"), the "classic" four-limbed (or is it floor-land!) aerobics (both on and off the box), and at the end of the aerobic section, some dips off the short box and lunges onto the box. For the dips and lunges, they use a dowel and 1 weight...I used two weights, and my heart rate was pretty elevated. (I'd just finished MIS, so my legs were begging me to stop.) If you have any problems with your knees, you'd probably want to use a shorter box in place of the tall box during the step-ups. During the first box aerobics (step aerobics) segment, I placed my step horizontally because there are L-steps (or T-steps, as Cathe calls them) and over-the tops, and my heart rate doesn't stay up as high if my step is placed towards the TV. There's a cooldown/stretch following the aerobics before going into floorwork. There's a pretty good set of planks and pushups (wish it was longer--but maybe on the other two since they incorporate more strength-training). From what I understand (someone correct me if I'm wrong), planks are a yoga term. Basically, (at least on this tape), they're similar to a full-body pushup, except you're lowering your body all the way to the floor before pushing up again. There are four of these, followed by 8 pushups, and then two hover (?) pushups, where you lower for 3 counts and then lift up again. There are two fairly short sets of ab work. The first is pretty basic with crunches and obliques...the second has "rockin" abs, where you're in a crunch position and when you lower your legs you lift your upper body. It probably makes no sense the way I'm describing it, but it's a pretty good move. I can really feel it. The cooldown/stretch at the end uses the dowel.

Overall, I liked this video, but I haven't tried it on its own. I don't know if my heart rate would be as high if I hadn't done another workout prior to doing this one. I used my heart rate monitor, and the first time I did the aerobics my HR dropped out my target zone several times...particularly during instructor changes. However, the second time through (after I rewound), it only dropped out once. I also knew the routine better, so I'm sure that made a difference. (I didn't wear my HR monitor the third time I did the workout.) I like the variety of different aerobics that they do...the time really goes quickly. However, I would not rate this as an advanced workout. It feels more like an intermediate workout to me. I would rate the choreography as rather basic/moderate. I'll keep this video because it was fun, I liked the instructors, and I occasionally have those days where I just don't feel like working out as hard, but I hope the other two Tri-Trainers are more challenging.

Instructor Comments:
I liked all three instructors. They all seem to have very different personalities, but they complement each other very well. The only time I had any trouble with the cuing was during one of Allie's aerobic sections, but otherwise, the cuing seemed pretty good. I think someone else made the comment that the cuing on this video was better than the cuing on most Firms, and I would agree. Nancy has awesome abs, BTW.

Melissa F

04/19/1998

The cover of the Tri Trainers says Special Advanced Edition. I must admit that I felt that this Firm wasn't as advanced to me. I felt that the Firm Parts Not So Tough Aerobics and Tough Aerobics is harder.

This workout uses the 8-10 inch box,a dowel, a 12 inch tall box and light weights. There are only 2 four limb weight sections. One taught by Lisa Kay and one taught by Nancy Tucker. Not much weights used in comparison to Firm Cardio (aka. Strongheart). Allie Strickland does the warmup/stretch (3 minutes) and then does 3 cardio segments which are grapevines mixed with plyo hops and what she calls "Bunny Hops" where you jump back and forth. Her other higher impact moves are skate hop, jumproping and kicking out hopping. Oh, she also does a similiar move to a high impact section from Firm 3. Kinda like a rocking horse move. Lisa Kay does the box aerobics. This gets very boring to me since I'm used to jumping twirling all over my step with a Cathe Friedrich tape. She also does some easy four limbed moves with light weights. Squats with over head press. But using light weights on a squat do nothing for me. Lisa also leads the back work and what she call's plank moves which is sorta like a pushup but easier. She also does pushups and ab work. The ab work is very good. The Firm always using really fun choreography for ab work that makes it unique. One move I like is the rock and lift move where you do a crunch and lowerbody crunch at the same time and then you lift your legs up and do an oblique twist. The music to the ab and back work is excellent! Similiar to the second set of tall box work in Firm Hare workout for you Firm Fans who know the music by heart. Also the back work in All Cardio is the same type of music that is in the Tortoise when Tracie Long does the hamstring/tricep stretch after the dips but they change it a little.

Nancy does a new Firm exercise called "Tall Box Climb". It is not the Leg press. You don't use any weights. You use a 12 inch box and step up and down like box aerobics but the beat to the music is much slower and it is only done for a minute or two. She then does some dips off the short box using a dowel and a weight. As you dip you do an overhead press, bicep curl and pull the weight back and squeeze the back. She then does a few lunges on the step as you do delt raises. Not too many.

The music was excellent in this video. I call this video the Firm Angels video kinda like Charlie's Angels because it was the first Firm video to have 3 instructors.

The transition in between instructors works well. But I felt that this workout wasn't as tough as the Firm Cardio (Strongbody).

I felt that adding another Firm video with it made it right for me. Either adding Firm Tough Tape or doing Firm 5 with it was just right. This way you can get some tall box work and use heavier dumbells.

This video is very high quality film making. Excellent colors and music.

Instructor Comments:
Allie Strickland does a wonderful job at instructing. Her cueing is great and she is just having so much fun! I liked her the best out of the three instructors. She has such a great smile. I'm so happy that she teaches the hi/lo.

Nancy Tucker has a very southern accent and talks so much slower then say Jayne Poteet. I am still getting used to it. She is VERY tan and with her yellow top, she looks even tanner. She has a very sweet disposition in this video. She is very toned and muscular.

Lisa Kay does a good job on the box aerobics segments and ab work. I felt that she wasn't as good as the other two at teaching. She keeps scrunching up her eyebrows like she is in pain.

Mandy Lee

05/11/1997