Fitprime FlexpostureTamela Hastie
Year Released: 2005
Categories: Circuit Training (cardio and weights)
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There are 3 original FitPrimes that I thought shound NOT have been remade- Steamin' Cardio ('cause Kelsie was great), Crunch Time ('cause it was a mediocre old school floor work routine) and Flex Posture (since it didn't seem to know what it was). The Steamin' cardio redo is disappointing, Crunch Time, about the same as the original and then there's Flex Posture- which feels different from the original but still suffers from not really knowing what kind of workout it is. I got this free from whfn, and I want to like these workouts- I like the crisp clear production, I like the fire pots (but not the statues) and I like that the exercisers wear different colors (especially since the en vogue thing is to have everyone in the same color or same outfit). But so far, I just haven't clicked with any of these. This is probably the worst of the bunch, for a few reasons.
1- The parts don't seem to fit. And the music doesn't match some of the workout. It just really seems disjointed and almost as if the music was added after the fact. there are times when the music is really cacaphonic and vigorous but the moves being done are mellow and slow. The cardio and weight sessions just come out of nowhere and don't seem to fit the rest of the workout, with its pilates-ish, yoga-ish flow.
There's enough to interrupt the flow of the workout, but not enough to benefit from them, so it just seems like a throw away.
2- Tamela. She is such a distracting instructor. She pouts and poses through this workout so much its like she's auditioning for a Vegas showgirl show. She has a bizarre exhale to emphasize the breathing pattern, but it sounds like one of my major appliances is venting noxious fumes. The camera also focuses on her butt and chest, and not when those angles make sense. Combined with her tendency to pouty faces, occassional sexy breathy voice, there were moments I just thought eewww.
With the popularity of pilates and yoga and fusion workouts that incorporate both with cardio and/or weights, this is really a subpar workout that looks great.
The production is lovely, but the workout is disjointed and has an instructor, that frankly seems to have gotten the job because she's cute. The music is interesting, but half the time doesn't fit the workout, and parts of the workout seem to have been lifted from other workouts and stuck in here. the good moments are few and far between, and are quickly interrupted either by Tamela's expressions or some exercise that doesn't fit, and the moment is gone.
Tamela has many mannerisms that are distracting and actually impair her credibility as an instructor. She is very attractive, a fact which was not missed by the camera operator since we get plenty of shots of tamela's butt and breats, and when such a focus makes no sense at all. (I don't think Tamela is responsible for the camera shots, but those camera angles, combined with Tamela's mannerisms makes this workout seems kinda sleazy at times.)
For reference, I am a high intermediate/advanced exerciser. I owned the original "Just Right FlexPosture" very briefly, and did it once or twice. This workout felt very different than the original, and except for a few things that Tamela said, I didn't feel at all like I had done the workout before.
The set is a bit wild, with statues holding flaming bowls, a starry night sky, and Grecian columns. My 2 teenaged sons came into the room while I was working out -- both of them asked immediately, "is this the FIRM?" I think Anna & Cynthia Benson and Mark Hendrickson achieved the look they wanted. It was clearly the "new" FIRM (whether Goodtimes wants to acknowledge it or not). As others have mentioned, the colors and the picture quality are amazing. The music is jazzy/world beat type, and fits the workout well. There were only a few places where I felt like the exercises were not done to the beat of the music.
The workout itself is very gentle, with some short cardio sections, very short weight sections, a bit of yoga, and a bit of pilates. There were some interesting moves with the yoga block to help with body alignment. There were many good cues about proper body alignment which I found very helpful.
I suppose this would be best for people very new to exercising, or for intermediate/advanced exercisers coming off an illness or injury, or for an active rest day. The day I did it I was coming off an illness, and I really could not have done anything more strenuous. That said, I'm not sure whether I liked it or not. It didn't seem particularly well organized, and I can't say that there was any part of it that stood out. Fortunately, I'm not often sick, so I can't see it playing a large part in my fitness routine. However, for those days when I'm looking for a chance to just move, I suspect it will come in very handy.
Tamela seems a bit stilted in this workout, and she uses some unusual terminology. Otherwise I thought she was pleasant enough. Most of her cuing was good, although there were a few mistakes, none of them critical.
I totally loved this workout! I've started adding Pilates to my workouts and am enjoying the results. I can't wait to get Floor Burn and Crunch Time (both with her) and I hope to see more of Tamela in future workouts.
Tamela is definitely more calmer,poised, mature than she was in Cardio Burn. Her Pilates training definitely shows.
Women's Health & Fitness Network Flex Posture is part of the FitPrime series and contains 17 minutes of Pilates, 10 minutes of cardio, 21 minutes of yoga and 6 minutes of weights. It ends very close to 55 minutes total. Tamela is a more "mature" and graceful lead than you will remember her in the original Firm's Cardio Burn. She's dressed in a purple top and black shorts, and her Pilates training really shows through in every move.
The warm up begins with sun salutations using the tall step or box as a prop, and then goes into light cardio with mambos and arm sweeps, calf pumps, and plies with arm lifts.
Roll-ups are next, and these work the transverse abdominals. Tamela does these with a yoga block between the knees but modifications using a book are shown. Next we put the block under our glutes I'm assuming as a guide, but I found it easier to do this segment without the block there. It consists of Pilates leg work. Side planks are next, using one leg in front and the block under the other hand as a guide. I think full side planks can be done if you're able to in order to increase the intensity here. I didn't find the supported plank work very challening.
We then go prone for cobra, and leg and arm raises to work the spinal erectors, and the segment ends with the "grasshopper" move which consists of raising the legs while in a prone position, turning the heels toward each other, and tapping quickly. Tamela makes a cute joke about The Wizard of Oz!
Standing work for shoulders using the stick is next, then a cardio segment using the stick.
Here is where the workout seems to take an odd turn for me. I was expecting more of a Pilates and yoga focused workout, and perhaps it's just me and I'm not "getting it", but this next segment didn't seem to fit in with the theme of the workout for me. We do heel pushes into the floor with one leg on the step, then do small lifts as though we were going to do a leg press but not quite. I must not have done these "right" because I didn't feel anything. We then sit on the box and do double lat rows, using light weight. Again, I didn't quite see the point of this. We then do hover squats, and follow with push-ups putting one hand on the box. We end this with plank work in the same position, and I found this part very challenging.
A cardio section follows with the two light weights and some strange hip moves. Again, maybe it's just me but I didn't "get it". We then do the heel engagements on the other leg, followed by shoulder presses with small weights again, and hover squats. Triceps kickbacks using the yoga block as a prop are next, then we do the push-ups and planks with the other hand on the step.
A tree pose segment using the stick as a balance tool is next, and I felt at this point that the workout was "home" again. This was very challenging, and left me feeling strong at the end of it. Leg Pilates work is next, then we go into cat and cow poses, doing some really great variations. Flowing and smooth is the best way to describe this part of the workout. I wish the entire 55 minutes had been more like this part.
We then use the step for yoga moves, but I prefer these moves without a support so I did them that way. We end on the floor again with bow and another Pilates move, then we stretch.
It almost felt to me as if the middle part with the weights was added so the workout could be described as a "fusion", which of course it is, but it just didn't "feel" right to me. I would have preferred an entire workout with yoga and Pilates. Oh well. It's still a very nice workout and Tamela does a great job! I enjoy her like this, and her form is perfect. For that reason, I give this one an A minus!
Women's Health & Fitness Network Flex Posture is part of the FitPrime series and contains 17 minutes of Pilates, 10 minutes of cardio, 21 minutes of yoga and 6 minutes of weights. It ends very close to 55 minutes total. Tamela is a more "mature" and graceful lead than you will remember her in the original Firm's Cardio Burn. She's dressed in a purple top and black shorts, and her Pilates training really shows through in every move.05/10/2010