The Firm: Complete Body Sculpting (BSS3)

Christa Riley
Year Released: 2004

Categories: Circuit Training (cardio and weights)

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This is a 50 min mostly strength workout led by Christa with 4 background exercisers. Libby provides the beginner modifications. This is from the BSS3 series-they exercise on their own round pedestals and theres a banner in the background w/ the Firm logo and it kind of changes colors. You will need an incline box (death box, TransFirmer, or slanted risers) and various dumbbells for this workout.

Christa hits all the muscle groups nicely in this workout. You will see a lot of the typical Firm fare here: leg press, dips, squats, tricep dips, bicep curls, lat raises, and the likes thereof. The bulk of the workout is done standing but you do a nice set of exercises lying at the end: weighted bridge work, pec fly, bench press, tricep work, and ab work. There is also a set of pushups in there somewhere.

There are a few ncie cardio breaks in here as well. The moves are straightforward and athletic-nothing dancy or hard to follow. Its typical Firm cardio on the floor, on the box, and on the incline-knee ups, ham curls, step touch, V steps, etc.

I really like this dvd-mostly because you can really heavy up (well for Firm standards). I used my 2 heaviest sets of dumbbells for the entire workout. Christa is a good lead and cues well. The only things I didnt care for were: Christa & Pam were entirely too thin-almost sickly looking and unhealthy. And while the workout is good-its not "memorable" a pretty generic Firm, I guess. But again, I do enjoy it and use it fairly often. I would rate this a solid intermediate w/o



I am a low-intermediate exerciser. I really like the Transfirmer videos and the newer Gaiam Firms and have no experience with the Firms of the 20th century.

I expected to like this one, since most people on the Firm checkin like BSS3 best of all the BSS era Firms. I had a lot of dread about trying this.

I really LOVED it. The exercises seemed really varied, the simple cardio was a little refreshing after the challenges of the 2008 firms. There are v-steps but that's about as hard as it gets.

I agree with urbanhippie that the abs are the best part. I can really manage to make lower crunches easy for myself on the floor, they were challenging on the transfirmer and I still feel them.

Christa and Pam are quite thin but I liked Christa as a lead. Also, it seems to me that in BSS3 there is a lot less simpering and looking beautiful than in BSS2, a difference I appreciate.

Instructor Comments:
Christa seems sincere. She discusses health benefits rather than appearance-related issues. She is businesslike and does not chatter on.

Coleen (cjo42a)


I liked this workout. I used the TransFIRMer instead of the box, and the TransFIRMer worked great. I felt the hi-lo routine was made a little more interesting with the incline, and my heart rate got up high enough that I finished the last cardio section on the floor instead of on the incline.

I'm low intermediate, an would-be intermediate-advanced exerciser who fell off the exercise wagon due to illness and life in general. I got plenty sweaty and worked out, and felt the lunges on the incline were not only easier than lunges on the Fanny Lifter, but worked slightly different areas.

I also liked the upper body work done on the incline. Having read reviews of BSS4 that talked about the need for some padding, I simply folded a yoga mat in half lengthwise and placed it over the TransFIRMer. It had plenty of grip on me and the box. Upper body work was limited to triceps, chest and pecs, but it was effective.

The hardest part, however, was ab work done on the inclined box. Yowie! I've been doing the FIRM since 1992, on and off, and the newer FIRMs seem to have the hardest ab work I've ever done. Lower body crunches, oblique twists and leg extension/twists done on the incline not only felt harder, they didn't give me heartburn like I normally get on the floor.

A definite keeper! A solid A.

Instructor Comments:
Christa was a good instructor, a little on the thin side, but her cuing was okay. The volume did become a little bit of an issue, but wasn't a deal breaker.



Well....I wish I'd saved my $14 I paid to buy this tape. When I previewed this and Total muscle shaping the thought came to my mind 'same workout different instructor'. I guess I'm just disappointed that the firm doesn't evolve much in their exercises. The incline to me is - big whoopie. I'm getting tired of doing to same workout/exercises in these Firm tapes with just a different set and instructor. Time to branch out I guess.
The music for me was not great and I'm not fond of the dark set.
Another one goes to the garage sale pile.

Instructor Comments:
Christa Riley is so wirey in this video. She has lost so much weight since, for example, Cardio Sculpt and she just doesn't look good IMO. Her personality is fine though and I didn't find her annoying.



I like this workout. It's a little stronger in lower body work than upper body work, but when you think about it most Firms are. A couple sets of leg presses, and lunges and dips.

I did get the whole package with the box, and for all the complaining I've done about the *#&!^$ gadget, I like the silly thing. I've got it down so I can adjust my box as fast or faster than they can on the workout.

I like the lunges on the incline. Seems like it hits a slightly different area on my hamstrings/glutes.

The step on the incline is different. I may have to try out some other Firm cardios on incline, just to see what it's like.

If GT would make more Firms like this and use the box, I will be getting them.

Instructor Comments:
She is a good instructor and good at cueing. To bad the music sometimes makes it hard to hear her. That's not her fault, as it's poor dvd production.



I did the video for the first time today. It wasn't to my liking. I consider myself an intermediate exerciser and I didn't feel particularly challenged or motivated by this workout. I also didn't think the incline thing was anything to get excited about. For what it's worth, I did enjoy Complete Aerobics and Weight Training from Firm BSS2. I thought it was a much better workout, and easier to follow.

I see no reason why anyone who owns either a Club or Reebok Step should purchase the BSS3 box. I did the workout with my Reebok step and it worked just fine.

The weight sections of this video were standard firm fare. What irked me was the use of the incline box in cardio. I had hoped that it would be an exciting and new way to do step aerobics. But it wasn't that interesting, actually, and it was difficult to follow, not only because everyone is facing sideways (I eventually gave up on this and angled my step so I could see both the TV and the step) but because the leader is difficult to hear at times. Nor did I feel incline aerobics worked my legs in different places. I would get much more out of a standard step workout at a higher elevation. Also, I felt that since the Firm finally is using a regular-sized step instead of the fanny lifter, they could have made better use of it by transforming the annoying hi-lo routine into a step workout.

Instructor Comments:
Often difficult to hear over the music and when she turned to the side.