The Firm Parts: Tough Aerobic Mix

Susan Harris, Janet Jones-Gretzky, Sandahl Bergman, LaReine Chabut, Jayne Poteet
Year Released: 1996

Categories: Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance

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This cardio workout is compiled from the original Firm Classics (with the exception of Volume 5- LaReine Chabut isnt in this one). It is 43 minutes of step, floor, and four limb aerobics. You do use light weights in some of the segments. In between segments a fitness model lady briefly introduces the next segment and tells you which props you will need. Its a good way to tie the pieces together.

Kai Soremekun opens with a warmup from Vol 4, followed by Susan from Vol 4 w/ a quick stretch. Then you start to work. There are three step aerobic segments from Volumes 6, and 4. Two use light dumbbells and one no weights. The step segments are actually low impact but the three floor aerobic segments include high impact. One being the classic soft weight segment from Volume 1, there are also segments from volumes 2 & 3 that fit into this category. There are two segments from volume 2 & 3 that have some lunges interspersed with jumping jacks and running.

The step work from Volume 4 (Kai) includes a lot of arm work and the step segment from Volume 6 (Jayne) has you kind of squatting off the box while holding dumbbells so you get a bit of leg work too. I used 3# dumbbells for the entire time because I was a bit sore from yesterdays w/o and to keep it light for a cardio day.

I would rank this workout a solid intermediate.

Instructor Comments:
Susan Harris, Janet Jones-Gretzky, Sandahl Bergman, Jayne Poteet, Kai Soremekun, (LaReine Chabut actually isnt in this one-unless she does the final stretch that I skipped).




Three more words: FUN FOR REBOUNDER

Nuff said? Hardly…

IF you have the strongest knees on the planet and can handle ver high impact moves on the floor - by all means, go for it. If not, but you want a fun rebounding workout from a non-rebounder specific tape...grab this one. I, personally, cannot handle it on the floor anymore and almost traded it. Then I read on the forum, a recommendation to try it on a rebounder to take the pain out of I am glad I kept it. I don't use it often, because for me, apartment living is not conducive to constant rebounding, but I will keep it around for the day that I can. The workout is out of print so, if you want it, you'll have to track it down second-hand. I wouldn't pay alot for it, but if you find it cheap...go for it.

Cori (ziggy2306)


This video is TOUGH but since I've been using this video for about 7 years now..its not as hard but still gives me a great sweat and a great fat burning aerobic segment whenever i feel i need one. I usually alternate this video with any Firm video on my non-weight days. I really think this one is effective since its quick, and your arnt stopping for nothing! The beggining is the only part i bore of from Vol2-Low impact aerobics with Janet. I dont mind her..but this one is too long compared to the rest of the tape,,soemtimes i find myself fastforwarding this part to "start the real thing"....the rest of it really makes you feel like youve burned away for a half hour and i never feel cheated after this one! ITs still an oldy Firm but a goody! Be patient if this one is hard to get used to..once youve been doing this one for awhile..its not as hard but you never DONT feel challanged..this one is simply an A ..although it is a bit quick for beginers..start with no weights or NO BOX for stepping and youll STILL get a good workout. There are only 3 box stepping segments that are really effective without a box if you cant use it. Take care and Fun Firming!

Instructor Comments:
All instructors are parts from Firm Volumes 1-4...ive been using these videos since 1997...i love them all..



Yes it's tough. I am an Intermediate aerobically(started exercising 6 months ago and intensely exercising 2 months ago) and Beginner with regards to weight training. Iused 3 and 5lb dumbells, and 1 lb for Susan's segment when they use soft weights. I do it in conjunction with a couple segments from 5 Day Abs and voila! a wonderful work-out. There is some high impact, and the first 2 times I did the tape my knees hurt afterwards, but now instead of running in place I jog in place and make other modifications as necessary to keep it low/lower impact. There is some toning - dips with weights, and one of Kai's segments has tons of arm work, so if you use heavier weights and control or slow the movements I'm sure you could get a decent total body work-out for a light strength day. I like it!

Instructor Comments:
Susan Harris is the best! To compare, she does a lot of high impact like Sandahl Bergman, but when she says "run and curl" several times, I wish the segment would never end. When Bergman says to "run and curl" I think "Not again!" Harris is very motivating and I am now convinced to get Vol. I, even though it is 12+ years old. The others are okay

Jamila Moran


I would agree that this Firm tape is not as tough of as most of the others I own, but it is great when I need a high impact workout, but don't have the 1+ hour to spend doing Vols 1-3.

I found myself increasing weights in some segments above the 3-5 pounds recommended in the transitions in order to make it more challenging. But that's the beauty of the Firm series.

All in all, I think it's a great cardio workout for when you have a limited amount of time.

Gayle Malinowski


Great high impact tape with different aerobic segments which breaks of the boredom. I really did this tape numerous times and only go back if I need a short, high impact workout. I love all the segments, especially Susan Harris, even when she says, "isn't this better than dieting?" Great challenging tape.

maryann parker


This tape is "tougher" than "Not so Tough Aerobics" only because it has more impact aerobics, wheras NSTA has only low-impact.

It starts with the warmup and stretch from Volume 4 and ends with the stretch from Volume 3. The high-impact/no weight segments from Volumes 1, 2, and 3 are used, mixed up with the step/weight segments from volume 4 and 6. This was a pretty good setup. I enjoy the step segments, and placing them between the impact segments made them much easier to get through.

Very aerobic. If you need more aerobic work, less weight work, don't mind some high-impact and want to stick with the FIRM, this is your video.



I am an avid Firm user, although this is the first Firm Parts video I've used. I'm still trying to figure out why this is considered "tough." It wasn't easy by any means, but it was not a struggle to get through it. There are several high-impact aerobic segments, along with step and floor segments using weights. I jog regularly, and maybe if I hadn't built up my endurance that way, I would have found this more difficult. I use it on days that I want to get a good workout, but don't want to feel totally winded.



"Tough" is not an exaggeration! This is *SO* good! It's made up of 38 minutes of high/low aerobics plus another 10 minutes for the warm-up and cool-down. You still need your weights because some of the low-impact routines use them -- such as fast lunges. I've been doing this for a couple of years now, but I remember when I first got it, my legs were actually shaking about mid-way through. It packs a lot of wallop into a short time frame.
I highly recommend this one and rank it an A+.

Instructor Comments:
Like the other "Parts" series, this is made up of segments from all the original 6 FIRM tapes,so there are several different instructors.

Annie S.


Tough Aerobic Mix is a great fat burner. I would not recommend using it if you used a Firm total body workout the day before because it has several segments that incorporate weight work. This tape is also not for those who dislike high impact aerobics as there are a number of segments that are nothing but running in place and jumping. If you're up to a challenge, this tape is definitely the one to try. I use it on a regular basis and it continues to be challenging and effective.

Anne B


Tough Aerobic is not kidding you. It is tough. I find myself skipping most of Firm #3's parts in this video. Something about that instructor and her moves just annoy me. This tape is high impact which I don't like so much. But I do like the cross-training effect I get from using this intense tape w/ other non Firm tapes.

Annie Jen


Tough Aerobic Mix
Approximately 38 minutes of aerobic work plus warmup and cooldown

This tape is exactly as it's name implies. Tough! You will need a set of 1 to 1 1/2 lb. ankle weights (Not for leg work; they are optional for jogging in place. Since the section that uses the weights for jogging was made in 1986 and recent research suggests not to use weights during aerobic work, you might want to forgo the weights entirely.), a set of 3-8 lb. dumbbells, and an 8-10" step-up box.

This video contains 5 short sections of basic, high impact aerobics interspersed with 1 low impact section containing plyo-jumps and jacks (the rest of the moves in this section are marches and low impact kicks). The high impact segments contain jogging, jacks, kicks, lunges, plyo jumps, scissors, triple steps and hops. They are easy enough to follow and really test your cardiovascular endurance. (I know this tape was very instrumental in improving mine.) There are 3 sections that use the 10" box - not for traditional step aerobics but for a unique move called "box step downs", which, simply put, are reverse squats off the box done with dumbbells in the hands so that you are working your quads, glutes and arms simultaneously. Arm work consists of bicep curls, delt lifts and overhead presses, as well as some back work. There are a few floor sections that use dumbbells as well for squats, lunges, and arm work while your feet are moving in simple lateral or frontal patterns (side toe touch or toe taps to the front, for example).

Do not be surprised if you can't make it all the way through this video the first time. It's definitely an advanced level, fat burning powerhouse of a workout.

Roberta Kagno


I would not say this tape is "tough" as all. I didn't even break a sweat (and I live in the mountains at 9100 ft) I also have to question some of form techniques. I was very dissapointed especially after first purchasing another Firm tape that I really enjoy.

This video is a combination of aerobic segments from previously made Firm videos. Therfore, the instructor changes from segment to segment. I did not like this because I like/dislike one instructor over another. So, I found myself not being energized throughout the entire tape.

Kelli Andrews