Firm Wave System (BSS6)

Allie Del Rio, Kelsie Daniels, Alison Davis, Emily Welsh
Year Released: 2008

Categories: Circuit Training (cardio and weights) , Total Body Workouts

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The Firm Wave system is a moon-shaped step plus three basic DVDs: Ride the Wave with Emily Welsh, Speed Slimming Sculpt with Allie Del Rio, and Rock it Off with Alison Davis-McLain. I have described each DVD below.

Although Emily describes this as a 10-minute "express workout," it is really more of an instructional session for learning how to use the Wave. Emily begins with the Wave in the stable position and performs some step ups, up and over, and march on top of the Wave. She then flips the Wave over to the unstable position (i.e., U-shaped) first displaying horse stance and how to move the feet in/out, and then slowly proceeding to a rocking motion. Stepping off, she performs some push-ups with her hands on the Wave, and she concludes with a very brief stretch for the hip flexors.

This is a 30.5 minute workout (there is also a 21 minute Express version) which provides mostly classic Firm aerobic weight training (AWT). Allie starts with the Wave in the stable position facing perpendicular to the television. The 4-minute warm-up includes moves such as tapping the wave, side-to-side steps, dynamic stretches, and hamstring curls. Picking up the weights (Allie & crew use 2-part Firm weights: 5 lbs. & 3 lbs. that connect together to form 8 lbs.), Allie moves through a series which includes lunges onto the Wave with lat rows, triceps with tap off the Wave, side squats off the Wave with hammer curls, and side lunges onto the Wave with shoulder sweeps. After 12 minutes (there is a chapter break here, although there is no chapter menu on the DVD), Allie changes the Wave to the unstable position and moves it to horizontal. She steps up to the Wave for clean & press and overhead press, both while rocking on the Wave. Next is a lunge-dip combo off the Wave and rows/concentration curls on the Wave. Staying on the Wave, Allie does tricep dips with rocking the Wave, squats with alternating rocks, plies with one foot on the Wave, deadlifts, and rock & row. Allie then moves to the floor for push-ups with hands on the Wave and crunches with the feet on the Wave (she also performs side oblique work lying sideways over the Wave). The workout concludes with a short (1.5 minutes) stretch, included seated for hamstrings and standing for upper body.

This DVD offers both a full workout of 42 minutes, a Rock It Off Express workout of minutes, and a Cardio Express work of 23.5 minutes. Since both of the Express workouts are made up of clips of the Main workout, I'm describing the main workout only. The 5-minute warm-up begins with the Wave in the perpendicular stable position. Moves include step taps onto the Wave, step knee, step kick, and grapevines; the Wave is basically used just like a regular step here. The first weights segment consists of squatting off the Wave; this is followed by taps off the Wave with overhead press and then deadlifts, adding in rows. Tricpes moves include triceps push-ups and kickbacks, and bicep curls finish this segment. The first cardio interval includes walking over the step, taps that turn into jumps, kicks onto the step, and jumping glute lifts. For the next weights segment, Alison changes the step to the unstable position and moves it to parallel. She begins with squats on one end of the Wave and then dips off the back of the Wave. Next come rows and then clean & press while slowly rocking on the Wave. This series ends with push-ups, hands on the Wave. For the second cardio interval, the Wave remains in the unstable position, but Alison actually does NOT use it; instead, she walks AROUND the Wave for hamstring curls, kicks front and back, grapevines, and march-march-hold (I actually did these ON the Wave, which was a lot more fun!). The next weights segment starts with lunges onto the Wave, adds row/rear lift, and moves onto Wave for upright row with rock. This ends with a short balance section where Alison stands on the Wave and moves back and forth, stepping from side to side and then dipping back; after this, she does some quick plies with overhead tricep press. I found the last cardio segment to be the most fun, as you are actually on the Wave, first doing a rocking combo, then a quick pulse, and finishing with an alternating knee combination. A final weights section includes concentrated curls balancing on the Wave and a "laundry bag" move to work the core. Abs work follows, first seated on on the Wave for bicycle, then lying over the Wave for ribcage pullovers and flies with weights; crunches for upper abs conclude this section. Alison finishes with a short (1.5 minutes) stretch, first seated on the step for hamstrings and groin and then finishing standing.

In general, I found the Wave to be a fun, worthwhile piece of equipment. My main disappointment is that A LOT of time is spent using the wave in the more stable, bridge-shape position--while this was fine, it was really not much different from a traditional step. Personally, I very much preferred using the Wave in the unstable (U) position--not only was this a lot more fun, but I felt it engaging my core much more. I know others have hoped for more Firm Wave workouts, so I'll add my name to the list, specifically with the hope that new workouts have more of that balance challenge and fun factor.

Instructor Comments:
Emily, Allie, and Alison are all Master Firm instructors. I prefer Emily and wish she had led one of the longer workouts.

Beth C (aka toaster)


This was the Firms latest infomercial package. The basic set came with 4 dvds: Ride the Wave (tutorial only, Emily), Speed Slimming Sculpt (sculpting, Allie), Express Abs (ab sculpting, Emily), and Rock it Off (AWT, Alison). It also came with a rotation calendar, a nutrition plan, a mat to put under your Wave, and the Wave.

The Wave is a curved step that can be used on the stable or unstable side. You can use it as a balance tool on the unstable side, or as a 6 inch step platform on the stable side. I think the Wave is a good piece of equipment but needs more dvds and more advanced ones at that.

The dvds are good BUT it took me time to really enjoy them. So keep that in mind, give them time. The more I do the dvds, the more I enjoy them AND the more challenging they become.

There is a Wave add on cardio workout: Rock Solid Cardio (Kelsie) that I had high hopes for but Kelises cuieing leaves something to be desired and she is kind of all-over-the-place in this one. The Deluxe kit also includes Rock Solid Abs (Ab sculpting, Allie), and Rock Solid Buns (LB sculpting + cardio, Alison). I like both of these deluxe w/o's.

Disclosure: I was an unpaid testimonial in the Wave infomercial and I received a Wave from Gaiam/ the Firm for my participation in the infomercial.