The Firm: Volume 2: Low Impact AerobicsJanet Jones-Gretzky
Year Released: 1987
Categories: Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance
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This is the second workout in the Firm Volume classics (LOVE the classics) and is one of the longest at 65 minutes. As other reviewers have mentioned, this one has an arm emphasis while Volume 1 has a leg emphasis, although the format of these workouts are quite similar. The first half consists of standing high-rep strength work (4-limb aerobics) followed by a tough floor set. Like all the other Volumes, this was filmed in the mansion set with a very large class setting (maybe 20 background exercisers?) The music is catchy, I like it! Some people think it’s annoying and I can see why, because it sticks in your head for hours afterwards…somehow I don’t find that annoying but I can easily see why people would. Like Volume 1, this workout does not require any equipment except for dumbbells and optional ankle weights (i.e., no step used here).
The first half of the workout was overwhelmingly 4-limb work with “medium” or “heavy” weights, although Janet’s definition of those poundage ranges is different than mine! She never mentioned an actual weight except that beginners should use 3# weights, which I think is good advice. I used 6# bells for the medium weight and for some of the heavy, and 8# weights for the rest of the heavy, while using a 15# weight for the French presses and a 15-17.5# weight for the arm work done on the floor because it moved a little slower.
One of the reasons this isn’t one of my favorite Firm Volumes is that the 4-limb work is very repetitive, although it certainly gets the job done (and it is well synched to the music). There is a lot of shoulder work, military presses, lateral raises, frontal raises, also biceps curls, French press and triceps kickbacks, as well as some biceps/triceps combo moves. The back and chest is worked on the floor with a long set of one arm lat rows and two long sets of pushups. There is only one non-weighted tune which included a lot of jumping, hopping, and running in place…definitely not “Low Impact” as advertised but that didn’t bother me. Actually I think the rest of the workout IS low impact so it isn’t really a gross misrepresentation of the title. Because the 4-limb work was repetitive, it seemed to move slowly, and the exertion sort of sneaks up on you. By the end of the standing section, you will definitely be feeling it in your arms. There are some lunges, backwards lunges, kicks, and squats throughout (combined with the upper body) but they are done very quickly and not as deep into the moves-the real work is done by the arms here.
The floor work is awesome, and hard. It starts with a long set (two sets of twelve on each arm) of one arm rows, follows by a long set of pushups (16), and brutalizing table work, then repeat the entire set (rows, pushups, and table work) on the other side. Then onto a side leg series for the inner and outer thigh, then a long and thorough ab set, with lots of isometric holds, and finally onto a bridge, chest press, chest flyes, and overhead reaches set. Finish with a nice long stretch. The floor work continues to be focused on the arms (and abs) but your legs will definitely feel it with the table work, especially if you wear ankle weights. You will feel worked all over at the end.
While I enjoy using the step in the later Firm workouts, this is nice for a change of pace, and for an overall endurance and strength challenge. The Firm didn’t issue too many high rep / low poundage endurance work type workouts, so this fills a unique niche in the Firm library of workouts. Also, all of the other volumes (except for Volume 3 and 4 which were pretty well balanced) had a leg emphasis, so this workout is once again unique with its arm focus. Although the poundage you can choose is limited due to the high reps, I think one could grow with this workout, especially in the floor work half. Due to the length of the workout and for the endurance and strength required to complete it without modifications, I would say this is a high intermediate workout. Overall grade A-!
I like Janet as the instructor although I agree with those that said she is more “performing” than “instructing,” probably because of her actress/dancer background. Her instruction leaves something to be desired, but the moves are basic, so if you have some experience with exercise, it will not be hard to keep up. She did not mirror cue. It’s no big deal though and I certainly didn’t find it distracting or annoying. I’ll also note that she didn’t seem any more or less “sexual” than any of the other original Firm master instructors. Again, nothing caught my eye as inappropriate or distracting. I will note that she was very pretty and did have a nice physique just like the other original Firm instructors, very pleasant to work out with.
I really enjoy this very thorough workout. I've had it on vhs for many years and purchased the dvd from Anna Benson's website back when she originally released the first three volumes on dvd. The exercises work well with the music, the time passes quickly for the most part (the weight work after the abs sometimes makes the workout seem too long), and it's fun. It does have a lot of overhead lifts and squats but the squats are fast ones which is better for me. This is my favorite of the original three volumes.
Janet Jones is very encouraging and pleasant. She is also very motivating.
This workout is one I will do when I want a long workout and has no dread factor. It flows well and moves along and before you know it, its on to the stretch. The aerobic/weight section (1st half approx.) is fun, easy to follow, and challenges me. I use light to medium instead of medium to heavy. The second section is lower body floorwork, abs, and upper body. This section is challenging yet refreshing.
Janet does a great job. She cues the exercises appropriately and is motivating.
This workout flies by for me. It is one I reach for when I want a longer workout; but don't feel like doing a longer workout.
I tend to use my light and medium weights for the entire workout; when Janet calls for medium and heavy. The transitions and reps are fast.
The music in the workout is motivating, and the exercises seem to always be on cue.
I love the aerobic section; it is a nice change of pace as there is no step and it is all very simple moves; yet high intesity.
I liked Janet as a lead in the workout. I found her demeaner calming and also fun.
I owned Vol. 1 for years before I picked Vol. 2 up in late 1999. I had high expectations, and I was not disappointed. This volume focuses a little more on the upper body than Vol. 1, and it still packs a whollop. For those who complain about the FIRM's sexy, breathy style, in defense I'll say it's hard to workout on camera and try to articulate; I'm usually incoherent towards the end of this workout because I'm out of breath, not because I'm trying to sound sexy! Still a good, solid AWT workout, and worth keeping.
Janet is precise with her cuing and shows great form.
This is the very first exercise video that I
have ever owned. Janet Jones-Gretzsy has
been dear to my heart for many years, and I
have lugged this workout all across the
country as I have moved to different
locations. I bought it when it was fairly new,
certainly still in the $50 price bracket. I’ve
just kept it for so long (and still use it)
because I guess I’m just a big believer in its
power. I’m one of those that exclusively did
Firm videos for years. I just was not
interested in anything else. Now that I’ve
broadened my horizons, I don’t do these old
Firms as frequently, but I will pull them out
every now and then. For me, doing this
workout is like meeting up with old friends.
Hello Libby! We’ll see much more of you in a
few years! Oh, Janet! You always look in that
The music stinks, but at least you can keep time to it. You also get a good workout. Yes, the moves and the set are dated, but that’s part of its charm to me. I get to be entertained while I exercise! The shoulder exercises are a bit over the top, but the weight work is decent. I always feel like I get a complete workout in. And I really like hauling out those ankle weights for some good old leg lifts!
I like Janet. She’s not the best instructor, she’s more of a performer in front of the camera, but I’m fine with that. I always laugh after the second round of pushups when she looses her breath, because it feels like it should have been edited out. It’s only a teeny spot, but you never see her looking disheveled or flustered in any way. That lip gloss stays shiny and smooth for the whole 65 minutes! No, Janet, you can’t sweat or look like you are exerting yourself! We want perfection here!
An oldie but goodie from the 80's, this one will definately make you break a sweat! The first half is aerobics and toning with light to medium weights. The second half is floor work featuring lat rows, push-ups, ab work, leg extensions and table work. Clocking in at a little over an hour, you're sure to get your heart pumping. There's no Fanny Lifter or Sculpting Stick with this, just weights, and optional ankle weights and a board.
As this was the 80's, be prepared for big hair, loud clothes, and the trademark early FIRM crotch shots. But it's a great workout, even with all the cheese.
If you can get past the sex-kitten routine, Janet is not a bad instructor. I think she could keep count more often, though.
Low Impact Aerobics is certainly a misnomer…this workout is definitely not low impact (although, perhaps it was back in 1987 when it first came out). I never liked Volume one, but I fell in love with volume two. I had to do so in stages, though...it was next to impossible to acquire! I was first introduced to it through the many Firm Parts tapes. I just found all of Janet Jones-Gretzky's segments to be the most fun ever...and once I got the whole tape I truly knew the meaning of fun factor.
Sure - the floor work will kill you. The aerobics will leave you gasping for air. You will feel worked out and exhausted when you are done. And then, you will reach for it again and again.
Alot of people have trouble getting past Janet's breathy voice, but I never even notice it. I really like this old Firm classic...alot.
she shines with youth and energy. Wonder how she is today? She helps you feel your sexy while doing her tape.
her cueing is i little dull she is full of energy though..somehow whenever she says "pryamid up"...i feel its impossible to go over 5-8 pounds when doing the aerobic phase. Its quite good for an arm fat burn if you use no more than 5 pounds since you are going with high reps....this workout i find is very complete though. I just wish the Firm would come up with a Calf Blast workout where they do cardio with calf work. Why not? they have upper body, lower body, ab tapes, total body..why not a calf tape? im sure they will sooner or later so they dont run out of ideas....overall i love this workout...new or old..i feel it still challanges me and makes me feel that ive havnt cheated. The floor work is complete and not as long as some others like Vol 5 or The Hare. She keeps me from being bored since she changes a lot of exercises.
Love, love, love this video. Thank you Janet , for not using the tall box. On the days when you want a fast-paced weight training this one is great.
I would love to see Janet perform in a new video, 15 years older and still in great shape.
This is a very thorough workout. Many workouts neglect the chest and back but this one hits them both. While the tape does contain high impact moves, it is only for a short period of time. I always feel wiped after this workout and know that I have worked every part of my body (maybe not the calves). The workout moves pretty quickly, so you would want to stick with lighter weights. Don't let the negative comments about JJG deter you from trying this workout. It may be an oldie, but it's a definite goodie!
She is the only negative aspect of this workout. She does not provide form pointers at all, so this tape is not for the beginner. I never noticed it before I read some of the comments of VF reviewers, but she does indeed act sexy during this workout.
This video has been pretty well covered for content, I believe. I have just a few comments. Basically, this is good workout. The lat work is good and the towel stretch is just fab. The choreography is fairly straightforward, and contrary to the new Firm packaging, it is not low impact aerobics!! In fact, there is so much high impact that it is difficult to modify the workout. My personal preference is for more aerobics and less floor work, but at least they do a decent set of chest work here. This one is more enjoyable than Volume 1, and its very complete. Only your calves will think they've been neglected.
Like all Firm video leads, she doesn't instruct much. Janet seems pleasant and has good form. Her cues are occasionally off. She does offer motivational comments, say "in out" alot and use a breathy voice. I hate the way the ads refer to her as a stunning visual feast. Overall, she does a good job leading the work out.
For a light weight/high rep workout, this one is tough! Much has been said about this video already, so I just want to add that I think that this one may be the most challenging of the Classic firms (if not all of them). Yes, it's not the most fun workout, but it certainly is effective. Janet Jones-Gretzky adds much-welcomed entertainment during the workout!
Janet certainly is lovely. Yes, her cueing isn't very good, her pronunciation isn't always correct, and she says, "In, out, in, out" way too many times. However, she is (unwittingly) very entertaining, and that helps me get through a tough, and admittedly not the most interesting workout the Firm has ever made.
I am not as experienced an exerciser as many of the reviewers here, but I am really surprised by the negative comments about this video, so I felt compelled to respond. I think this video should be a Favourite, at the very least!
I have been using this tape consistently on a weekly basis for about a year now, in conjunction with other Firm tapes, and I continue to find it challenging with heavier weights. The music is dated, but I must be used to it because it does not bother me at all.
I am obviously a Firm Believer, so some may find my review to be less than objective. However, I really feel that some of the negative comments about the video, and about Janet Jones-Gretzky in particular, were unwarranted and unfair. I agree with the observation that some of the criticisms would be better directed at the producers and camera-men, rather than the workout itself. It has stood the test of time and is still a very good workout!
I thought Janet's cuing was fine, and her attitude is sincere. Overall, she does a competent job. She is encouraging without chattering on. I guess it's a matter of personal preference, but I prefer fewer remarks, rather than an instructor who drones on with unnecessary comments. She gives sufficient form points and sets a good example with her own form.
One reviewer opined that Janet is not as built as some of the other Firm instructors, but she is obviously in good shape. I do not think the fact that she has an ectomorphic body type makes her less credible as an instructor.
The more I use this video, the more I appreciate her instruction and good form. Some have complained about her breathy voice, but I would rather listen to her than some of the more aggressive instructors who sound like military sergeants barking out orders.
Her instructing style in this video is reflective of the era in which it was produced - I am sure that she would take a different approach now. I would like to see her again in another video!
This was my first FIRM ever. After this tape I was hooked. I now have a lot of Firm tapes, but I absolutely must do this one at least once a week. I love the way that it completely wipes me out, and even after I had progressed enough thru the Tortoise and Hare, and Strength and Cardio, Low Impact Aerobics was still killer for me!!! Wow!! I, unlike most reviewers here, love the music. It helps to clue you in as to what you are doing. I admit that JJG doesn't cue as rigorously as others, but after some practice, that does not matter. This is not supposed to be for beginners, so form should be taught elsewhere. As for the many comments on the "cheesy" music and clothes -- it was filmed in the 80s!! What do people expect? Personally, I find many of the step aerobics style to be tacky, but that does not deter me from working out with a particular tape. I found the choreography consistent with what it was probably like back then. It may be a little dated for now as far as style goes, but it is still a superior workout. This video will always be my favorite, simply because it was what got me hooked on the Firm to begin with.
I think that Janet is great. She seems well mannered, her posture is perfect, and she really has great form. She looks just like a dancer (which she is). And, yes, she does sound a bit sensual in the tape, but, for goodness sakes, that seems to motivate me, because I want to exude confidence like that. Let's face it; we all want to exude that sort of confidence, otherwise why do we put ourselves through this? Anyway, I think Janet was fantastic. The tape is no cake walk, and the people who attack her "sensuality" and chest, and leotard are probably missing the big picture here, and getting caught up in petty high school mess. Way to go Janet!! You go girl, doing those pushups on your toes!!! Wow!!
I had to laugh after I read some of the comments of cheesiness and sexiness. This is the very first video I ever bought (10 years ago!) when the Firm videos were selling for 50 bucks a pop. Yes, it is dated, but who cares? Actually, I never gave the alleged sexiness any thought until reading these comments. It is a good workout. I'd recommend it more for upper body, Volume I for lower. It is one of my favorites. It is true that the cuing could be improved, but I now know this tape inside and out, and am cued primarily by the "cheesy" music; the transitions in the music essentially cue the upcoming moves. The production quality is excellent, and remains a standard for the industry. Like all Firm tapes, they have paid attention to the details in editing. Don't be put off by the negative comments; compared to some of the tapes out there, this is a good one if you want a *good workout*
I think she does a fine job in this video. She is graceful, beautiful, and her form is perfect. Those years of dancing show! She is definately reading from cue cards, though.
This was my first FIRM video ever. Let me just say, I almost DIED the first time around. I considered myself an average exerciser, mostly light-weight kind of things like Your Personal Best or some of Karen Voight or Kathy Smith’s other videos. I have never concentrated on weight training and have never done aerobic weight training, so the first time completely wiped me out.
I agree that this is not your traditional “low impact” workout. However, I have no problem with the level of impact. By the end of the aerobic segment, and into the leg work on the floor, I am dripping sweat. (I also find it curious that JJG does not sweat, but oh well!) I haven’t even added ankle weights yet and all the leg work (except inner thigh work) is a killer.
I think this is a great workout. It’s definetly the most challenging I have and has convinced me to purchase other FIRM videos (I’m waiting for FIRM STRENGTH and VOL 3).
The one thing I can’t deny is that my results have already been phenominal compared to other videos. Today was my third time doing the video. Already my butt feels tighter and I can do more push-ups. That 10-work out guarantee I scoffed at must really be true!
Overall, as an intermediate (or maybe it’s beginner-intermediate) exerciser, I’d recommend this video for all fitness levels.
I actually like JJG. I think she looks great and this always motivates me to try harder to achieve a better body. Her cuing is adequate and her voice is pleasant. I was especially impressed with her push-ups (on toe). That is my goal — to be able to do “boy” pushups! All in all, I thought JJG was sincere, motivating, and a good teacher.
Mee-e-o-o-ow! Most of the previous reviewers are kinda catty! "Soft porn", "undulating crotch", "too-perfect white leotard"--ye gad! It sounds like junior high school! Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, ladies. She's working out, for crying out loud. I dare you to show me a Firm tape without a crotch shot in it!
This was my husband's and my first Firm tape (we have 8 now) and it is tied for our favorite with Vol 1. Those tapes may be dated but to us they're Golden Oldies! They always give us a great workout and they're the standard to which we compare the newer Firm tapes. It would be a shame if new Firm customers didn't try "Low Impact Aerobics" because of those snobby comments.
Janet is certainly beautiful, which is probably why everybody seems to hate her! She may be a celebrity and not "A Real Instructor" but she does a fine job. I believe she was picked to appear in the video because the market at the time called for "celebrities". It's not as if she chased Real Instructors out of the studio and stole the lead. Blame the Firm management, not Janet if you don't like celebrities! Susan Harris or Tracie Long will not be diminished if you admire Janet Jones-Gretzky's work in this tape, so relax, and give credit where it's due.
Oh, yeah--and about that amplification joke about Janet's "twin peaks"--well, if it's true (I doubt it), she isn't the first Firm instructor to be so "amplified" and she won't be the last.
This is one of my favorites! I personally think the StrongBody video is boring and unchallenging. After I do this video, I feel that I have worked every muscle in my body. Most videos are too easy for me but this one is still hard even though I have probably done it hundreds of times.
It is not Low Impact which is why I like it! I do have some of the Firm's lower impact videos but they bore me- I am saving them for after I have kids and the post pregnancy times.
I like the dancey choreography of this video and the stretching section is the best I have seen in a fitness video (with the exception of yoga ones!)
The music and style is 80's probably because it was filmed in the 80's! I wish the Firm would put out another video like this one and cut back on the boring ballroom dancey tapes. I keep waiting for them to put out another Total Body video that is a bit more updated- but no step please!!
I highly recommend this video to advanced excercisers and dancers who are tired of step and low-impact. I can feel the effects of this tape for days after I do it!!!
I really liked JJG. She is a former dancer and it shows! I usually hate home workout videos becuase the instructors are muscle-bound cheesy aerobicy types. Janet's posture was perfect and I thought her cuing was fine. Unlike many of the other reviewers, I like the non-aerobic instructor types- they have different look and style. As a former dancer, I would much rather be led by someone who has proper posture and grace than someone who bounces around all the time.
I like this video alot. It's my favorite of the Firm Classics (I own all but Vol. 3, which I tried and hated) and I even like it better than Firm Cardio, even if the music is cheesy and gets stuck in my head for days after I do the video.
I would agree with those who complain about the name of this video; it's definately not low-impact and it has LOTS of lunges, so it wouldn't be a good tape for anyone with knee problems (or anyone who despises lunges). Things also move more quickly in this video than in many of the other Firms, so I have to use pretty low weights in order to keep decent form.
There is lots of floorwork in this video and most of it is very good. The inner thigh work doesn't do much as they only use ankle weights, but the standard inner thigh lift (from every other floor legs video ever made) with an added dumbbell could be substituted for this section if desired. Otherwise, the floor work is thorough and not quite as sadistic as that in Volume 1.
The floor arm work is also good and the stretch is my favorite of the Classic Firms. Actually, so is the warm-up.
I never even noticed the soft-porn vocal stylings until I read about it here. Now I notice, but it doesn't phase me. JJG doesn't cue much, but the video is easy to catch on to, so it doesn't matter after a few workouts. I really kind of like Janet, which is rare on this site, but it might be because this was my first "real" exercise video and I have a soft spot for it and her.
This an excellent and thorough workout. It is the first FIRM video I ever bought (about 3 years ago), and I keep coming back to it. I consider myself an intermediate, and it is definitely challenging enough. I will acknowledge that the title is completely incorrect (it is by no means low impact), but other than that, it is a great workout. I think that I will continue to use it as my fitness level progresses by increasing the weights.
Other reviewers have complained about her "sexiness", but it really doesn't bother me at all. Her cuing is very good, and so is her form. She does not give many (if any) form pointers, however, so I would only recommend this video to someone who already knows something about proper form for lunges, etc.
This is completely an 80s exercise video - so much so that it can feel a little weird working out to it. To put it in the context of history, I remember when I first got the tape (somewhere around 1991?) I was completely bowled over by what a great workout it was, and so different from everything else out there. Now, of course, weight training is more common, so it is not terrific compared to the more recent Firm tapes. It is rare that I do Firm Vol. 2 anymore, but I will sometimes do the floor exercises (pushups through to stretching) after a step workout. Just doing the last part works out pretty well. There is work for inner thigh, outer thigh, hamstrings, glutes, pecs, triceps, back, abs, plus a stretch. It has been awhile since I have done the whole tape, but I do recall that it would sometimes leave my shoulders sore for days. I didn't care for the squats sequence too much - the whole squat-kick thing just didn't impress me.
Janet Jones Gretezy is not the best instructor in the history of the Firm, but she is okay. Very 80s, and as many people have said, there seems to be a "sexy" voice thing she (or the producers) are trying for. Janet has perfect posture and does well at cueing although it looks like she is reading a script as she is doing it. She uses lighter weights in this video (5-8lbs).
This is the first exercise video I ever bought, purchased over 10 years ago. I have a love/hate relationship with this video, and every time I consider exchanging it, I just can't do it. I hate this video because I've done it so many times I could practically do it in my sleep. Also, it seems no matter how many years I do this video, it's still hard! But that's what makes me love it too. This video has it all. Standing strength work for the legs (lunges and squats), arms strength work (bicep curls, tricep kickbacks, etc.), a 20 minute aerobic section, and killer floor work for hamstrings, outer thigh, inner thigh, abs, and butt. I don't have any other video where I feel like I've accomplished so much in an hour. I think this video never gets any easier for me because during the aerobic section, you're also doing the standing strength work. I never want to push myself too hard because I want to stay in my target heartrate zone. I like that in the later Firms, they've separated the aerobic and strength work more. Yes, the music isn't the greatest. Yes, the moves aren't that exciting, compared to Cathe Friedrich or Kari Anderson. Yes, there is the cheesiness factor. But I can live with all that because even though I dread doing this workout, each time I'm done I feel great.
I like Janet Jones just fine in this video. There's nothing really special about her, but there's nothing that bugs me about her either. I never even considered the "sexiness" aspect until I read the reviews here. It doesn't bother me.
This was my 2nd FIRM video, and one of my favorites. I like the *workout* a lot, but they way it was filmed was a little too "sexy" and cheesy. The music is just plain awful!
I like that you get a nice 25 minutes of aerobics before getting down for some intense floorwork - pushups, tablework, leg lifts, abs, pecs, and bridgework.
The aerobic segment has simple foot work, which I like, but because of the use of heavy weights, you really get the heart rate up and sweat. There is a short segment of impact aerobics, which is fine - though it makes the title misleading. Overall - a good workout.
Her form is good, her cueing fine. What I don't like about her I think is more the cameraman's fault - too many shots of her pelvis and butt.
This is the first FIRM video I purchased, and I was immediately hooked on those unique FIRM qualities---no wasting time doing endless repetitions of exercises that feel like nothing, no chatter that grates on your nerves, and sets and reps that change before the brain turns to mush. I like just about everything in this workout! I don't feel Janet cues 'sexually', or that there are crotch shots for no reason--they're showing a specific exercise! I also love that you can challenge yourself, as with all FIRM tapes, by how much weight you use. I also really 'enjoy'(albeit with a grimace) the floor legs. The only thing that bothered me a little at first was that no sweat or signs of exertion are allowed to be revealed( reality please!)which kind of detatches you from instructor Janet.I do agree, her white leotard does seem too perfect, but hey, would we rather be grossed out? Give credit where credit is due. This is an awesome workout.
I have owned this video since its inception (when it was known as Vol 2). I despise it, but I do it because it is a good workout. Every time I do it, I feel energized. It's just so darned BORING! I think the reason it has been billed Low Impact is because in comparison to its aerobic counterparts during the mid to late 1980s, it IS low impact, except for the one brief choreographed sequence.
For me, it is a more intense workout than Tough Tape, Strong Body (Strength) or Strong Heart (Cardio). This particular tape wipes me out--always has and probably always will. The one weakness of the tape is the inner thigh sequence. It is neither long enough nor is it intense enough for an advanced FIRM user. But is is a welcome respite after the intense moves that precede it.
The music is O.K. I like the music in the beginnning of the tape better than the music for the floor work. The bridge/pec fly music is really depressing.
I hate this tape because I do not like Janet Jones at all and because the moves are totally boring. But it is an excellent workout and I will continue to suffer through it.
Grade for this tape: A
She's slim, she's slinky, she pronounces the words Bicep as Bicept and Tricep as Tricept. She had a lead role in the movie "A Chorus Line." She's married to Wayne Gretsky and the mother of three children. I can't stand her as a video instructor and get really sick of seeing her crotch undulating during some of the moves. The FIRM has the audicity to tout that Janet Jones-Gretsky provides a glamourous visual feast. I know that's why I exercise--to see instructors who are "glamourous visual feasts."
This was the first Firm I bought and I still like it. It's my favorite of the six earlier Firms, because there's no step aerobics and it really gets my heart rate up, in fact, I tend to spend a bit too much time above my zone if I'm not careful. I modify all the high impact, but there really isn't that much of it. I find I have to go really light on the poundage with this video because much of the weight work moves very quickly. For most of the aerobic sections, the most I can use is 5lbs and sometimes I have to go down to 3s. Even so, I always feel this one the next day. I tend to use this video as a "fast and light" like the Hare, though I feel it's more aerobically challenging than the Hare. The floor work is really good, but I have yet to get through all the outer thigh work. Is it just me, or do the first two Firm volumes have outer thigh overkill? I've always heard that the adductors are relatively small muscles and I wonder if all those reps are necessary. I really like the stretches on this tape. They seem longer than on some of the others and I always end this workout feeling very relaxed.
Janet Jones-Gretsky's cueing is fine but I wish she gave more form pointers. I try to ignore the sexual way she speaks at times -- I think it's merely one of the ways the earlier Firms are dated. In the mid to late 80s there was still a lot of objectification of women (not that it is entirely gone now) and many women participated in their objectification, but I don't blame Janet. For the most part, I find her pleasant.
I picked up this video because I knew the reputation of the serioes and it said it was a "Low Impact Aerobic Workout". This video is NOT LOW IMPACT !!! For those of you who need a true low impact workout, as I do, I cannot reccommed this video. I think it is very misleading for the packaging to call it low impact.
This is a thorough 65-minute total-body workout that
wipes me out every time I do it, which isn't often. It's
boring! I don't know if it's the cheesy "impact
aerobics" section, or the generally dull
choreography, or the neverending series of lunges, or the
floorwork, but time seems to drag during this workout
unlike later FIRM tapes, such as Cardio/Strength. This
isn't a bad workout, but it just isn't fun. What I do
like about this workout is the towel stretch at the
end--it's very relaxing.
p.s. I don't know why the FIRM calls this tape "Low Impact Aerobics" when the aerobics section is anything but--jacks, jogging in place.
Janet gives almost no pointers on form. She is a bland but pleasant enough presence, however.
As I said before, I really enjoy this workout. I
modify the high-impact part slightly, but I find the
weighted part of the workout challenging and fun. The
Firm doesn't lie when they say you will see results in 10
Contrary to several other reviewers' opinions, I actually like the goofy music. It's no worse, to me, than any other workout music. It's perky when you need motivation, and mellow when you need to concentrate. Besides, Ms. Jones-Gretzky's cuing is so dreadful that the music helps me remember what to do next far more than she does.
Questions: (1) Is the temperature in the room 40 degrees Fahrenheit or what? No one breaks a sweat during this video (most noticably Ms. Jones-Gretzky in her too-perfect white leotard), while I am dripping from head to toe within 40 minutes. It's kind of creepy, especially since we have workouts like Jane Fonda's Light Aerobics where they're sweating five minutes into a no-strain comparative stroll through the park. (2) Why, in a video which I believe is to be marketed primarily to females, must we have all the gratuitous close-ups of Ms. Jones-Gretzky's crotch? None of these close-ups are displaying any particular muscle group. Sometimes I feel like I'm watching a Playboy video when I do this workout. This too is kind of creepy.
I am looking forward to trying more Firm tapes, as a result of my overall satisfaction with this one. Maybe I'll get over my objections to Ms. Jones-Gretzky and the semi-porn overtones someday.
I've read mixed reviews on Ms. Jones-Gretzky at this site and wanted to add my own $.02. I agree with the reviewers who say that men would enjoy watching her in this video. I can't stand her gratuitous slinky stretching moves during some of the setups. Her cuing, unless you are familiar with the tape (as I now am after 8 workouts), is maddening. Her twin peaks move not an inch during the alleged "low impact" aerobics, leading me to believe that she's, um, amplified. I enjoy the workout immensely, but it's in spite of Ms. Jones-Gretzky.
This tape is perfect to do the day following a heavy
workout like Tough Tape, Strong Body, etc. You can use 5
lb. dumbells for the arm work/aerobics section. You
really feel it in the arms, putting the weights down to
do high impact aerobics, then picking up the weights
again and doing lunges and armwork. Then there is a
segment on the floor with leg work, inner thighs (not
enough repetitions at all), pec work, push-ups, lat rows,
and abs with ankle weights. Even though this is an old
tape, I use it occasionally as a break from heavy
workouts. I admit the music is not so good, but the
workout is excellent and Janet Jones is a decent
The only "complaint" I have is the music. It is pretty corny, but ya get used to it. The video is a good workout, and yet it also has a calming effect at the same time - at least for me! I noticed I had more muscle definition after just 7 workouts!!! I've started mostly with 3 & 5 lb. weights, and can get through the whole workout with minimal soreness (another plus). Another great indicator of the effectiveness of this video is that the first time I did it, I could only do 1 push up! After 7 workouts I could easily do two sets of 8! I can now do 2 sets of 10, and soon I will catch up to the "class" with two sets of 16. I feel too energetic and too good to stop doing this video. I have also added, to do as an alternate, Body Sculpting Basics with Susan Harris. I did have some inner thigh soreness, but I also like this video a lot. It might be a tad tougher than the Janet Jones video and I will probably do it on my most energetic days. I am DEFINITELY a Firm Believer!!!!
Janet Jones instruction is easy to follow, and the
whole workout is smooth...one exercise goes to the next
without hurting yourself. Ok, it bothers me a little that
the workout seems so effortless to Janet, but she is
I bought the Firm Low Impact Aerobic video based on advice given in this group. I like the combination of aerobics with resistance training; it seems to be an efficient use of time. However, I was disappointed and irritated by a number of things:
Why is the video called low-impact when it includes jacks and running in place? I've never heard of a definition of low impact that would include these exercises.
I had heard about the special steps required by some Firm videos and studied the boxes to try to determine the equipment needed for each video. It was irritating that the information on required equipment was to be found only *inside* the box. This is the only series I've seen that requires that you buy the tape to find out what kind of equipment is needed. Then, all of the ads for the overpriced equipment are irritating, as are the ads at the beginning of the tape.
I strongly prefer tapes led by professional aerobic instructors rather than actors or models. The cuing in this tape isn't very good. I have hurt myself by having to turn my head to watch the tape to find out when a change is being made because there is often no indication of the count for each move or advance notice given when a change will be made. In general, experienced aerobic instructors seem much easier to follow than celebrities.
I like the heart rate pause, but I haven't been able to figure out when to start counting. All of a sudden, numbers count down on the screen but there is no indication of exactly when to start counting.(no date)
This was the first workout video that I tried after a few years of working out at health clubs. I found this video to be highly informative as well as energizing. The concept of aerobics with weights was a new one to me so I was a bit skeptical the first time I tried it. I, unlike others, found Janet Jones-Gretzky's instruction to be more than adequate, she gives plenty of cues to the user, you simply must pay attention the first couple of times you do the workout. The music is not the best and the tempo is not as fast as other aerobic tapes, however when you add the element of the weights in, you'll be glad for the relative slowness in the pace. The abdominals are killer in this volume of the Firm, they really produce results if you workout at least three times a week. I also found that the towel stretch is very effective and relaxing. I would recommend that you view the tape once before trying the workout and do not use weights, even if you are in good shape, until you have done the workout for at least the first week. I have about twenty different workout tapes ranging from yoga to body sculpting and I find that I always get the best results from the Firm tapes, I have Vol.'s 1-6.
Janet is definitely a performer in this video and as
others have mentioned, men would be more interested in
her sensuous moves than I am. However, after doing this
tape regularly for 1 1/2 years, I don't even notice it
anymore. Her cuing is good and her form is excellent.
Unfortunately, if you are looking for any extra
information as a beginner about the moves, you will not
I feel like [Janet Jones-Gretsky] was chosen just to add "star quality" to the video. I'm glad the FIRM no longer uses actresses as their instructors. Janet doesn't seem to be as well-conditioned and defined as other FIRM instructors. She is easy to follow, and has a pleasant demeanor.
I've owned this video for 4 years. I still do it occasionally, but it isn't my favorite.
I HATE the music. It is so annoying, and it echoes in my head long after I've finished the routine.
I think the upper body exercises are very comprehensive, and make this video worthwhile.
The aerobics sections are outdated. The choreography
is early '80s style.
This is one of my favorite FIRM videos. It's a total body workout -- something for everyone. It includes both upper and lower body as well as aerobics. The total workout is about 65 minutes.
I like Janet very well as an instructor. She's
friendly and she does a good job of cueing. One thing I
noticed about this video is that when she says pick up
"light", "medium", or
"heavy" weights, I can't seem to go by my
personal rule-of-thumb on what those mean. For example,
medium means 8 pounds for me. But sometimes in this video
I would be better off with 10 pounds. I don't have this
problem with the other videos -- I always use 5 for
light, 8 for medium, and 10 for heavy, which works well.
Whatever your own personal definitions are, you might
have to adjust them for this video. (Or maybe it's just
I liked this video okay until I bought Strong Body and The Tortoise; now I hardly ever use it. The exercises aren't bad, and I do think it's a good workout. But the music is *so* cheesy! The tunes ring in your head for hours.
The other thing that I don't like in this video,
ironically, is that the aerobics is a little too much
high-impact for my tastes. Oh, and the last thing is that
I have always *hated* leg lifts while lying on your side.
I just ff through these sections. The tall box press in
the later versions is much better.