The Firm: Jiggle Free Arms (BSS4)Stephanie Huckabee
Year Released: 2004
Categories: Upper Body Strength
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This is one of my top favorite Firms - which is saying alot.
It is a fun and challenging upper body and cardio workout. It packs a good amount of each into 30 minutes. The upper body weight work is alternated with cardio. Stephanie gives excellent cueing and form pointers; heaving up is possible with this workout. She really shines in this workout.
The workout flows nicely back and forth from weights to cardio. The weight segments are solid and target the upper body; the cardio segments are fun and refreshing. It is a solid intermediate workout. It is a great upper body workout that is a lot of fun because of the cardio mixed in.
This is a 30 minute cardio + upper body strength work dvd. Stephanie leads with 4 background exercisers, Alison shows the beginner modificaitons. This workout was released as a BSS4 (TransFirmer) add on and features the TransFirmer (TF) . You will also need a variety of dumbbells. The set is nice and open and a bright grayish white.
Let me start off by saying I LOVE LOVE LOVE this workout! It is probably my all time favorite workout dvd ever made. I am very fond of all the BSS4 TransFirmer workouts though and I like Stephanie. She is an excellent lead, her demeanor is awesome and her cueing is spot on. She is very fit and motivating! The workout has NO dread factor but is fun and you will get a great workout with it to.
This workout features step, incline step, and floor aerobics interspersed with upper body strength work. The strength work includes: pushups off the TF, pec fly (using the incline as a bench) bench press, tricep bench press, bicep curls, clean and press, shoulder raises, tricep dips off the TF, and other upper body work at varied tempos. The time flys with this one and you will thouroughly work all your upper body muscles and work up a very nice sweat all in only 30 minutes.
This workout is great to add to other cardio + upper body workouts (Jackies 1 on 1, Results 10 Days, Barrys Bootcamp Fat Blaster, etc) or to add to Jiggle Free Buns for a complete strength + cardio workout.
This workout has already been broken down thoroughly, so I am just going to add my opinions on the workout. I am reviewing this workout after having done it about five times or so in entirety.
I am really fond of the BSS4 workouts. They are my favorite of the BSS series. I think the “Jiggle Free” series is especially well thought out. They are challenging workouts and/but also have a great fun factor, I believe more so than the other BSS series. This workout is led by Stephanie Huckabee, who is a great cuer and a seasoned Firm master instructor. She has a great following and I think that is well deserved.
With that said, this is my least favorite of the BSS4 Jiggle Free workouts. The strength sessions are great – very comprehensive, and move slow enough to allow you to heavy up on the weights. The usage of the step on the incline is great for chest flies and bench press and the 14” step is great for sitting upper body work like military press. The strength sessions successfully fry my arms, although regrettably I have not done the workout with enough consistency to determine how much shape and definition using this video would do for my arms.
It was the aerobic intervals that I was not as happy with. The aerobic sections are mostly step aerobics (which I generally really enjoy) but I found the choreography to be somewhat confusing. I follow along fine in other BSS-era firms (including the sister workout Jiggle Free Buns), but even after a few run-throughs I found myself stumbling over my feet in the final two aerobic sections. It’s frustrating! I don’t know if it’s the choreography that’s complicated or Stephanie’s cuing. I also thought that the final aerobic section was a little excessive and unexpected after the final strength section.
All in all however it is another Firm keeper for me, and I do really enjoy the BSS4 series, like I said. Like most of the Firm workouts, this is a solid intermediate level and alternates strength and cardio like most Firm workouts out there. The set is clean and organized, Alison does beginner modifications in the back, and the music is upbeat techno. Like all Firms the production quality is high, which I really appreciate. Overall grade B.
I like Stephanie. She has mostly clear cuing and a somewhat serious demeanor. She’s not my favorite but I don’t really have any specific reason to dislike her either. She’s a classic master instructor. I use her BSS4 Ultimate Calorie Blaster on a regular basis and seem to enjoy her more there.
I thought I was in for an easy upper body workout like the original FIRM Parts Upper Body. Boy, was I surprised! Those cardio intervals give me what I need most -- more cardio, along with excellent upper body sets that hit all of my upper body using my heaviest weights. Carol did an excellent breakdown of the workout, so I'll just talk about the results.
My arms felt like jello afterwards, and I was too winded to even turn off the DVD. I love the set, and love the TransFIRMer. My favorite exercise is pushups done off the incline. I'm able to do them without my knees touching the TransFIRMer, and I really feel this move all over my upper body, including triceps.
I loved the cardio intervals continued to work my arms, so there was literally no rest. Cardio is the thing I hate most, so I love that they sneaked some into this workout.
The newer FIRMs add lots of calf pumps, which I love. I remember the older FIRMs and the FIRM Form Points which talked about the "hole" in the workouts being the calves, and suggested donkey calf raises with your mate sitting on your hips! I prefer the new FIRM, thanks.
Definitely a keeper.
Stephanie is back with more of her exquisitely perfect cuing and down to earth presence.
I’m not going to describe the workout in detail because Carol did a wonderful job already. I really like this workout and I am glad it is a cardio and weights workout. I believe that the cardio is the way to get rid of my jiggle (my fat), while the weights help with the muscle tone and strength. That said I find the first cardio section to be a little strange in an “arms” workout. There is so much hopping and jumping that my calves hurt. This doesn’t happen in any other BBS4 workout, you know the ones that are supposed to work the legs.
Overall I find the workout well paced and it keeps me interested and challenged. I have to do a bit of modifying because of shoulder problems (I substitute my physical therapy exercises in some places) but it is very manageable because of Stephanie’s clear cueing and the organization and pacing of the exercises. This is actually one of the reasons I really like this workout because I can get my six exercise physical therapy regime done during the workout and I don’t have to suffer through doing them on my own.
One interesting thing I noted is that when not facing the television Stephanie does not cue right and left but will say things like “alternate one arm at a time”. This eliminates the problem of mirror cuing when you are effectively side by side with her. I always found it frustrating when an instructor would stop mirror cuing and start cuing from their point of view just because they turned.
One thing that I especially enjoyed in this workout is that Stephanie does some stretches during the workout right after working a body part. I really liked this in BBS1 and miss from other workouts.
In my current rotation I am doing Jiggle Free Arms once a week followed by Jiggle Free Buns for a total body workout. I have fun and feel like I am getting the job done.
PS - I have the DVD version and I am very glad it does not have the Firm Believers website advertisement.
I really enjoy Stephanie. She cues well and is easy to follow.
The Firm Transfirmer Series Jiggle Free Arms is a 30 minute workout led by Stephanic Huckabee. It features great music (there was only one segment I thought had terrible music) and again features Alison Davis showing beginner modifications. Stephanie is joined again by Allie, Annie, and Pam. The warm up uses the green (6 inch) portion of the TF, then we stack it and place it in the incline position to first do push-ups on the incline part. I would not recommend this if you have knee issues as that thing may be soft to step onto, but it is NOT soft to kneel on while doing push-ups. Of course, if you do them inclined on your toes, your knees won't touch the TF. We don't do many so I was able to do this.
We then lie on the incline to do first bench press then triceps press with heavy weights (I used 2 12# bells), then switch to medium bells (I stayed with my 12's) for first pec flyes then triceps extensions. A short stretch follows, then we move the TF out of the way for the first cardio tune. I was sort of hoping they wouldn't do the weights then cardio thing here. I was hoping for a true upper body workout. Oh well. It was a fun segment, and it's done on without the TF.
The second weight portion uses the TF in the 14 inch position and we sit to first do triceps dips, then pick up heavy weights to do overhead presses. Light weights (I used 2 5# bells) are then used for front raises and side raises. The thing I love about the weight work in this is it's not simply the same old boring 3 sets of 12 reps, or some variation of. We do different counts and unique combinations. It makes it fun!
The next cardio segment used the inclined position, and it was FUN! Even though I was still hoping for a true upper body workout, this part was so much fun I stopped brooding by now and simply enjoyed the workout! This segment, however, had music that sounded like it was from that part in the original Star Wars movie where Luke, Han and Chuey were in the bar with all the strange creatures. I could barely hear Stephanie's cueing over it. Stephanie's cueing, by the way, is perfect! A certain instructor who shall remain nameless in this review should take cueing lessons from all these Firm instructors!!
We then use the 14 inch TF again and sit on the edge in a diagnonal position to do double arm rows, then hammer curls. We then stand and pick up medium weights (I used 2 8# bells) do to rows with our palms facing front, then curls with our arms angled out.
The next step segment used the 8 inch (blue) section, and it was also a lot of fun! Then we stand for clean and press, which is a hammer curl followed by an overhead press. Biceps curls then, and she follows immediately with upright rows, so when she says pick up medium weights ... unless you enjoy doing upright rows with your heaviest weights ... pick up medium weights! Posterior flyes with light weight end the segment. A short stretch follows, then an easy step routine on the blue section. The workout concludes with another stretch.
I give this one a B plus, only because it's more of a cardio and weights workout than a true arm workout. But I still enjoyed it!