The Firm: Lower Body Sculpt I

Lisa Kay
Year Released: 2002

Categories: Lower Body Strength

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This workout has already been thoroughly broken down, so I am just going to add my impressions here. This is one of the “Six Pack” add ons to the Body Sculpting System 1, which uses the Fanny Lifter, which is a 6” purple step which sits on top of a 8” blue step, for an overall 14” step. I have and regularly use the FL, it is versatile and not a space hog (like it’s successor, the Transfirmer, although that is a great product as well). I find the BSS1 workouts (particularly the Six Pack add on group) to be short and sweet and to the point, little frills, maybe not the most fun out of the BSS series but definitely effective. This workout is 30 minutes long including warm up and cool down, and Lisa Kay squeezes a lot into this little workout (and she constantly reminds you of that too, which is a little excessive, but not distracting). She recommends 3, 5, and 8# bells to start out, although I noted that the light bells were not used in this workout. I used 12 and 15# dumbbells and a 30# barbell and got a great workout.

Like all BSS1 workouts, Lisa works out with four other Firm master instructors, with Libby showing beginner modifications. They work out in a large room and are color coordinated in purple. Lisa does say “fanny lifter” a lot during this workout, so prepare yourself. The music was techno club music, easily forgettable but good enough to get by. Thanks to the bland music and Lisa’s lack of enthusiasm (she definitely sounds scripted here), this isn’t a party in a box. Too bad because it could have been a great gem of a workout, however, the quick pace and the intensity of exercises redeems it and still makes it a very good workout.

The workout itself is very challenging. Lisa is nonstop! There is a never-ending sequence of leg presses, squats, lunges, and dip variations with two strength-oriented cardio workouts (like lunging and squatting off the short box, glute lifts, squat pulses, etc.) I would describe this workout as “Standing Legs Lite.” For me, Standing Legs has such an overwhelming amount of leg press that it has a major dread factor (and the workout is longer at 45 minutes), but the sets on Lower Body Sculpt I are short enough (but still intense) to make me feel like I accomplished something, but without having a dread factor. This is definitely going to become a go-to quickie leg workout for me.

Even with lighter weights this is a solid intermediate workout; with the heavier poundage that I used I would qualify this as a high intermediate to low advanced workout. This is all traditional weight training, if squats and lunges aren’t for you, you won’t like this. This is entirely standing work, designed to be cross trained with Lower Body Sculpt II, which is all floor work. I don’t have that workout and can’t comment on how they pair up. Thanks to the short length and the quickly moving exercises, the workout really does fly by. This would be a great addition for Firm lovers, those looking for a quickie leg workout and enjoy traditional strength training, and/or those who enjoy AWT workouts. I would not recommend this to the super advanced, I think due to the short length they would bore easily. Likewise, Lisa does not give out enough form pointers for true beginners to follow along safely, so this is best for those in the intermediate spectrum. Overall grade B.

Instructor Comments:
Lisa Kay has led many Firm workouts. In general I find her choreography hard to follow (particularly in BSS3) but with this being a primarily strength workout, I followed her fine here. She does not give out the most thorough form pointers, so I would not recommend her to the very beginner. In general I don’t agree with all the “scripted” or “robotic” complaints that others have about Firm workouts, but I would say that about this workout. She just sounds robotic and like she’s not particularly having fun, like she’s indifferent. But she is better (more lively and smiley) in her other workouts.

Emily B.


This is a tough 30 minute lower body strength workout that includes some cardio intervals. Lisa really accomplishes a lot in 30 minutes. My lower body is thoroughly worked after doing this w/o this morning. This is all standing work and uses the Fanny Lifter and a variety of dumbbells. This is a big calorie burner for being mostly strength work and only 30 minutes because you are using large muscle groups that really get your heartrate up!

Lisa has four background exercisers and Libby provides the beginner modifications. This was released after BSS1 as part of the "6 pack." The set is a wide open white room with fans built into the walls.

After a warmup and stretch you move onto a strength segment and then some unweighted step strength work like squats off the step. You dont use weights in this segment but you are still working your lower body. After that you move onto some floor strength work: dips and lunges and the like using dumbbells. Then Lisa gives your lower body a little break with some floor aerobics. You finish with another strength set including more leg press, dips, curtsey dips, etc. beore you move onto your cooldown and stretch.

I would rate this high intermediate but like most Firms easily modifiable up or down to suit your needs.



Firm Lower Body Sculpt is an all-standing lower-body routine using the Firm Fanny Lifter, and it really targets those glute, hip, and leg muscles (if you don't have a FL, a full-size adjustable step could probably be used as a substitute). Firm instructor Lisa Kay does a solid job leading the workout, which comes in right around 30 minutes. In addition to the FL, various sets of dumbbells are used throughout.

The workout begins with a 6-minute warm-up and stretch using the FL at its mid-range height. Exercises in the first segment include plies, leg presses on the full FL, hover squats, and then a second leg press series; calf raises are also included as part of the leg press work. Next comes a short (3 minutes) aerobic section using the low (purple) portion of the FL, which was fun and helped keep the heart rate elevated. Another toning segment follows, this one with dips, lunges, and squats, and then there is another 3-minute aerobic sequence, this time on the floor (includes some small plyometric jumps). Yet another set of leg presses comes next plus more calf work, squats, and finally, dips/curtsy dips. The workout ends with a 3-minute stretch seated on the FL.

Although I haven't always clicked with Firm workouts, I enjoyed this one very much, and I felt that my lower body got an excellent workout. I also think that the routine is quite customizable to meet your needs: the first time through, I was already tired from another workout, so I used a bit lighter weights, but you could easily go quite heavy on your weights as well. Furthermore, I loved that the workout moved quickly, which meant that my heart rate stayed in my target zone for about two-thirds of the workout (eg, over 20 minutes). I would definitely recommend this routine, especially for those like me who do not enjoy floor work and thus prefer standing exercises for their lower body.

Instructor Comments:
I had no problems with Lisa; as is typical with the Firm, she speaks with a southern accent and sounds somewhat scripted, but she cued well and was perfectly pleasant.

Beth C (aka toaster)


Firm Lower Body Sculpt 1 is one of the “6-pack” add-on workouts for BSS1. It is a standing lower-body workout. It’s 30 minutes long (which Lisa makes sure to mention during the workout), including a warm-up and stretch. The Fanny Lifter and dumbbells are used in this workout. A stepstool or High Step could easily be substituted for the FL.

If you don’t like lunges or tall box climbs, this is NOT the workout for you! It is meant to be alternated with Lower Body Sculpt 2, which is all floorwork (and, in my opinion, much easier). LBS 1, because it’s a standing workout, functions somewhat like an aerobic weight training workout, but I wouldn’t really use it for a cardio day.

The exercises included are as follows.

Leg press
Hover squat
Leg press with calf raises
Cardio with FL – includes dips and squats off the FL
Lunge sequence – starts with dips and includes squats
Low impact cardio with calf pumps, glute raises, grapevines, and squats
Leg press left with calf raise
Leg press right with calf raise
Dip/curtsy dip

This workout packs a lot into a half hour. I used lighter weights, as I prefer that for the lower body. I felt like I got a good workout, reminiscent of Slim Series-type lower body work. I definitely would NOT recommend this to anyone with knee problems.

This would be a good workout for someone just starting out, who might want to do a lower body workout one day, then upper body the next. I did this workout after Upper Body Sculpt with Janet Brooks, and felt like I got a well-rounded workout. I did feel the need to do some floorwork later in the week, though.

I’m beginning to like the look of the newer Firms, with their coordinating outfits and clean sets. I also like the half-hour workouts, which are good to combine with other half-hour workouts, or to use on time-crunched days. So, this is a keeper for me.

Instructor Comments:
I like Lisa. She looks more like a real woman than many of the ultra-slim instructors featured in newer Firm workouts. She is definitely athletic-looking, but neither drill sergeant nor cheerleader-ish. She cues well, though sometimes you have to watch her rather than listen to get a move. She mentions the Fanny Lifter once or twice, but not over and over like some of the other instructors in the series.



I had put off doing this workout for quite some time, and now that I have given it a go, I am sorry I did! It is a fun workout. The set, style and instructors will be familiar to anyone who has tried the body sculpting system series. I love the clean, uncluttered look.

As far as the workout goes, it was really nicely structured. There are about 3 long sets of tall box climbs using light, middle and heavy weights. These are broken up by aerobic breaks and sections of other floor work such as lunges and squats.

I think that, even at a fairly brief half an hour, this workout is still a bit long for the kind of work it is. I am not sure the average person needs quite that many lunges and leg presses. But I enjoyed this routine. While I would not do it TOO often do it being a bit much for what I need, it is certainly a well-taught and fun routine and I enjoyed it a lot.

Instructor Comments:
Lisa is not as warm an instructor as some of them are, but she was pleasant and competent and did a good job of reminding beginenrs often to follow their modfications.



Lower Body Sculpt I is a 30 minute all-standing leg workout that moves at an excellent, quick pace. It packs a lot into the half-hour. It consists of the usual sorts of Firm moves, such as tall box climbs, squats, plies, hovers, lunges and dips, and some fast-paced cardio sections that also incorporate the leg exercises. The music was good, too! I am not a big fan of standing leg work, but this workout goes pretty fast, and none of the sets are too long, so it works well for me. The exercises are sequenced very well. This is an intermediate level workout. Advanced beginners will like it and one participant shows beginner modifications. Advanced exercisers will like it as an add on or for a medium-light leg day. I give it an A.

Instructor Comments:
I think Lisa Kay is a very good instructor. She is pleasant, and straight-forward in her instruction.