FitPrime Core First

Carissa Foster
Year Released: 2002

Categories: Pilates/Core Strength , Total Body Workouts

Video Fitness reviews may not be copied, quoted, or posted elsewhere without the permission of the reviewer

Show oldest reviews first

Im still undecided about this one. I love Carissa Foster Ive liked her ever since her debut with the FIRM several years ago. This workout is okay. I like it for the most part, although I do think there are an excessive amount of equipment and position changes. You start on the floor with core and leg work. That takes up roughly half the workout. Then you do standing work with cardio bursts mixed in. Id call this mostly an intermediate workout, touching advanced at some points. I guess my major hangup is that it seems gimmicky sometimes using equipment for the sake of using equipment, flopping around trying to quickly get in different positions for the same of getting into different positions. I think, though, I will keep this for at least a little while longer. I like it enough to give it a few more tries.

Annie S.


I too expected more from the fitprime workouts and this is the first one I have tried. It will probably be the LAST as well. I previewed it once before trying it and I thought OK it looks freaky but I'll give it a chance.

I always finish my video workouts and at the point the other poster was talking about (pulsing step ups w/ leg going to the side WITH upper body work) I just turned it off. I was disgusted and frustrated.

The use of the ball was ridiculous as well. Throwing a ball in the air while lunging then dipping? Call me crazy but that is just plain stupid.

There were really no good form pointers as far as the yoga work went. I am NOT a yoga person but she gave me no clue if my form was on or off. It was outrageous. I usually don't get this emotional over a workout but I really hate this one.

If you can do it I give you much respect because you would have to be extremely athletic, agile and have GREAT balance.

Instructor Comments:
I liked Carissa in super sculpting so I too expected more from her and from this workout. Her hair was BUGGINNNNN. The princess L/baby jane hairdo was distracting at best. Carissa is a beautiful girl but this was just plain goofy.



This seems to be one of those love-it-or-hate-it videos. Well, put me in the "hate it" camp. For reference, I am an advanced exerciser in video terms. For strength training, I mainly use Cathes workouts, supplemented by the FIRM.

Core First is like the Worst of the FIRM from the cheesy set to the atrocious cueing to the multitude of unsafe and/or ineffective exercises. Okay, I'm not the safety police, but there are several moves in Core First that I think are a really bad idea. For example, I love tall box step-ups. I did NOT like the tall box work in this video, which involves very fast, sometimes pulsing step-ups, while simultaneously working the upper body with dumbbells. It was impossible to maintain any kind of good form on the upper body stuff, and I felt my knees grinding on the pulsing steps up. I did this video three times to give it a fair chance, and each time my knees hurt the next day -- and I don't generally have problems with my knees. And forget about bouncing a weighted ball in my 100-year-old house.

Some of the equipment seemed to be used just for the sake of using it. Transitions between exercises happened way too quickly -- I normally dont find myself having to hit pause for equipment changes on FIRM tapes, but I did with Core First. You end up with stuff scattered all around you -- tall box, ball, dumbbells, barbell, ankle weights, and a stick! As Deb said in her review, Core First uses moves from yoga and pilates without any apparent understanding of either discipline.

I would recommend this video only to advanced exercisers who know how to modify unsafe moves.

Instructor Comments:

Elisa B.


This video is excellent, and one of Anna Benson's best creations. It is one of the best total body workouts on the market, and it has everything in it -- cardio, standing leg work, floor leg work, abdominals, upper body, and yoga, combined with pre-exhaust moves using weights, 14-inch step, and medicine ball. It has a unique, colorful background, with motivating music. The length is perfect - about 58 minutes. It is intense and challenging. Buy it --you'll sweat, and love every minute of it!

Instructor Comments:
Total professionalism; pleasant personality; uses good form; has a vivacious style; and uses good, clear, timely instructions throughout video.



Let me say two things first: one, I really enjoyed Weights First, despite the fact that it was so intense I almost threw up the first time. Two, I really liked Carissa from Maximum Cardio, so I came into this tape with high expectations.

On paper, this could have been the perfect video for me. Yoga and Pilates are my preferred methods of training, and I liked the idea of incorporating these practices into a video that has more traditional weight work. Also, much of the weight work integrates different parts of the body at the same time, so you're continually challenging your core.

Well, it just didn't work out for us. I'm glad I have a habit of previewing before I do a workout. I get the feeling that FitPrime just doesn't get the point of Pilates. In Pilates, you don't want to train to failure or even exhaustion. When you use resistance, you want to employ the resistance of your own body and the principle of opposition to lengthen your muscles as opposed to bulking them. Above all, control has to be present in everything you do. I was horrified by their version of the inner thigh lift. She performs this move with two pound ankle weights and a barbell which I believe is 20 pounds. What on earth do you need that much weight for on your inner thigh? I cringed watching Carissa perform this move, and not just because she looked like she was wincing in pain. She looked like she was using her lower back quite a bit to lift the bar.

Another move that made me shudder was their version of the Pendulum- once again, with the two pound ankle weights. If you've got the control and strength, fine, but then keep your torso still. Also, I understood the use of the stick for the plies and lunges in Weights First, but the point of using them on the oblique twists was completely lost on me.

Having said all of that, I still like the idea of the workout enough that I might give it a try, but only because I know how to perform the moves correctly, and I wouldn't use the amount of weight they do.

Instructor Comments:
I really liked Carissa in Maximum Cardio, so I was really surprised by my reaction to her in this video. Her form was really off in a lot of the floor work.

Deb (aka dnk)