The FIRM: Time Crunch Cardio

Allie Del Rio
Year Released: 2011

Categories: Circuit Training (cardio and weights) , Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance

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

Show oldest reviews first

Full disclosure: I received a free review copy of this workout.

I am not a Firm lover these days; most of their workouts,I just can't get into. I finally found two Pink Firm workouts that I enjoy, Total Body Time-Crunch and Sculptilates. The rest I have tried have fallen into one of two categories - I don't like them or I like them okay, but I never reach for them for some reason. This DVD falls in the latter category; there's nothing wrong with it, I can describe good things about it, but I'll not reach for it in the future. So, if you enjoy the Firm workouts, you should try this DVD. If you are like me and just haven't been able to bond with Firm workouts in recent years, you might want to take a pass.

This DVD has 3-20 minute routines and Allie leads all three segments. One of the things that drew me to this workout was that I read that it was structured somewhat like the Firm Express set, but the pace is not frantic like it. I enjoyed the pace of the segments - a nice and steady pace with intensity options. Allie tells you what is coming and she demos the low impact/lower intensity version of the exercise before going for the unmodified version. Additionally, a modifier shows options from not using weights to doing low/lower impact versions of some moves. I thought the modifier in this workout was good. The exercisers in this workout use three sets of weights - light, medium and heavy. With the pace they maintain, you can use weights heavier than the 3-5 pounds used in many of the Pink firms.

I thought Allie was really good in these segments. She is down to earth, yet motivating. And, she clearly explains what she wants you to do. Once in awhile, she's a little late with a cue, but it doesn't happen often. She teaches all the segments in what I call "add--on style", similar to previous Firm workouts. She starts with a simple combo and then adds a few moves at a time and then you do it again.

In Workout 1, Cardio + Sculpt, the "cardio" varies from aerobics to cardio in the form of body weight exercises like reverse lunges and squats with kicks. You move from cardio to strength and repeat. There were burpees in this segment and a modification was shown.

Workout 2, Fat-Blasting Bursts, is still a combination of cardio and strength, but you will do more compound exercises in this workout than in Workout 1. You will also combine a cardio movement with a strength movement, for example moving the legs while doing triceps or biceps exercises. There were burpees and push-ups in this segment and modifications were shown.

Calorie Burning Cardio, Workout 3, is pure cardio and includes a couple of routines taught in that add-on style. This segment has some dance-inspired moves, although the choreography is fairly basic and easy to pick up.

Instructor Comments:
Like I said above, I think she is very good in these segments.

Laura S.


This dvd has three 20 min w/o's on it, a cardio, a C+S, and a strength workout w/ cardio bursts. Allie leads with 2 backgrounders, one showing beginner modifications. You will need dumbbells for this workout. I found the C+S and the S to be very unique new offerings from the Firm and I really liked them!!!!

Calorie Burning Cardio: This w/o contains 2 routines that are not overly choreographed. After a fairly long warmup exercises include step touch w/ a head snap, march & shuffle, step squats, pivot taps, & pivot kicks.. Allie def adds in some flair w/ exercises like the "spank" and the "tush push."

Cardio + Sculpt Combo: The pace of this w/o allows you to heavy up but keeps your heart rate up. After a warm up exercises include: hop- burpee- pushup combo, squats, rows, bi curl variations, row- kickbacks, pliet abduction, jump & side kick, around the world lunges, & standing knee pulls, and other standing core work for the cooldown.

Fat Blasting Bursts: This is a great light & heavy four-limb workout that keeps your heart pumping. Exercises include: lunge & overhead pass, cardio squats & jumps, cardio lunge to plyo lunges, side lunge w/ a cross bi-curl & delt raise, step touch to moguls, dip & overhead tricep, floor touch & knee ups, deadlift & rows, static pliets w/ elbow to knee cross pulls, ribcage twists adding a punch, and other standing core work for the cooldown.

I rate the cardio a beginner workout and the other 2 solid intermediates that are easy to modify by adjusting your poundage. I used heavier weights and really got a great workout. I really enjoyed both the strength workouts and felt they were new & fresh Firm offerings! I look forward to more like this! Allie does a great job leading, good cuing & form pointers. I received this dvd to review.