The Firm: Cardio Split 1

Nancy Tucker, Allie Del Rio, Jen Carman, Carissa Foster, Dale Brabham
Year Released: 1999

Categories: Circuit Training (cardio and weights)

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I received my copy of Cardio SPlit #1 on Saturday and have done it twice since then. I was so excited to receive it, I didn't even preview it--just popped it into the VCR and started working out. I don't know if this is going to be one of my favorites but I think it is going to be up on the list. I thought I would post a quick review for those of you interested.

First of all, the tape is "split" into two segments--Lower Body is first and is 24 minutes followed by Upper Body which is 27 minutes long. The tape can either be used in its entirity or on alternating days. It is a compilation but uses completely new footage--some of which is going to show up later next year in a series called "Super Sculpt", I believe. The instructors are Jen Carmen, Dale Brabham, Carissa Foster, Nancy TUcker, and Allie Strickland. Over half the segments are led by Jen, who just dazzles in this video. The music is hard describe--not jazz or rock but kind of a combination of the two. Some of the music is used in other tapes but not so much that it sounds repetitive.

Now on to the workout (I hope my line breaks work)

WarmUp: Jen Carmen 0:00 - 4:09---nice series of stretches, squats, hamstring curls, knee lifts, and heel digs followed by more stretching
Cardio: Hi-Impact with Jen 4:10-7:45--running in place with kicks/knee lifts, jacks and knee cross. Very fast--I have to watch my knees on this one
Leg Press Segment: Nancy Tucker 7:46-11:30; leg press combo using barbell and a series of small pulsing leg presses. I really felt these. I like that she took leg presses but did them differently--really breaks up the routine. SHe follows with overhead presses and another set of leg presses like before. Tough segment--I used a 30 lb barbell and am still feeling it.
Cardio--Carissa 11:21 - 13:39; done on the short box; basic steps with fun series of glut raises.
Lunges--Nancy Tucker 13:40-16:30 Again, she did these a little differently than I've seen.SHe does standard lunges, followed by "curtsy lunges" with the barbell. Nancy gives lots of encouragement and form pointers which I like a lot too
Lo Impact with Dale 16:31-19:17 Double step combo with v-steps, hop steps and double steps -- this was fun Outer/Inner
Thigh Segment with ankle weights and dowel--Carissa 19:18-23:04; ouch, this was really effective. She does two sets, going slow the first set, squats, and then fast the second step. I did this with five pound weights and it is tough.
Allie does a quick stretch (23:05-24:00) and then its on to Upper Body
Jen starts upper body with a quick warm-up doing ball preps with dumbells in a few combos--24:00-25:19 Then she does ab work from 25:20-29:42. She does one variation I haven't seen before. You do a crunch moving your arms up, out, and down. It really worked my abs and I had to struggle through these.
Jen then does cardio from 29:43-31:40 Hi Impact with lots of running, shuffles, and crosses with the OOF ball. She calls it a Sports drill
Good morning/bent rows Dale 31:41-35:05; all done using the tall box, followed by posterior delt flies, rhomboid pinches, and push-ups. I felt she could have given more form pointers but that isbecause I'm a little nervous when I do Good mornings. I'm always concerned I will hurt my back with this one.
Cardio: Jen 35:08-38:41; 4 limb segment
Upright rows: Jen 38:42-41:30 Upright rows, biceps curls using barbell. She keeps telling you to "do it again" and I do :)
Low Impact with Dale 41:31--44:24. FUn samba combo
Bentrows, french presses, triceps dips, push-ups with Jen: 44:25-47:59
Nice stretch with Carissa 48:00-51:16

All in all, I like this tape. It is well edited and transitions smoothly. There is still not a lot of time for equipment changes but I don't feel as rushed as I do in the Core Cardio tapes. One thing that strikes me as funny is that in the middle of this beautiful FIrm set, they show at least one exerciser using bleach, detergent, or water bottles in place ofweights. I think they are trying to encourage people to use substitutes if they don't have the necesssary equipment but it just seems a bit out of place. The only criticism (if it can be called one) that I have is that a few segments are little more hi-impact than is my personal preference. But to quote Clare,I can always modify, modify, modify.

Kathy Martinez


This is a 60 minute Firm parts workout. The sections were taken from the Super Shapers(2 new video's called Super Cardio and Super Sculpt). This parts tape is a circuit style video.

The first 24 minutes focuses on lower body and the second 27 minutes focuses on upper body. You can alternate doing lower body one day and then upper body the next or do both for a 51 minute workout.

The warm-up is led by Jennifer Carmen and has fabulous music. The warm-up is low impact and has a nice stretch. The first aerobic segmant led by Jennifer is very high impact jumping and jogging with arm patterns. The music is super upbeat and Jennifer has lot's of energy. My heartrate was very high right away.

Next comes Nancy Tucker with a great tall box to some upbeat reggae music. She makes the tall box tough because she does tall box pulses which I've never seen in any Firm video. The first tall box does 25 tall box reps on each leg and then you do 8 over head presses and then you do 15 more reps on each leg. Very tough. I was already sweating since I used a heavy barbell. This workout uses a barbell a lot but you can always use dumbbells if you don't have a barbell.

Carissa Foster follows with a fun step section that is easy to follow. It is low impact but still intense. Nancy Tucker does a great lunge segmant to guitar music.

The Firm introduces a new kind of dip called a "Curtsy Dip" Just like the name says, you cursty down and pulse. You can really feel it in the hips and butt if you use a heavy barbell. After the lunge segmant, Dale does a more higher impact floor aerobics section to a super fun soundtrack. Carissa then does 2 sets of 1/2 time squats and elevator dips with ankle weights and then she does some standing outer and inner thigh work. They use a dowel for balance. Allie does a quick stretch(hamstring, back and hip rotater)to very peaceful new age music.

Then its back to quick warm-up with Jennifer Carmen using light weights. You are jumping as you do bicep curls and then side delt lifts with a leg out and also squats.

After the quick warm-up with no stretch, there are 2 ab sections with ab stabilization in between. She does this tough move called a "6 count twist" which really works the obliques. Following the abs, Jennifer does a more high impact floor aerobics segmant using the Firm OOF ball. This got my heartrate up! The music is very jazzy.

Dale then follows with deadlifts/goodmornings using the barbell. She does 6 reps and then you do double arm rows with the barbell (8 reps) then back to the second set of deadlifts/goodmornings. This time you do 5 reps. Then back to the second set of double arm rows and this time you do 7 reps. She then has you do Reverse Flies (6 at half time, 2 pulsing). Then you do Romboid pinches (4 at half time, 3 at 3count pulsing, and 1 at seven count pulsing).

I felt I could have used heavier weights on this section. Next time I will pyramid up in weights.

Dale then ends with 7 pushups using the tall box. Jennifer Carmen then follows with a low impact floor limb aerobics section doing upright rows and bicep combinations. This really fatigues the muscle using light weights because she does tons of reps. What is really tough is that after this section, Jennifer has you do more upright rows and bicep curls and over head presses with a heavy barbell. So you get plenty of shoulder and bicep work and I sweated a lot! So did Jennifer Carmen.

Dale then does a low impact section that used a song from Fat Blaster(Allie's first floor aerobic song). I loved this part. Dale's combinations are fun and easy to learn. Some of the moves are Samba's with a triple step and front kicks. She does do 8 high impact jacks but she does say you can do high or low impact. she shows how to do a low jack.

The final upper body weight section is done by Jennifer Carmen. She does 12 double arm lat rows with heavy dumbbells, 8 reps of French press which wasn't tough for me. She does 9 reps of tall box tricep dips. The tricep section is weak. Not enough. She then does over 20 reps of Posterior delt flies. Very tough! She finishes with 8 pushups.

The yoga style cooldown and stretch led by Carissa is unique. There is alot of back arching. For instance you are on your tummy and you grab your ankles and lift up. I've seen this move on yoga tapes. She also has you lie on your back and arch your back and neck. I'm still trying to figure this move out. She then does a straddle stretch and she has the longest legs! They look like they stretch from east to west! Wow! She looks a lot like Natalie Wood. She then does some standing back and outer hip stretches.

All in all, this Firm workout was fun with new moves and new upbeat music! I can't wait to see the new Super Shapers that this video was taken from.

Jennifer Carmen does an excellent job on teaching and form points. She is full of energy, smiles and shines health. Carissa is a tall statuesque Firm instructor that resembles Natalie Wood. Dale Brabham has a dazzling smile and incredible muscle tone that is very motivating. I love her French twist hair do. She does a good job on cueing. Allie Strickland only does the quick cool down on the lower body section. Nancy Tucker's weight sections are the best! She does a good job on teaching and has a some awesome abs!

Mandy Lee


I really enjoyed this tape and the music is absolutely fantastic - the first 25 minutes is a leg workout, but you know The Firm - putting aerobics in between segments to prevent boredom, which really works for me. I was ready to keep going, but the segment ended and the upper body was next. I would have liked the leg work to be about 10 minutes longer, maybe with another set of leg presses, and some floorwork instead of the standing work with the ankle weights and dowel - even with 5 lbs. ankle weights and 2 sets, I didn't feel it was effective. The upper body was a bit longer, with aerobics and strength work. The reps are too few and one set is not enough, but again, I love the Firm and use their tapes in combo formats. I will use this tape with Core Cardio I, Step and Stones I or II, All Cardio or Tough Aerobic Mix.

All instructors do an excellent job cueing in this video.

maryann parker


I admit it: I only did Cardio Split 1 twice before trading it. If I had gotten this tape before Super Cardio and Super Sculpting, I think it would have lasted longer. I purchased this tape because I was hoping to use it as the FIRM claimed, a tape for when I wanted to split upper and lower body training into two separate days. At the very least, I expected to be able to use this tape as a substitute for the Classics in the FIRM 90-Day Rotation (it is listed as "Slow & Heavy" but is really more about 50/50). In the end, though, I think I would prefer to do half each of Super Sculpting and Super Cardio. I'm not thrilled with the Cardio Split 1's circuit-training format of about three minutes weights and then three minutes of jumping around. It simply feels awkward: much of the weight-work is done while sitting, and none of it are combination upper-lower exercises.

The weight work contained in Cardio Split 1 is only about half of that in Super Sculpting. There ends up being only one set of each exercise, not nearly enough to justify splitting the workout into two days. The warm-up for the upper body sections is really paltry so the second half of the tape doesn't stand alone very well anyway. This tape could be really fun but it just isn't put together quite right.

Instructor Comments:



I'm really glad I waited to do a review on this tape. I got Cardio Split 1 for Christmas and wasn't wild about it at first so I didn't do it again for a while. Now after having done it several times recently I really like it. It's definitely not a killer tape, but if you want a tape that gets in both strength and cardio in less than an hour, CS1 is a good choice. You can even split the segments up if you are really in a hurry, although I agree with the reviewer who said that Part 2 doesn't really stand on its own as well as Part 1. The ab work is just after the warmup for Part 2, so you could do Part 1, then fast forward to the ab section and get those in too and still be finished in less than a half hour. The reason I don't think Part 2 would be a good stand alone workout is that without the standing lower body work from Part 1 to get your heart rate up in the first place, I don't think your heart rate would really go up very much in Part 2. That means those cardio sections are basically taking time away from weight work so you don't get very many sets of the upper body exercises either. Part 2 only seems effective to me when done immediately after Part 1. In fact, when I do the tape I do Part 1, then I fast forward through the warmup to Part 2 and the ab work just to keep my heart rate from completely dropping. Then I go back and do the ab section right before the final cooldown. I also modify some of the moves, namely the curtsy dips and the pulsing leg presses and just do regular dips and regular leg presses. The other ones hurt my knees. I think part of the reason I didn't like the tape at first was because of those moves. Once I modified, I found I enjoyed the tape a lot more. Overall, I think it's a pretty fun tape and just challenging enough to feel worthwhile, without being painful.

Instructor Comments:
I agree with most others that Jen Carmen really stands out. No complaints about the others.

Dana Shepperd


This is a circuit workout divided into two different parts: lower body (24 minutes) and upper body (27 minutes). You can do them together or separately, but if you separate them, there is no warmup for the second part. The workout consists of cardio segments followed by strength segments. The cardio is what you would expect from the Firm -- pretty boring. It's good intensity for the most part, but not exactly fun. I usually start skipping cardio segments as I get further into the tape. The strength segments are good, and are mostly at an intermediate or lower-advanced level, depending on what size weights you use. The Firm calls this an interval workout on the back cover, but it isn't -- it's circuit. Your heart rate never gets high enough to be considered interval.

Despite the boring aerobics, I like this tape anyway. Since the segments change frequently, it seems to go by quickly, and I feel like I got a good workout at the end. Grade A-.

Annie S.


I just worked out with this video for the first time and had a great time with it. It reminds me of what I find lacking in the new Firm videos: vibrancy! Cardio Split is colorful and vibrant, not spare and homogenized like the new Firms. The music stands out more--it's not just a background beat. I don't think either the lower or upper body section is long & intense enough to be a complete workout on its own for me. I found the aerobics to be a good, balanced mix of high and low impact. I must say I love (and miss!) the Firm's close-up shots that really show the movements in detail. This is especially great for someone like me who's a bit near-sighted and doesn't want to worry about eyewear. I wish more videos made use of close-up shots like this. (If I want a blurry long-range view of someone I can go stand in the back of an aerobics class at a gym.)
I wasn't impressed with the yoga-inspired cool down. It was unique, but the stretches are held too briefly. However this is a common flaw and doesn't bother me much.
This is not the most intense Firm, but it's great fun and a solid circuit workout. (And of course you can always "heavy up.")I think this will be in heavy rotation for me!



As I did this workout today I felt like I was back in an AWT class at the Firm studios.... the only difference is that: at the studio it was the same instructor all the way through...for one hour.

The style, however, is the same: that is, a high impact cardio segment then three or four weight segments then another high impact cardio segment then three or four weight segments and repeat and repeat for a total of 5 or 6 cardio segments interspersed among the weight segments for a total of an hour.

In several segments, where you see a lot of Jennifer she has different hairdo's, obviously taped on different days. (At first, I almost didn't realise it was the same person!)

Here is the order and breakdown of this tape:

1st part: Lower body (24 min.)
Warmup: stretches and squats, spinal rolls, heel lifts, punching arms accross, ham curls, pull backs, step sides w/ bicep curls, chest press w/ knee lifts, frontal sweeps, etc. (Jennifer)
1) Aerobics -(3.5min) running in place, kick fronts, knee ups, leg lift, jacks, and knee cross. (Jennifer) (high impact)
2) Leg press w/ Barbell Tall box. 1st. leg then 2nd. pulses (Nancy)
3) Overhead press w/ Barbell (Nancy)
4) Leg press w/ Barbell Tall box. 1st. leg then 2nd (Nancy)
5) Cardio on Short Box (I use 10 in): legs back then jacks, glute repeaters(Carissa)
6) Lunges w/ Barbell , curtsey back, cross lunges (Nancy)
7) Aerobics: (3min) double steps, hop steps, V-step, double skips (high impact) (Dale)
8) Squats (Carissa)
9) add ankle weights, side leg lifts, outer then inner thighs. w/ dowel (Carissa)
10) Squats (Carissa)
Stretches w/ Allie

2nd part: Upper Body (27 min.)
1) 4-limbed warm up,hops and biceps, squat w/ hammercurl, step side and abduct, (Jennifer)
2) Abs (Jennifer)
3) core stabilisations on elbows(Jennifer)
4) Abs, pikes, oblique twists (Jennifer)
5) Core stabilisations on elbows (Jennifer)
6) Ball Aerobics: shuffle back cross, run in place, plyo, punch ball (sports thrill) (Jennifer)
7) Good Mornings w/ Barbell (Dale)
8) Bent rows w/ Barbell (Dale)
repeat 7 then 8 again
9) Posterior Delts w/ stomach on box (Dale)
10) Pushups on box (or bench) (Dale)
11) 4-limbed Aerobics, heel lifts w/ toe taps, then w/ rows, then ham curls w/ biceps. (Jennifer)
12) Upright row w/ barbell (Jennifer)
13) bicep curls w/ barbell (Jennifer)
repeat 12 and 13
14) Aerobics: marches, step side, triples, kick w/ biceps, samba, pivot, jacks then low jacks (Dale)
(music- indian floute)
15) Bent rows w/ dumbells (Jennifer)
16) tricep dips off box (full and small range extentions)(bench)
17) French press w/ one dumbbell (Jennifer)
18) Triceps dips off box (bench)(Jennifer)
19) Posterior delts over box (Jennifer)
20) Pushups on box (Jennifer)
Stretch w/ Carissa

Total length of tape - 51 min.

This tape is a perfect introduction to a newbie to the Firm style of AWT.... it is highly motivating, and personable... the instructors' energy spills over... IMO!

If you are an AWT lover or a Circuit or Interval lover... this tape should satisfy your needs... just up the weights or step heights for more intensity!

The only thing that I decided to personally add to this tape... (because I need it!) is that I usually rewind and do extra outer and inner thigh leg lifts and rear leg lifts (a la Susan!)
That done, for me it is a thorough, excellent complete workout! IMO


Instructor Comments:
Each is unique and their smiles are contagious, all likeable and all very good instructors. IMO!



I have to say that out of all my Firm tapes I seem to be using this one the most. (I have 27 tapes and i use them all in pairs most of the time) For example I use vol 2/vol 3 together, vol 5/vol 6 together NSTA/TA together, Tortiose/Hare, Strengh/Cardio, Tough Cardio Mix/Core Cardio 1, Max cArdio/Cardio Burn, Better Buns/Standig Legs, Floor Legs/BetterBody and Buns, etc..

anways, this tape seems to be very handy if you only are short on time, or you can put this one together when you do have time. If i find i need cardio and weights but i have less than 30 minutes this one is very effective in using each segment. Although each segment is short (upper is 27, lower is 24-workout only-thats not counting warm up and cool down)they seem to be very effective no matter waht. Probbably since they pack in enough work in each segment. Sort of like Vol 4 (Time Crunch) except you can choose upper OR lower body..and no matter which one i choose, i always make sure i do the abs..yes they are a bit short but seem to be VERY let me tell you in detail about it :)...
Warm up--very nice and short with Jen Carmon who seems to be that wonderful welcoming Cheerleader (she really reminds me of a Basketball Cheerleader because she is always in high spirits and ready to cheer for you to keep up your moves!! Plus the warm up doesnt seem to drag on like most Firm warm ups (although no complaining since i usually dont warm up-i know shame on me!

Lower Body-(1st Aerobic phase) At first Jen Carmon does a fun jog w/bicep curls that soon turn into this (ill say it again) cheerleader type arm sway that you hold up to your sides, fold your arms quickly, then throw them up again...but dont worry-your not swining them...your simply holding them and then to a faster pace. Then she does a fun kick and knee bends then to kick sway then back to those cheer arms!!
(1st weight work)- Next is Nancy Tucker who always makes you feel like your safe (like a motherly you do these leg presses while you step down, then with short fast small dips before stepping up again which just makes my fanny raise to the top! My butt has REALLY lifted just because of those fast dips! Then alternating more leg presses with quick pulses , then a quick upper body chest press (i dont own any barbells and always use dumbells for leg press-10-12 pounds which works just as good). I really dont think they needed to show the chest press work since the first segment should be simply just leg work but thats ok.
(2nd aerobic phase)-next comes Carissa Foster (just love her in blue) and she uses a 8 or 10 inch box for stepping. Now these moves are a little fast so if you are a beginner or on one of your tired days i recemend using a 4 inch or no box! Even with no box its trully effective becuase while your stepping your lifting your legs alternating which again lifts my fanny to help sculpt my butt. She alternates these trully quickly and its very short but effective adding some fun jumping jacks after each leg-lift-step.
(2nd weight segment) Next comes Nancy again with lunges, dips, and curtseys which i LOVE since curtsey dips are so much fun and a change of pace from original lunges as you sort of lunge backwords like a dip but in a differnt angle...if you have really bad knees then you can do these like normal lunges so dont skip this one! Its a long set but trully worth it!
(3rd aerobic phase) last aerobics are with Dale!! She does a fun side step adding light jumps and these fun steps where you hold your arms out and back in (another fun cheerleader type step)..this one isnt too high impact so your not too tired and up and ready to still move again!
(last weight work) Carissa does some simple and effective standing squats using dumbells with ankle weights while standing leg lifts and standing inner thigh lifts which i adore since many Firm tapes dont really have much standing inner/outer thigh lifts...dont worry if you dont have ankle weights...still effective if you hold a 8-10 pound dumbell against your leg while doing the inner/outer thigh lifts (which i do myself)...then she ends with more slow elevator squats using dumbells again..i trully find this a great short workout..

Warmup-nice and slow except it throws you off seeing her on the floor all of a sudden (Carissa)i usually do my own strecthes so i dont worry how warm-ups and streches are more into how the actual workout is. Overall this segment of lower body is a wonderful quick but effective workout..

Now for the upper body segment..

Abs-about 5 minutes starting with some fun warm up with dumbells..which to me is more of a fun upper body light workout more than a warm up so do this and youll feel youve alredy started! Jen does this warm up. Then to Abs! She does this starting with the right side lifting one leg onto the knee while lifting upper-than lower abs-than crunching together..then other side..then to some fun side crunches along with stabolising back work which is a new asset to the Firm and i love these! Always important to work your lower back to get that all around ab muscle!You sort of kneel on your elbows while lifting onto your toes and you pose for a few seconds while holding in your abs for a quick burn! Youll feel it! ;)

(1st areobic phase) Starts with Jen holding a ball (you dont really need a ball but its a great alternative)..she does light jogging and side sways usuing the ball and light jump squats with, fun , fun!

(1st weight segment) Starts with Dale doing Goodmornings that works your hamstrings..then back to sitting on your tall box for lat pulls...than more good mornings and more lats

(2nd aerobic phase) I liek this one the most because i just love 4-limb aerobics...this one i use 5 pounds but use 3 or 2 on your tired days..Jen does bicep curls with hamstring kicks, alternating upright rows while alterante thesse moves through out the whole segment (very effective)

(2nd weight segment) Jen cArmon does some nice pushups, bicep curls and rows that really get your heart pumped! Than back to some tricep curls..

(3rd aerobic phase) Dale does this one doing soem light stepping and bow-arrow rows with arms...light jumping and this will not tire you but keeps your heart rate going..

(3rd weight segment) more lats, pushups and some nice tricep dips using tall box and more bicep curls.

I trully rate this video A+!! Very short segments that keep you from being board and although each segment isnt very reallly is effective if you want to alrternate...somtiems i do each segment a day if im really short on time..especially if you have any kids! my daughter is 4 and very active! And on your total body days this video rules!! So buy this video...and if you already own Super Sculpting and Super Cardio...these videos trully have all their segments made from those tapes so mix and match with those tapes too!

Instructor Comments:
All instuctors were great! I only wish they had more of Dale in it since i always feel more motivated with her since she always seems so "no-nonsense" (probably since i dont own any tapes with just her in it like Power Cardio-i still need to get that one!)



This is 1 of my favorites. I like it because it splits the lower body and the upper body. The lower body is 25 minuites and the upper body is 27 minuites. The lower body has lot of lunges, uses tall box and does plies. The upperbody, does abs, arms and some cardio. I love this because it's full of variety and it keeps it fun. Great video, highly reccomend, great workout.

Instructor Comments:
I think all these instructors are very good. They cue very well before each move and they are very energetic and fun to workout with. Love them all !!

Brandi Baith


This is a Firm Parts video, approximatley 50 min long. It seperates lower body + cardio and upper body + cardio into 2 distinct sections so you can easliy seperate this into 2 workouts and use it every day if you so desiered. The upper body portion includes ab work and both have plenty of cardio in them! I love love love this workout but probably would have preferred a few more minutes of strength work and few fewer minutes of cardio just to really work those muscles. I would say this workout is 50%/ 50% cardio/ strenth. You will need dumbbells, short box, tall box, a weighted ball, ankle weights, and an optional barbell for this workout.

After a high energy warmup you move right into your 24 minute lower body workout. You do leg press, squats, and some standing hip extensions with ankle weights, box aerobics, floor aerobics and then move onto a quick stretch.

The 27 min upper body workout starts with Jens (fun) 4-limb cardio section from Super Cardio then moves into 2 sections of ab work (both led by Jen). Then you will do upright row, bent row, bicep curls, posterior flys (2 sets over the fanny lifter,not my fav move because the box isnt very comfortable to lean over like that), french press, tricep dips, pushups, good mornings (like deadlifts- which seem to work the thutt area? so Im not sure why they are in this section) 4 limb aerobics, ball aerobics, etc. You finish with a final stretch.

This workout is probably a high intermediate workout. You can easily heavy up and add plyos to make it even tougher. The pace is slow enough you can use heavy dumbbells and/or a barbell for alot of the moves. I really like this workout and should use it more often. No dread factor and lots of fun segements in it! I also like that the lower body is 1st-then its done and out of the way and my heart rate is up for the upper body portion



This workout is a compilation of Firm Super Sculpt and (I believe, a guess here as I don’t have the original cardio workout) Firm Super Cardio. It is led by a variety of Firm master instructors and has a lower body segment (about 25 minutes) and an upper body segment (about 25 minutes). Each has its own warm up and final stretch, and there is an ab section at the beginning of the upper body segment (which comes after the leg section on the VHS version, which is what I have). So if you do the entire thing (which I did, save for the abs) it clocks in at about 50 minutes.

The Super Sculpt sections that were chosen for the lower body portion were the LONG lunge/curtsey dip/cross front lunge set as well as the leg press set with creative pulse/slow leg press intervals, both led by Nancy Tucker, and the leg abduction/adduction lift set along with squats with Carissa Foster. For Carissa’s squats I subbed plie squats and felt like I got a more well rounded leg workout. The cardio sections included a short step segment with Carissa which had lots of glute squeezes, there was also a section with Jen and another section with Dale, if I remember correctly. The cardio was high intensity and had mildly complex choreography. The music was great and kept me going!

The lower body portion included the clean and press and upright row barbell segment with Jen Carmen from Super Sculpt, also a sitting bent row, French press, pushups, and triceps dips with Jen (there were no sections from Dale’s arm sections from Super Sculpt). The cardio for this set was 4-limb which was appropriate for an arm focused split. The sections here were led by Dale and Jen and like the leg split they were high intensity and fairly complex, but the music was so good that it was hard to stop moving, even if you were tired!

Overall I enjoy this workout, although some of the other classic / Anna Benson Firm workouts are better, in my opinion. This workout does have a niche however for being a shorter workout at only 50 minutes and a little less intense (on the strength side, particularly) than other Firm workouts (like there is no long leg press segment and the arms are sporadically worked), which makes it desirable for days when I don’t have the energy or stamina for one of the more challenging Firm workouts. The footage, as noted, comes from other workouts because it is a compilation, but it is very well produced and the clips transition seamlessly. This workout (like all Anna Benson Firms) uses the mansion set and has superior music. Overall grade A-.

Instructor Comments:
I really enjoy all of these Firm master instructors. Jen, Nancy, Dale, and Carissa all cue adequately well in this workout and are an inspiration to look at and work out with. Jen had by far the most sections (and she is a great lead – really a natural) followed by Dale, then Nancy, then Carissa.

Emily B.