The Firm: Parts: 5 Day Abs

Susan Harris, Janet Jones-Gretzky, Sandahl Bergman, LaReine Chabut, Jayne Poteet
Year Released: 1998

Categories: Abs/Core

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The five workouts are challenging and they do work just as well for men as they do for women. As with any exercise video that you use on a regular basis, it can get monotonous, so I recommend rotating with other ab workout videos or other instructional workout videos, such as Shiva Rea's yoga abdominal videos. As for the usefulness of this fitness video website, I find it to be a good resource tool. It is a shame that some of the people reviewing on this particular video find it necessary to make immature and catty comments about Tracy James. Yes, it is misleading to have Tracy on the cover of the video jacket, but his minimal presence is irrelevant anyway; the workouts are matters. Comment on the quality of the exercises and save your juvenile jabs for gossip with your friends.

Not Fabio


This dvd has five seperate six to nine minute ab workouts on it. The workouts are taken from five of the six original Firm classics. I think Susan Harris's ab segment is from Volume four not Volume one, but I havent done that segment in a while. The segments work great to add onto your other workouts because they are short and thorough.

Tracey James introduces each segment and then it leads into the actual workout. Tracey is a bit annoying-I think they chose him for his "cute" looks and not his acting abilities, he is a bit on the cheesy side but you arent working out w/ him so you only see him briefly before and after each workout.

Some of the segments require a tall box of some type to prop your feet up on. And they are wearing ankle weights in some of the segments, but those are optional in my opinion.



A surprisingly effective Parts compilation. Some of the abs sections are even harder on their own, separate from the total body workout.

Instructor Comments:
There's one male instructor who does the lead ins, followed by the instructors for the volumes from which the clips were taken.



This is a great, challenging ab video. There are 5 "days" of ab work, each day is approximately 6-7 minutes long (longest segment is 9 minutes in length)

This video is a parts video and pulls from the Firm "Volumes" series of the late 80's/early 90's.

The ab work is excellent, works both upper and lower abs, with a strong emphasis on lower abs. Very easy on the neck.

At this point I have "outgrown" this video and now am challenging my abs with Cathe's Ab Hits, but I will always keep this video around to use for my lower abs. Great challenge for beginner and intermediate exercisers.

Instructor Comments:

DD1 (Deanne)


Despite Tracy James' presence as guest instructor during this tape, I think this is a winner. I love having the ab segments from the Classic Firms isolated so that I have the option of adding extra abs to any workout, or just tacking an ab section on to one that doesn't include one. No fast-forwarding or rewinding necessary! Since each section is short, it's easy to add these to any workout. The Firm set and music, as always, add interest and keep things interesting. A keeper!

Instructor Comments:
I am really glad that Tracy James only introduces the segments, mainly because I can't take him seriously! He makes me laugh so hard with his "working out is a lifelong commitment" comments. Maybe the purpose of his presence in this video is for secondary ab toning due to all the laughing you will do! He strikes me as being more brawn than brains, especially when during Sandahl Bergman's segment he instructs you to turn and face the other direction when you switch legs for crunches!

Kristin Aziz


Yes, the ubiquitous Stud Boy...

I *do* like this tape, it's a good way to end my workout if the tape I do that day doesn't have one. The one I really feel is Jayne Poteet's (esp. the obliques) from Vol. 6, but they all do a number on me, esp. since I now do abs work with 2-1/2 pound ankle weights.

This is definitely a keeper, Stud Boy not withstanding!

Instructor Comments:
Aw, he's not there too much (thank goodness). Stud Boy needs hair on his chest & better words to speak. I like all the instructors from the classic FIRMs.



I wanted to like this one. Really, I did. What's not to love about the idea of a video with short abdominal workouts broken down in such a way that you can use them to supplement any type of routine out there? And say what you will about the FIRM founders' eccentricites, they've put together workouts that delivered results for many, many folks. These routines can do the job for you.

But I just absolutely could not stomach Tracy James' on-camera persona. What is this guy supposed to be doing here? From what I remember, he's billed as being, "your personal trainer." Oh, spare me. I realize that I'm about to get very politically incorrect here, and offend some of my fellow VFers who think he's "da bomb," but my nickname for him was Stud Boy. He reminds me of a snotty high school pretty boy who drives the latest red convertible sports car and is so full of himself. His opening monologue is delivered in an almost obnoxious tone--especially when he's talking about how firm abs won't show if there's an ugly layer of *FAT* there. Then he gets on the floor and acts like he's going to do the workout with you. . .except they edit you right into Janet Jones and the gang for the "real" workout. On it goes, till he eventually comes back and gives you this cheesy thumbs up sign like you and he have just been sweating through this experience together and he can't wait to "see you tomorrow." Well, I couldn't wait, either. . .to put this on the Exchange where hopefully it's found a happy home. FIRM's newest tape, More 5-Day Abs does the job just as well, and we don't have to put up with someone pretending to be our best friend. . .or more. Now, if they'd gotten George Clooney. . .at least we'd have seen some good acting:) And I feel better for having finally gotten all this off my chest. Thanks for listening:)

Grade: A for the workouts; D for the acting

Instructor Comments:
All the ladies actually leading the routines--particularly Susan Harris--do a fantastic job. Janet's routine is particularly killer. Don't get me started on Tracy James again:)

Melissa Cooper


Five Firm segments strung along consecutively to be done one day at a time. I am stuck on doing day 3 and 4 together adding up to 15 minutes of good abwork. This tape is in my regular ab rotation.

maryann parker


This video is good for runners, or for people who want to add a quick ab workout to the end of a cardio session. In general, I find the segments fairly boring, but I am able to tune them out and get through it quickly. For that reason alone I like the tape - it has a high "zone out" quality that I need after hard cardio. The ab workouts are from the Firm classics (volumes two through six). I am not sure why they didn't include vol. 1 and call it "six day abs". I liked the vol 1 ab routine and would have prefered it to some of the others. In my opinion, the ab routines get better toward the end of the tape (the most recent ab workouts). Overall it is a good video to have around, and if the Firm were to do another "5 Day Abs" from the more recent videos, I would probably buy that one as well.

Instructor Comments:
I am not sure why, but the guy who does the segments between the ab workouts really really bothers me. When he says "good job" or "fitness is a lifelong commitment", I want to kick him! I find him very annoying, but fortunately he is only on the screen for 30 seconds or so. The only possible reason I can see for the Firm having selected him is that they thought women would find him sexy or something. I have the exact opposite reaction - he reminds me of "Joey" from Friends.



Each ab segment lasts from 6-9 minutes, and all of them really work your abs. I credit this video with really pulling in my obliques to narrow my waist, due to the inclusion of a number of side crunches.

Tracy James does the 'links' between ab segments, but the segments are taken from various full-body Firm tapes so the video features Sandahl Bergman, Jayne Poteet, Susan Harris, and others.

Emily H


I have been using this video faithfully since early 1994, and it's great. Each day is about 6-9 minutes long, with lots of variations to alleviate boredom. I also use ab videos by Tamilee Webb who is very good, and find both have the widest variety of challenging ab exercises on the market today.

Of course, in order to see results ab work must be accompanied by regular aerobic sessions and a lowfat diet. No miracles here, but definitely a video to shock those muscles into further development if you're bored with the same old thing.

A tall box is required for some sections, but a regular old chair will do. This is to rest your feet on to stabilize the pelvis so your hip flexors don't end up doing some of the work. They key is to keep your legs at a 90 degree angle while resting your feet on the chair.

Roberta Kagno


These snippets aren't too bad. Very general, typical abs work with the standard variety of crunches, oblique twists and the like. Taken from FIRM videos, they feature the fine quality and gorgeous set of this series. Since these are briefs ab workouts, I find its easy to fit in 10 minutes everyday, even if I didn't get to the gym or forewent some other part of my workout.



If you're into abs, this is a good tape. All the instructors from the original FIRM series are here. There are 5 different workouts, with different instructors for each one. You can do one workout or several or all. Every part of your abs will be worked -- and worked well! These 5 workouts are taken from the 5 original FIRM tapes, so if you have those, you know what the workouts are. It's convenient to have them all on one video so you can easily do more than one segment if you want to.

I'd give this an "A".

Annie S.


WOW! I sure am glad Tracy James only introduced each workout. I found him to be so good looking I would be distracted from concentration during my workouts. Guess I'd better stick with female instructors!!

After purchasing "Standing Legs", I decided that the one thing missing from it was abdominal work. So why not invest in "5-Day Abdominals"? I am glad I did. Before the tape begins, there is an excellent section on proper form for making abdominal exercises the most effective and safe.

Each day features a different workout from a Firm Total Body Series. This tape is a nice compliment to my Tamilee Webb tapes (I only use her aerobics sections as her Buns of Steel is for beginners only). It will also compliment my Standing Legs workout. It would also be a good finish to time on the Nordic Track, Stairmaster, etc.

This is NOT a total body workout. Make sure it is balanced with other training. Definitely worth the money, but the abs aren't Karen Voight by any means.

Grade for this Tape: B+

Amy Steppe


I have been diligently training my abs 5 days a week for nearly three years. With this in mind, you have to believe me when I say these workouts hit all of the muscles-- hard. I've found myself sore after working out with these tapes, which usually rarely happens. My boyfriend says he notices better definition in my abs since I started these tapes about 6 weeks ago.

The time segments are perfect for nearly any fitness schedule. The 5 workouts range between 6-10 minutes in length. I find this to be a big plus, considering the fact that many tapes seem to think we have 15-30 minutes a day to do nothing but abs. Maybe in a perfect world, but in reality , I have to give my cardio and strength work their due as well. Besides this, the workouts are made even more efficient by the fact that the upper body remains engaged even when the exercise focuses on the lower abs. Also, the workouts include minimmal (if any) rest. No doubt, this is one worthwhile set of workouts.

Beginners and advanced exercisers alike will appreciate this video's solid production values. Some of the exercises require the "tall box." Don't waste your money. The end of my coffee table or the seat of a chair works just fine.

Enjoy this tape. It will be one of my favorites for years to come.

Instructor Comments:

The 5 different instructors do a pretty good job of cueing. However, they sometimes come across as fake and annoying when they say things like "takes endurance" (duh--must you remind me?!) and "its tough" (naw, really?). Beginners may feel that they need a few more pointers with regards to form.

Brenda Tavakoli


This video is the greatest abs tape i have ever used. In the last 2 weeks i have taken 3 inches off my waist just from using this tape. I do one segment everyday and it gets easier every time you do it. I've gotten to like this tape so much that I sometimes do it two times a day.

It has done so much for my self-esteem. i feel better than I ever have about myself. This summer, you'll see me in a bathing suit on the beach nad in the water, no just standing by all covered up. You have no idea how good it feel to feel attractive after a long battle of the bulge.

Audrey Golding


This is a great video if you need to tack on abs after a workout that doesn't include them (which many don't). I find I use this tape more than any other because of that fact. Like others have mentioned, it's the abs taken from Vol 2-6 Firm Total Body workouts. The routines are not very long (6-9 mins), but they're still challenging. To make them tougher, just add ankle weights. The only thing that really bugs me about this tape is why they have Andrew Stevens wanna-be Tracy Long doing those silly intro's to each video? What is up with that?? He is such the useless waste of space there! He sounds like he is reading straight from the cue cards, plus his playgirl poses make me want to laugh (and it's hard to do ab work laughing). Well, once you get past that, you'll find 5 different, great workouts. Lot's of cruches, oblique work, reverse crunches, upper body and lower body combo's, leg walks, pullies (sp?), pretty much everything. Two of the days require (optional) 1.5 - 2.5lb ankle weights and two of the other days require a box (a chair works fine). All in all, a good solid ab video. I rate it an A+.

Instructor Comments:
Is he hoping to be discovered by Aaron Spelling for the male version of Charlies Angel's?

Diana mason