The Firm: 500 Calorie Workout

Kelsie Daniels
Year Released: 2008

Categories: Circuit Training (cardio and weights)

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Length: 64 minutes
Format: Circuit
Background exercisers: four females in black outfits.
Set: Brightly lit studio looking set
Intensity: High intermediate
Grade: A

Wow, what can I say? This workout kicked my butt. The cardio is all very straightforward (jacks, hamstring curls, grapevines, plyo squats, etc) and not too complicated. I have 2 left feet and I could follow this. The cardio sections are all at least 5 minutes long if not longer. The strength moves all involve lower and upper body at the same time and really got my heart rate up, even more than the cardio. She has a fun move where you are in a plie stance, then lean to one side, put the dumbbell down, lean to the other side, put the other dumbbell down, lean to the other side, pick it back up, etc. It has a very functional feel tot he whole workout. You don't go down to the floor until the very end where she adds on some traditional abs. (There is a whole standing abs segment)

My heart rate monitor said I burned 515 calories, but I am sure it was more, as it wasn't picking up my heart rate until about 10 minutes into the workout.

All in all this was a fun, tough, fast paced workout that I look forward to doing again.

Instructor Comments:
Wow, she is amazing. Fun, upbeat, doesn't say the same motivational thing over and over and really keeps things moving. the FIRM has a real winner with her. The entire cast seemed more "real" to me than other FIRMS. Maybe my FIRMS are all too old or something, LOL, but I loved this workout!

Peggy T


This workout was great, I honestly do not have a lot of bad things to say about it. It was high energy, I felt my heart rate go up and was so interesting I couldn't stop. After working out everyday with this workout and using a 1000 calorie diet I lost 15 pounds in 12 days. Yes 12 days!!!! The only thing bad with it is the pace, sometimes I couldn't catch up, but after a few workouts I got used to it. But other than that it was a great workout and I think everyone should try it.



This is a 60 minute AWT w/o led by Kelsie w/ 4 background exercisers. Tina shows the beginner modifications. The set is one of my favorites-hardwood floors w/ the (fake) city backgound view from the windows. Kelsie uses one set of (5 lb) dumbbells but I used a variety; you wont need any other props for this w/o.

Kelsie alternates cardio and AWT strength segments thourghout this dvd. The sets are a nice length, so youre not switching up every few mintues, which I like. The pace is quick in this one so it was hard to use my typical Firm-heavy weights, I heavied up as much as possible and I am quite sore today! Kelsie does not waste any time in this one, but I didnt feel rushed or lost at all.

Her cardio is straightforward and athletic (love) w/out being boring or repetitive. She builds in intensity so its easy to amp up throughout or keep it lower intensity if you choose. You will see jacks, shuffle, grapevines, front & back V-steps, ham curls, etc. She puts fun spins on some typical hi-lo moves to really keep the w/o moving along and fun.

Her strength moves are all multi muscle and I found myself not able to go quite as heavy as I would have liked, but like I said-I am feeling it today so had I heavied up-I would probably have regretted it today! She combines a lunge with a bicep curl, squats with clean and press, side lunges-setting down the weight and picking it up, etc. What I really loved about her strength segments was that my heartrate really didnt drop at all.

She closes with a standing ab section that is used to cool down before you go down to the floor for more ab work and lying chest and tricep work.

I would rate this a higher intermediate- it is more challenging than most of the newer pinnk Firms. I really enjoyed this w/o and though its 60 minutes-I wasnt clock watching AT ALL! The time flew by and I was drenched with sweat by the end. Kelsie really makes the most of your workout time here



This is a “Pink” Firm workout led by Kelsie Daniels, clocks in at 64 minutes, and claims to burn up to 500 calories. Like most Firm workouts, this is an Aerobic Weight Training (AWT) workout that has aerobic intervals and strength that keeps your heart rate up, firstly because it is sandwiched by aerobic intervals, secondly because the strength moves are combination and use a lot of muscle groups at once. In my opinion this is one of the most difficult (if not the most difficult – and I have probably tried about 75-80% of the Pink Firms) of the Pink Firms. It just seems like it never ends – the strength work is often core focused, with balancing moves and nearly every move has upper and lower body work at the same time. The cardio is pumping – long sets with somewhat dancy moves with lots of jumping, ploys, and twisting moves to work the core.

During the strength segments Kelsie recommends “medium to heavy” weights, and in the final strength set (which is a standing core set followed by floor work of chest flys, triceps work, and abs) she even recommends “heavy” poundage. However I found that 5# dumbbells (which I would categorize as light-medium weights – usually my Pink Firm medium-heavy poundage is 8# weights) is all that could be used. She uses lots of multi-planar moves, balance moves, etc. that would be dangerous with much heavier weights than that. I do really like the creativity of the moves, lots of twisting, balance, almost a functional feel, and she barely repeats exercises. For the legs there were a large variety of lunges (including two long sets of side lunges, which I will feel in my inner thighs!), plie squats and regular squats, curtsey dips, and dead lifts. For arms there was triceps kickbacks, bicep and hammer curls, pushups (and a difficult pushup and row set), delt raises, rear delt lifts, rows (both two arm and one arm). As noted these arm and leg workouts were all combined.

Of the three or four cardio sets, I found the choreography to be fun but on the challenging (i.e., confusing) side. Kelsie did a lot of V-steps, grapevines, she also includes cha-chas, aerobic paced lunges of various styles, punches, kicks, and a long set of side leg raises (while hopping!) that was really challenging! There is a modifier that kept everything low intensity, and while I generally love high intensity, by the final segment I was so pooped that I went low intensity just to get it done. To make up for the confusing choreography Kelsie always informed or reminded what was coming next and I only tripped on my feet once or twice throughout.

For a Pink Firm, the music was actually really good in this video. Usually the music in Pink Firms ranges from “eh” (generic and bland) to fairly motivating (but still generic), and frankly never really that good (I’m mega spoiled from the Firm Classics and the Fitprimes). But this music was varied (upbeat instrumental to a country-ish tune and a few in between) and overall kept the workout moving fast. The set was open with five exercisers and a window in the back.

If you generally do not like the Pink Firms (from VF forum conversations it appears they are not very popular! And for good reason if you compare them to Anna Benson or Goodtimes Firms) because they are too easy, you might give the 500 Calorie Workout a go. I almost liken it to a Patrick Gordeau workout, based on the pace, intensity, and variety of the exercises. I would say even with 5# weights this is a low advanced workout and does pack a serious punch. Overall grade A-!

Instructor Comments:
Kelsie Daniels has it all: she’s motivating, she’s a thorough cuer and always reminds you to really put your all into each exercise, she’s totally an inspiration with her muscular physique, she smiles and looks like she’s genuinely having fun, and I think it’s adorable how she says “please” (two more lunges please!) when she instructs you. She is by far my favorite Pink Firm lead and she has been around with the Firm even back with Firm Strength/Cardio in the mid-1990s. She’s just really inspirational, and highly talented as an instructor. It obviously comes naturally to her, she never trips over her words or looks confused, and she is graceful and enjoyable and enthusiastic. I will buy workouts with her hands down just because I know I’ll like the workout if she is leading it.

Emily B.


This workout manages to be tough and fun at the same time - a combination I like to see!

You alternate cardio and weight segments and the cardio segments are fun enough that they don't drag. Kelsie builds the segment up in pieces and then adds the pieces all together at the end of the segment.

I like the weight segments because there are a lot of balance and rotation options. You usually do the exercise in a more traditional way and then she will add the twist (so its easy to modify and stick with the more traditional way if you don't like the twist).

By the time I got to the final cardio segment I was tired. I pushed myself through it but was really hoping there wasn't going to be another one after it. The final weights segment was the same ... legs were on the jell-o side and I wasn't sure how much more I could do. I was VERY happy to see the standing abs section at that point!

My only complaint is that the stretch segment was too short. It felt like I was just starting to really feel the stretch and she'd move on to another muscle group. I'm not normally a huge stretch fan; so it was odd for me to find the stretch too short.

Overall I think this is an excellent workout. It was fun, fresh and the time really flew by. It wasn't until near the end that time started to slow down on me, and that was more due to my recent lack of exercise than anything else. I will definitely reach for this one again!

Instructor Comments:
This was my first Kelsie workout and the hype was definitely warranted. She is extremely motivating - reminding you to go deeper on lunges, hamstring curls, heel digs, etc. I look forward to trying some of her other offerings!

Amy S