The Firm: Volume 6: Forever FirmJayne Poteet
Year Released: 1992
Categories: Circuit Training (cardio and weights)
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Like many at VF I’ve been happily rediscovering the classic-era Firm workouts, and this one from 1992 is becoming one of my favorites once again.
Volume 6 is the last of the original full-length classic Firms, and is the least intense in that it is shorter, has little impact, and moves at a more deliberate pace than the other five volumes. (Of course, the intensity of any Firm workout also depends on the amount of weight used.) At some point Volume 6 was dubbed the “Boomers” workout, I guess because it is more doable for older bodies, and in fact the cast includes a woman in her 60s.
Funny how a workout that became too easy for me 20 years ago is now just right. In the intervening years my knees have become very fussy. However it is more important than ever to keep them strong, and the tall box climbs and the squats in Volume 6 are excellent exercises. I now modify these, though – I do them without weights and I shorten the step height for both tall box climbs and the step cardio. This workout uses a tall step and a short step. Luckily, regular Club step risers and the high step topper make an excellent substitute for both, and allow me to easily adjust step height as needed.
I like how Volume 6 has no lunges or dips (very unusual for a Firm workout) and no push-ups (my elbows are another fussy body part LOL!).
One unexpected benefit – since I had done the cardio routines before (albeit many years ago), the moves came right back to me. By the way, the choreography is basic and quite easy to follow.
Jayne Poteet leads Volume 6 and does an excellent job. Yes, she is obviously rehearsed, but that means she also cues accurately and well. (In fact, one thing I’ve noticed about Firm instructors who go on to lead their own workouts is that they have all obviously been trained on how to properly cue any video workout, not just The Firm. Plenty of other video instructors out there could use some of that instruction!)
Besides the routine itself, I love the production of the early Firms. The mansion set is large and gorgeous, yet the routine itself can be done in a small amount of space. While some of the music might be corny, at least it has personality and is a nice change from the now-standard anonymous techno-beat. The fashions are of course dated, but that doesn’t bother me (probably since I wore that stuff too!). I also enjoy the large cast, which in Volume 6 is somewhat more diverse than usual. See if you can spot future Firm video instructors Tracie Long, Libby Heath, and Pam Cauthen!
Bottom Line: If you enjoy the easier Firms such as the Firm Basics, the Prime Powers, and the Tri-Trainers, take a look at Volume 6 too. You get a great total body workout, including cardio, in just 45 minutes. Anna Benson continues to amaze me by how she was so ahead of her time, and even 20 years later her work holds up very well.
I am still using a VHS copy of Volume 6, but it is available on DVD from Anna’s website, www.fitnessfavorites.com. You can also find it at other online retailers like Amazon and Total Fitness.
Please see above. Jayne Poteet cues well, and also has a sweet, earnest demeanor that I find very appealing.
This is a 40ish minute AWT w/o not including the stretch. Jayne leads in the mansion set with a bunch of background exercisers. This w/o was originally created for "boomers" or an older crowd, and its the easiest of the Classics IMO, not that its an easy workout. You will need a variety of dumbbells, a short & tall step, and she uses a optional barbell.
This workout moves right along and the bulk is done standing. The floor work includes a tough ab section, some bridge work, pelvic floor contractions, and pec fly before moving into the stretch.
The standing strength work includes leg press, squatting off the short box w/ dumbbells, squats, hover squats, some bicep work while stepping, tricep kickbacks, double arm row, upright row and other familiar Firm moves. There are no lunges or dips at all in this one.
The standing strength work gets my heart rate up some and she also does some step work on the short box. So overall the cardio effect in this workout is good.
I would rate this as an intermediate workout. Jayne is a great lead and cues well. The moves are all simple, athletic and easy to follow. She moves right along so there is no wasted time but I didnt feel rushed like I do in some of the older Firms. She allows you to go pretty heavy (for a Firm). I like this workout, it works nicely to get some strength work in while keeping your HR up.
This is the final workout in the Firm Volume classics (LOVE the classics) and as other reviewers have mentioned, this is the “lightest” or easiest of the six. However this is still a really good workout and you will definitely feel it if you heavy up on the poundage (as I do) which is easier to do in this workout because it is slower moving, and you use an 8” step instead of a 6” step (I use the blue section of the Fanny Lifter). This is a classic Aerobic Weight Training (AWT) workout with aerobic (primarily step aerobic) and strength intervals, although in this workout she seems to do most of the aerobic first and then a long strength segment, and floor work at the end. The workout only clocks in at 53 minutes which is fairly short for a classic firm (usually 60-65 minutes). This is filmed in the mansion set with a large class full of both men and women, and the look is “dated” however I do not think that distracts from the workout. The music is, as another reviewer aptly described, a “best of” the Volume 1-5 workouts, and I thought it was enjoyable while I worked out to recollect which video and what exercise the music was originally from (oh yea, Volume 1, lunge set!). At any rate the music is very good and motivational.
One of the things I really enjoyed about this workout is that there are NO LUNGES, not in the cardio or in the strength set. This is pretty unusual for a Firm workout and a great change of pace for me. Your legs WILL get worked from a long leg press and calf raise segment, a very long and intense squat and hover squat (3 and 6 count hovers) segment, and all of the step aerobics using the 8” step, including faster paced cardio leg press. There was one aerobic interval on the floor which included a lengthy inner and outer thigh leg raise segment. The arms are also thoroughly worked with upright rows, military press, and clean and press using the barbell, along with a long set of triceps kick backs and double bent rows. The floor work includes two sets (16 reps each) of chest flies, ab work using the tall box, and a long bridge segment using heavy poundage on the hips. The warm up was somewhat hard to follow but included inner and outer thigh work, the beginning stretch included a chair and was on the longer side, and the final stretch was long and thorough (appropriate for the end of the workout).
A classic Anna Benson video with high production values, great music, and traditional exercises very common with the Firm. If you like Firm workouts (particularly the classics and don’t mind the outdated look) you will love this workout. You can make it easier or harder depending on poundage, I used heavier poundage (30# barbell for the strength segments) and thought it was a high intermediate workout. Not as difficult as the other classic Firm workouts but definitely challenging in its own right. Overall grade A-!
Jayne Poteet is a good instructor, very encouraging with form pointers. I didn’t think her cuing was as easy to follow as other Firm instructors, but it wasn’t so poor that I got frustrated and couldn’t follow along. I certainly liked her well enough that I wish she had done more videos! I read that she had turned her life around and lost a lot of weight, not sure if that’s true or not but I do admire her, and like most earlier Firm instructors, she looks healthy and has very nicely built with muscle tone (i.e., not too skinny).
I bought Vol. 6 and the FIRM barbell, which I unfortunately do not own any longer. Even though this workout is supposed be good for the older or beginner exerciser, it's hard. The hover squat section is a killer, and I felt it in my rear for days. I enjoyed the work with the barbell, yet after doing things like Get Ripped!, it doesn't seem adequate in comparison. Still, a solid AWT workout. Note: the comments about the "sexy" stuff always amuse me. I don't see any of this in these workouts; what I see are beautiful sets and makeup that was considered normal for the late 80s/early 90s.
Janye is a good instructor who was easy to follow.
Volume 6 was originally called the Boomers Workout and was meant for older exercisers. I don't know if I would hand this one to my mom to do, but if she asked for one of my "tough" workouts (which is what she tends to call my AWT videos), I would probably think of this one first.
I think that Jayne Poteet embodies what I think of as Southern belle. She is beautiful and fit and has that fabulous southern accent. She is decent at cuing and does her best to keep you going for the whole 52 minutes of the workout.
The workout is low impact, it is one of the first that really started the Firms obsession with equipment, you need a barbell, tall box, and dumbells...you can substitute dumbells for the barbell if you need to (I use a body bar, personally).
This workout is out of print and can be hard to acquire. Get it if you can. It is one I really enjoy and is, by far, my favorite of the classics.
This is one of those videos that I like some of and hate the rest. What I like: the hover squats, squats and tall step work (very effective, whatever weights you choose); basic step aerobics (nice break after those hover squats); towel stetch (not as good as vol. 2's, but still nice). What I dislike: the awful warm up (yuk. I just do another warm up from Kari Anderson or hop on the bike. Heck, I'll walk my dog instead); the warm up stretch (it doesn't feel good at all); those silly floor aerobics (they're supposed to be like skating moves but everyone looks like they're about snap their spines); using a barbell for shoulder work (it would appear that using dumbbells for these moves would be safer and have more benefit). I really think the Firm introed the barbell to make money because they don't seem to get much mileage out of it in this video. I understand some people might feel more comfortable using if for lower body work, but I would think dummbells would be safer, given the poor form the cast had using the barbell. This is the last thing I disliked about this video: the cast has very poor form in many spots. Upper bodies collapsing while stepping, knees overshooting toes on squats, backs hyperarched on rear extensions. Its amazing noone collapsed writhing in pain. And if a beginner follows them (or even Jayne), they might very well do just that. The ab work is good though, and there is brigde work too. The chest work is a couple sets of flies (maybe they should be grabbing their barbells for some presses too. If I'd have spent $50 on a barbell, I'd like to use it). Overall, the parts I like, I really like. If I start this video at the aerobics, after doing like the step section of 2 the Max, and ignore the cast and concentrate on my form and vary my weights depending on my mood, I find I get a very good work out. If you're new to firm but know about proper form, this is a good starter.
Eegads! Someone take the putty knife away from whomever put on that make up!! To be fair, Jayne is okay. She seems friendly enough, but her cueing is off (not a big deal. these are very easy steps) and her form is lousy at times. She does not instruct, but merely leads the work out. She is glamorous and smiles a lot, but seems "canned" (just like the music)and very reliant on the script.
I've had this video for awhile, but I haven't done it for awhile. My workout this morning inspired me to do a review. Though this workout is certainly not without its flaws, I really enjoy it. I wouldn't really recommend this as a video for beginners (mainly because of the lack of form pointers; for beginners wanting to start with The Firm I would say that the Basics series would be better), but for those familiar with proper form, it's a good, solid choice. The main glitch with cueing is during the leg press segments--Jayne cues right when she is using *her* right leg, instead of mirror cueing (same when she does leg presses on the left leg). The video falls a little short on the lat row/tricep kickback sections--there is only one (long) set of each, doing both arms at the same time. I find it harder to do both at the same time using proper form, so I have to use a slightly lower weight than usual. For an occasional workout though, I don't mind much. There also is no work for the inner thigh, but one could always substitute a set of plie squats for one of the hover squat sets if desired. As has been mentioned, it's kind of nice to not have to do lunges, dips, or pushups with every strength workout. There are two sets of pec flyes for the chest, though, so that muscle group is not neglected. It's also nice to have a video that is all low impact (both on the floor and on the step) for a change of pace. The stretch section at the end is longer than on most Firms, and really relaxing. This is a good choice for me when I want a workout that is somewhat challenging but far from killer, or when I am low on motivation. I'm glad I traded for this one!
Jayne, as with several other Classic Firm instructors, gives minimal form pointers during the exercisers. Also, on some of the exercises, her form is questionable as well. That being said, I do like Jayne as an instructor. She is very fit, and lovely to watch and listen to. Although her sweat is never visible, she does comment a couple of times during the workout, "This is tough!" And she seems very sincere!
I just did this video for the first time in a couple of years. It was easier than I remembered but not that easy-lugging around a 40 pd. barbell is work.
You know what else I've noticed about this video? Look at the cast members who were in Firms 1-5--they have more muscle definition in Vol. 6 than in Volumes 1-5. For me, this is the volume where I realized that heavy weights do pay off.
I never noticed Jayne's makeup till I read some of the other reviews of this tape. Jayne is my favorite instructor of the FIRM Volumes 1-6 because she seems the most real. She is straining for some of the barbell work and when she says "Can you feel this working? I can." you can tell that she's working hard too. That's a nice change from most tapes where the instructor acts like the workout is so easy.
Jayne does a great job on cueing and form. She has a neat southern accent which gives this workout a unique touch. Everytime I do this workout, I think I'm working out with Amy Grant. Jayne has a perfect body. Not too muscular. Just right. Her smile is incredible and when she looks into the camera, it looks like she is looking right into your soul. She has that camera/eye touch. I love it when she says,"Can you feel it?, I can!"10/07/1998
This video is tied with vol. 4 as my favorite "classic" firm video. When I am not motivated to workout at all, I can always convince myself to at least do this workout. I have fun with the box segments, and it really hits all parts of the body. I like the pec flies. I wish more workouts included them. Also, I like NOT doing pushups and floor work once and awhile. I think this tape is an excellent introduction to the Firm, and a tape that you can do for years to come. It also might be the tape that appeals most to men, due to its basic moves.
I really like the instructor of this video. I find her accent charming, and I would love to have a figure like hers! I do think they put WAY too much makeup on her, though.
My first thought when I saw this video was "How much makeup does Jayne have on? And why isn't it running off her face?" Makeup aside, this isn't a bad tape. As others have said, Vol. 6 a "lighter" Firm workout. I think it's less challenging b/c it's slower paced and there is less upper body work and no pushups, dips, lunges or floorwork--but you could really increase the weights to challenge yourself, which is what I do. Those hover squats are tough with heavy weights! There are also tall box leg presses and bridgework. The warm up and floor aerobics are laughable, but that is nothing new for the Firm. There are two box aerobics sequences, one with weights and one without. I use heavy dumbells, but I think a barbell would be easier to use. Heavy dumbells just feel unwieldy. A little more upper body work would have made this workout feel more complete, but this is still a good tape for days when you want something somewhat challenging but don't want to wipe yourself out completely.
Jayne, like the other bland guest Firm instructors, is adequate. As usual, there are few pointers on proper form. She is so serious that she is unintentionally funny when she orders the class to "flutter."
Well, this certainly isn't on the calliper of Strength/Cardio, but it does seem better than the other early Firms. Although we still have the same cheesy music, there's isn't any of that silly hopping around and those lying leg lifts that everyone knows I hate. Still, there are some moves that just seem plain silly. After leg presses, they do several calf pumps on one leg - what is that? Does it do anything? And this is one of the stupidest warm-up I've ever seen.
The aerobics sections are simple and low-impact, mostly using the short box. I could've stood to work my upper body a little more - in fact, right before abs I hit the pause button and did several bicep curls.
This is not a tape I'll use often, but it'll be nice to have around for days I'm kinda pooped or when I just get tired of doing SB/SH over and over.
Jayne Poteet is extremely atttractive and fairly pleaseant. She could perhaps stand to lose a bit of her accent, but that's my own personal preference. She gives zero pointers on form, but I suppose that's to be expected on an early Firm video.
This is another well-produced workout from the folks at the FIRM. This video is a good introduction to the FIRM for the beginner who understands good form in resistance moves. This is important because FIRM instructors offer very little instruction, and in this volume, she doesn't always use great form herself. This is one of those workouts that the user can make easy or killer, and still feel it at the end, but not feel completely wasted at the end. You can adjust your box height, and your weights to get as tough as you want. Something about this workout, though, I always feel I've worked out, but I don't feel dead when I'm done, no matter how tough I've been on myself. The step aerobics segments are very basic and could easily be done off the step if preferred. The box work is a killer, from the leg press to the hover squats (which I feel more in my quads than glutes). Jayne Poteet is motivating and friendly. What I don't like: the warm up- I'd rather do another tape or hop on our Nordic Track. I just don't think this warm up is very good. The stretches aren't really good and I don't really feel ready to work out at the end. I'm not sure why, maybe its the combination of moves or something, but it doesn't work for me. The lat rows at the same time- okay so its faster. I still don't like it. I find that even if I use my heaviest dumbbells (25 lbs) I still don't feel it. I prefer one side at a time. I can really focus and concentrate that way and really feel it, even using less weight. I also feel that way about the tricep extensions, but not to the same degree. I find I still feel it, but not as much, if I do both arms at once. Finally, at the beginning of the tape, some guy told me to wait for 20 questions... and it would explain to me how to do the pelvic floor work (aka Kegels) in the workout. So I waited till the end of the tape and it never came on. While I already knew about Kegels, having read about them in many magazines, I was a little confused about why it wasn't included. Overall, this a good workout, low impact, easy to follow, with a motivating instructor. If you already have a clue about form and resistance training, but still consider yourself a beginner or new to the FIRM, this is a good FIRM to try out first.
Jayne Poteet is certainly a glamorous, lovely person. I don't mind her accent at all, but she does use a somewhat sexual tone in some of her cuing. She makes "set up for leg press" sound like a real "want you baby" line. Also, her form isn't always great, and could be down right dangerous for someone unfamiliar with resistance training. To her credit, she seems very friendly, likable and motivating. And while I don't blame her for the camera work, can we get fewer crotch shots, please? I thought the FIRM had rectified that in the 80's, but this tape was made in the 90's, and I thought that by then everyone realized that was a place we didn't need to go.
After reviewing some of the comments made about this
video I thought I'd like to add my input.
I purchased this video 3 or 4 years; it was my 3rd Firm purchase (I already owned Vols. 1 & 4). At the time I was very disappointed and felt that I didn't get the workout I was used to with the other two. Was I ever wrong! The problem was that I didn't yet have a barbell or a tall bench and was using my dumbells and step bench for the leg lifts. Once I bought a tall box (and I got a cheapie Rubbermaid) and used my hubby's barbell -- what a difference! Love this video; I don't think it has any floor legwork, but I notice that the very day after I do it my clothes are looser around the bottom! I also love the pelvic floor contractions; it reminds me to do them when I'm doing my other workouts too. I do this one on average of at least once a week.
I love Jayne Poteet; she's terrific; she must be 6 feet tall! Her cuing is great; the transitions are fairly smooth; and she's quite inspirational.
After renting Volumes 1-5 and hating them all, this is the first FIRM I liked enough to buy. The moves on 6 are slower and controlled rather than fast and jerky, and that alone makes this a 100% improvement. I like the music better, and there's none of the sexy panting or gratuitous crotch and butt close-ups that make the early volumes resemble Playboy videos. Even though Vol. 6 is aimed at "all ages", and some FIRM believers think this is for beginners, the use of the barbell rather than a body bar means you can add on weight at any level. Just try doing those hover squats/overhead presses with a 40 lb barbell, and then tell me this is a beginner's workout! Negatives: The warmup is a joke - some silly grinding and shimmying - so I either do a cardio tape first or substitute a good warmup like the one on Strong & Smooth Moves. The pulse checks are nonsense, just numbers flashing while you're scrambling for your weights. There should be more arm work; I usually rewind and do a second set of the tricep kickbacks. And those "internal contractions" crack me up, especially when Jayne says "Flutter!" OOOh baby, I'm fluttering!! I'm not exactly "evangelical" about the FIRM, but this is a pretty solid workout that should appeal to many persons used to gym-style weight lifting. Grade: A-
I once commented on misc.fitness.aerobic that Jayne Poteet seems to have walked out of a Duracell commercial. She's robotic even by FIRM standards, and wears more makeup than RuPaul, but at least she cues adequately and offers some form pointers. Her monotone voice has kind of a hypnotizing effect after awhile, almost like you're exercising in some sci-fi movie.
#6 uses barbells which I don't have but I still enjoy this one. I find it's relatively less challenging as others.
Jayne has a great smile and puts out a high level of
motivation. The video is one of my favorites. It
emphasizes cardio-vascular conditioning with the use of
relatively heavy weights. The moves are mostly slow and
smooth. This is one of my favorite workouts.
she turned her life around. Jayne was very unfit and overweight as a child and teenager. Her current level of fitness is inspiring for beginners.
I think this FIRM tape would be the best one to pick for older or beginning exercisers. The aerobic segment is shorter than usual (about 35 minutes)and there is way more stretching than usual. The aerobic portion consists of extremely low-impact step/floor routines. This FIRM tape uses a barbell, although dumbells would work just as well. This tape has minimal floor work; just abs, pec flies and bridge work. Unlike other FIRM tapes, this one does not use ankle weights at all.
If you are an advanced exerciser, Volume Six probably won't challenge you enough. But...I do like this workout and I would definitely reccomend this FIRM tape to someone who wants to get started with the FIRM. Doing this tape for a while will help beginners build up to more challenging FIRMS like Strong Heart and Strong Body.
Jayne is an adequate instructor. She could be a little bit better with her cueing. There are several occasions when it is not clear what leg you should be on, or which direction you should be going. However, the choreography is basic, and after a couple times through the workout, the issue of cueing dissipates.
The class uses a barbell for the workout, but I use weights and they work fine. It's a total-body workout, including upper body, abs, lower body, and some aerobic segments. There's not much to say, really, about the instructor. Her cueing is good and so is her form.
There is a section in here that is a killer. It's the "hover squats," where you sit on your step and then lift your bottom up for several counts, holding a barbell or weights on your shoulders. I think it's meant to work your buns, but it gets my quadriceps even more. Also, the calf pumps are pretty intense, too. I don't know what it is about them -- it's not really a long segment, but you definitely feel it!
This is a great workout for shaping your lower body
and, to a lesser extent, your upper body. But it's not
the most fun or interesting FIRM workout ever made. I
rate it as a B.