The Firm: Super Body SculptStephanie Huckabee
Year Released: 2002
Categories: Total Body Workouts
Video Fitness reviews may not be copied, quoted, or posted elsewhere without the permission of the reviewer
Ooo! Another good one!
Super Body Sculpt might be considered more of a "gym style" workout than the average Firm. No simultaneous upper/lower body exercises. It's broken into three sections, first upper body, then lower body, then abs.
I was concerned about the three distinct sections and multiple warm-ups and whether that would feel choppy, but it didn't bother me a bit.
This video has renewed my interest in the FIRM. These days I am desperate for good but short strength videos, and this video fits that category perfectly. I was really surprised at how tough the 15 min. upper and lower body sections were. They are perfect for the time crunched. Bonuses--there is no cardio to distract me, and the upper body and lower body workouts are completely separate, instead of being all mixed up together the way the FIRM usually does them. For those who like to do upper/lower body splits over a couple days, that is a real benefit.
Edited to add a note: There are two versions of this workout on DVD--one with chaptering, and the other without any chapters. Make sure you get the chaptered version for more versatility.
One good thing one can grudgingly say about Good Times is that for the first time, I can actually find Firm tapes in my local stores (in Canada) and not worry about cross border shipping charges. So I took the opportunity to pick this one up at my local drugstore.
I am a long term exerciser who has fallen into doing yoga almost exclusively while letting my cardio and weights tape gather dust. This is a perfect re-entry tape for getting back into traditional weight and cardio training, as well as being short, so I can tack on some yoga afterwards. It fulfills all my objectives as this point - simple, efficient, and organized so that if I needed to I could do upper body and lower body separately. The equipment required is less than some Firms, requiring only a Fanny Lifter and dumbells (I used my regular step and Rubbermaid box). It's just varied enough to keep up interest, without getting overly complicated or fancy.
Who will enjoy it? Those looking for shorter, straightforward sculpting workouts that are easily modifiable, with relatively uncomplicated moves.
It might disappoint intensity junkies used to the older Firm Classics, as well as those who are very attached to the old Firm look and music. I really don't mind either incarnation of the Firm, so it's just fine for me, and I quite like the newer lineup of Firm instructors.
The music is admittedly rather insipid, but at least not annoying.
Clear, friendly, and accessible in the same way most of the Firm instructor are. I can't decide if she's a little on the bland side, or just that she doesn't have anything that stands out, either way.
I was one of the original “Firm Believers.” I bought each over-priced tape months before it was available. And … I have to admit … I did get results.
But then … something happened. The tapes were too long for me to fit into my time-crunched mornings. The endless lunges, high impact, and other unsafe moves started to bother my joints, and the endless tall box climbs made my butt and legs bulk too much. The extremely rehearsed quality and the Stepford Wives-ish instructors bored me. I tried other tapes and discovered Gin Miller, Kari Anderson – tapes that were fun, that didn’t make my joints hurt – and quickly traded away all my “classic” firms, except for Volume 4 and the Tracie Long ones.
Recently I’ve heard so much about how the “new” firms were so different than the “old” firms. Much of the talk has been negative. But I began to think, if the new Firms are so different, then maybe I’d like them.
The first one I tried is Super Body Sculpt with Stephanie Corley. I LOVED THIS! In some ways, it is very different than the original Firms. The set is bright, Crunch-like (large fans in the walls), and very clean. The instructor and co-exercisers are not Stepford-like at all – they seem more like the (buff) girls next door. There are no ta-da’s, flourishes, “rodeo” moves, “dork dances” or other moves that would make you feel silly or self-conscious doing this in front of someone else. And Stephanie’s cuing is excellent.
The tape is divided into three sections. All toning – no cardio. Each section has a warm-up and cool-down.
The first 15 minute section is upper body. They suggest 3, 5, and 8 lb weights, which would provide a good intermediate workout. The second time I did this, I used 5, 8, and 10 lb weights. It’s not the toughest upper body workout I’ve ever done, but it does feel like a quality workout, working your different muscle groups evenly. They use the “fanny lifter” to do pushups – I did the pushups on the floor, as it felt better to my wrists. They also did most of the upper body work seated on the fanny lifter – a chair would also work. I liked doing it seated as it allowed me to concentrate and use heavier weights.
The next 15 minute section is lower body. They used medium (5 lb.) and heavy (8 lb.) weights; I swapped up to 8 lb. weights for most exercises and 10 lb. weights for the squats. You do need a low step for some of the exercises and a high step or fanny lifter for two sets of tall box climbs. These exercises struck me as much safer and easier on my joints than old Firms – for examples, lunges are done with one foot on the low step.
The third 10 minute section is abs. This seemed to be pretty decent – although I’ll probably skip this section in the future, as I do a lot of Pilates for this area.
This is a tape that packs quite a lot into a short time. I definitely see myself using this in the future – as a 30 minute upper and lower body workout, or using individual sections as “add-ons” to other tapes.
When it comes to creating a list of my favorite FIRM workouts…this one is tied for the top of the list. Thhe workout is led by Stephanie Corely and is a part of the BSS1 six-pack. It is filmed in the new (post-2001) set and there are 5 master instructors present for the workout. One instructor always shows modifications.
This sculpting video is unique to the Firm in that it is separated into three distinct sections: Upper body, Lower body, and abs. You can choose to do all three for approximately a 40 minute workout or you can choose from any of the three sections. I like the DVD because it makes it really easy to do this. I had the VHS for it, but found it awkward to fast forward or rewind to the section I wanted.
The upper and lower body sections are 15 min each and the abs section is about 10 mins. Each section is self contained with its own warm up and cool down. I know that some people here have found it awkward and weird to do this, but I reall like the fact that every 15 minutes, I get a mini-break in my workout. A chance to shake out my limbs and get ready for something new.
I really like Stephanie's style. She reminds me alot of Tracie Long in a no-nonsense kind of way.
I received this workout in a trade and was able to try it today for the first time. I was able to jump right in without previewing---it is an uncomplicated and straightforward routine.
Unlike other Firm workouts, it does not feature aerobic segments and it works the upper and lower body separately. Each section has its own warm-up, which I found kind of annoying. I would have preferred to just keep going, and I do not think any of the sections were tough enough that I would ever split this up and do only half of it as my sole workout for the day.
The upper body section featured a warm-up of basic upper body stretches (which was nice, as many workouts skimp on upper body stretching in favor of lower body stretching) and some simple reaches and lunges. Then we get about 15 minutes of upper body exercises. The sets are short, but many get pulsing rep add-ons, for example with biceps curls, you do some at normal, then a few pulsing reps of 3, then some more normal. So there was a decent amount of reps. A few exercises get repeated twice, such as push-ups and triceps extensions. I felt the work was fairly evenly balanced between thr different sections of the upper body, which was nice as past Firm workouts have favored shoulder work above all else.
The lower body section was equally plain but efficient and featured leg presses (done twice) and a decent assortment of squats, hover squats, lunges and plies. I did not do the ab section.
I love how they always tell you what weight you should be using (e.g. light, medium or heavy) but I disagree with some of their choices. I would never use a “heavy” weight for shoulder work. I strongly caution beginners to use no weights the first time so they can get to know the exercises.
Stephanie is a pleasant enough instructor. She did not stick out in my mind in either a good or bad way. She did the job :-) I thought the time passed by quickly (probably because of the way it was sectioned) and I enjoyed the workout. I did feel it was a bit easier than many of my Firm tapes. I finished the workout still feeling like I should be doing more. I would probably save this workout in the future for a lighter day when I did not feel like going full tilt.
Super Body Sculpt is a great workout that does it all in under an hour. I have the chaptered version with the purple cover. You can do upper body, lower body, or abs, or do all three together. Unfortunately, you can’t move from chapter to chapter, so you really just pick one or all three. It’s pretty hard to skip around on this DVD.
Each section has its own warm up and cool down, which unfortunately you can’t skip, except by fast-forwarding or using your DVD player’s Search function. Even if you do all of them, the workout clocks in at about 45 minutes.
The upper body workout consists of the following:
1. Pushups and lat rows
2. Overhead shoulder press
3. Double arm seated lat row
4. Tricep French press
5. Tricep kickbacks
6. Front and side delt lifts
7. Bicep hammer curls
8. Tricep French press
9. Bicep curls
The Fanny Lifter is used to sit on and for pushups. You could easily do the upper body segment without it.
Lower body workout includes:
1. Hover squats
2. Leg press
4. Squat abduction off the Fanny Lifter, alternating with dips
5. Lunges onto the FL
6. Leg press
The Fanny Lifter is used for the leg press, squats abduction, dips, and lunges. You could substitute a household stool for this. They use the whole FL and one of the smaller segments. The only time you really NEED it is for the leg presses.
Ab work includes:
1. Side crunches where you sit on the FL with your legs apart. Put one arm behind your head, other out to the side and reach sideways down to the floor (like in BSS1 Cardio Sculpt and Maximum Body Shaping)
2. Crunches with feet on FL, straight up and then to each side
3. Lower body crunch with knees bent
4. Pulleys (bicycle)
5. Lower body crunch alternating tapping feet to the FL and then extending legs straight out
Again, you could easily do this without the FL or substitute a stool.
I use relatively heavy weights for this workout. I mostly used dumbbells, but for some of the lower body, I got out my barbell.
It’s better than the old Firms in that you stick to one area of the body at a time. I did need to pause occasionally to switch weights. All you really need are dumbbells and a stool though, so this workout is great for time-crunched days or days when you want something relatively straightforward. The lower body work is pretty similar to Lower Body Sculpt 1 with Lisa Kay, except that it doesn’t include cardio segments.
Libby demonstrates modifications throughout and does the whole workout without weights. I really think this is a good workout for all levels. While you won’t do a dozen different exercises for each body part, you will get a good, thorough workout in a short time without needing a ton of equipment. The pace is better than older Firms, and it’s less gimmicky and gadget-oriented than many of the newer Firms.
Stephanie is her usual self, a “New Firm” instructor. She cues well, gives some form pointers, and words of encouragement. Her comments do seem scripted, but not overly corny. She is relatively laid-back, compared to some instructors. Her personality fits this straight-to-the-point workout.
I like doing parts of this one; never done the whole dvd as one workout before but I've done the upper body and abs together. The lower body part I find challenging with the hover squats and tall box climbs but not as bad as the lower body from body sculpt (IMO). The upper body starts with pushups using the fanny lifter (fanny lifter is said so many times you'll get sick of hearing it!) and there's a lot of getting up and down(guess so she can say fanny lifter for getting up and fannylfiter for sitting down again!) she says when to get light, med, heavy weights and there's time to get in position for the next move. the abs you sit and do some type of leaning to the side to work the obliques then do crunches with feet on the fanny lifter and some other type of bicycle/pilates looking move. I'm weak abs and overweight so I can feel these moves. plank is at the end or plank on the forearms then stretch.
The only annoying points in this dvd: 1) they focus a lot in the upper body part on the other stephanie (think that's her name) on the right side of the screen and she seems to be 'showing off' by suckingher her stomach and sticking her boobs out (minor point but it irritated me) 2) got tired of hearing fanny lifter and the unnecessary getting up and down (most arm movements you can sit on the fanny lifter so why get up just to stretch the arms then sit back down?!) 3) the warmups were way too long IMO for the short workout following them. why do all those leg movemetns to warm up the arms?! but the workouts are short and to the point and so far I like doing them.
has an accent but I like her.
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, a 6” purple step which sits on top of a 8” blue step, for an overall 14” step. I really like the FL and have used it over and over, in Firm workouts as well as plenty of other workouts. I enjoy BSS1 in that it does not bother with the “sculpting stick” which is unfortunately introduced in BSS2.
Stephanie works out with four other Firm master instructors, in the BSS1 set which is very Crunch-like with large white fans in an open area. If I remember the color theme is green here – everybody wears similar-but-different green tops or sport bras with black pants or shorts. Libby is the beginner modifier and does not use weights.
I was actually not planning to invest in Super Body Sculpt, as I do not prefer split routines or working all of the muscles one group at a time (I prefer most other Firms that intermix the entire body). However, at a used bookstore I found a $0.99 VHS of this tape, so what could I do? ;-) Upon doing the workout, I am glad that I found it for cheap and now have it in my collection.
The workout starts with an arm segment, about 15 minutes of actual strength work plus a warm up and cool down, then a leg segment, another 15 minutes of actual strength work plus a warm up and cool down, and finally a shorter 10 minute ab workout, plus its own warm up and cool down. An immediate complaint is that each segment has its own warm up and cool down – I would have strongly preferred one warm up and cool down plus separate chaptering for the arm, leg, and ab segments. As it is, I did the arm warm up, arm strength work, fast forward to leg strength work, fast forward to ab strength work, then cooled down for a ~40 minute workout. With the VHS it was easy enough to fast forward; I do not know if or how well the DVD is chaptered. Done in entirety the workout is about 45 minutes.
There is no cardio (warm ups excluded) in this workout – it is strictly strength. I thought the strength work was very comprehensive and I got a great bang out of the short time period for both arms and legs. Leg work included two sets of leg press among lunges and squats. Arm work included all of the regular Firm fare, military press, delt lifts, pushups, French press. Ab work incorporated the FL with feet on the step and was a collection of very general crunch variations.
What I really liked most about the workout is the music – I recognized several tunes from other workouts (primarily 10 Minute Solution videos). Also, with such short sets, the workout goes by really fast. This video will definitely be a refreshing change of pace from other Firm workouts, primarily because of its organization of a split routine. I have really enjoyed almost all of the BSS workouts that I have tried, and this is a great one to add to the collection. They are generally shorter in length (less than an hour), moderately intense but not killer, and easily modifiable with poundage. I believe the instructor uses 3, 5, and 8# weights, I use 10, 12, and 15 for more of a challenge.
This workout is a great addition for those Firm lovers; or those that like Firm style weight training. This is good for those who like split routines and are looking for SHORT focused workouts. This will not do for the very advanced, but I’m sure that’s old news. Overall I am pleased with this workout, well worth the $0.99 that I paid for it. I probably would not have been so enthusiastic had I paid $15 for the DVD, but if you can find a bargain, then pick it up! Overall grade B+.
I have and enjoy many of Stephanie’s workouts. She gives clear guidance and has great form. She is friendly but not overly encouraging or chatty, which is probably a good balance for many. I like her enough that I am contemplating her Powerfit workouts, although she’s not SO amazing that I ran out to get them ASAP. She does have many faithful followers on VF however which I think is well deserved.
This is a 40ish minute all strength w/o led by Stephanie with 4 background exercisers, one showing beginner modifications. The set is the BSS1 white walls w/ fans background. You will need a variety of dumbbells and a fanny lifter or other step for this workout.
This w/o is divided into UB, LB, and abs. There is a brief w/u & c/d in each segment so that you can do each segment as a stand alone 15 min w/o. But thats kindof a waste of time when you are stringing them together. Some of these dvds allow you to skip and choose sections from a main menu but some dont-mine doesnt. This kind of defeats the purpose, but whatever. The UB & LB are about 15 min each and the ab section is about 10 min.
For being pretty short on time each segment really packs a punch IMO. I felt that pretty much each muscle group was thouroughly worked by the end of this w/o. With maybe the exception of chest- pushups are the only chest work. You will do some compound moves but not as many as other Firms because the UB & LB are split up. I like that though because it allows you to really heavy up. Though there is no straight cardio work my HR was up nicely for a lot of it.
Moves include: leg press, bicep curl, clean & press, lat row, dips, lunges, squats, tricep kickbacks, French press, delt lifts, hover squats, hammer curls, push ups, etc. The ab work is mostly lying crunches & crunch variations including lower ab work. But she does include some oblique work while seated on the FL.
I would rate this a solid intermediate w/o that can easily be modified up or down to suit your needs depending on your poundage. I really like Stephanie as a lead and she does not dissapoint in this one. If my dvd were fully customizable I would probably have given this 5 stars. I dont nec like the seperate w/u & c/d's on each section but use that as a time to "free form" step aerobics or whatever to get my HR going.