on July 26, 2002
I just started The Firm and have been using the new body sculpting system for almost a month. I picked up this video to accompany it, because it received such rave reviews. The only advice I can give is if you are a new "Firm Believer", don't get this tape. While the copyright says the tape was made in 2001, it is merely a rerelease of the original Firm workout from the 1980s. That being said, there have been a lot of newer innovations in exercise science since this tape was made almost 20 years ago, and many of the standing moves are just not as safe as the moves in the newer Firm tapes. Also, this tape clearly was made before the concept of "slower is better" came about, because there a lot of jerky movements, and does anyone realize that in the cardio segments Susan is telling you to jump around with 5lb weights??? I have to say though that the floor exercises were really great. I just don't know if they were worth the cost of the tape. Do yourself a favor and if you are new to the Firm, buy a tape that really is newer, not just a rerelease of older unsafe moves.
on February 7, 2004
This video has me spoiled, I am constantly searching for workout tapes on par with this one. The 80's look doesn't bother me at all. This workout is the only one that has actually slimmed my legs in a few months -- and I was only doing it 3-4 times per week. The music may be hokey to some, but I think it creates a rhythm that makes the moves easy to follow. It is also very relaxing.
This is an intense workout, but in some ways it's so easy to follow that I actually find myself enjoying it. The first 2-3 times I tried it, I found myself overwhelmed, but I quickly became able to do it. The only parts I skip are the jumping jacks, as they are too hard on my knees. I also modify my lunges so that they aren't so deep, again because I want to protect my knees.
I can't say enough about this tape and I think Susan Harris is an excellent instructor. I have tried some of the more recent firm tapes. They were all compilations of various instructors and I found them choppy and nerve-wracking. This tape has a definite flow to it. The camera work is pretty good, too. I have tried tapes where the camera man would just focus on the instructor's face when she begins a new routine, so you can't even see watch she is doing. This tape is easy to follow.
on July 2, 2002
This is the first of the FIRMS - the one that started it all, and I was anxious to try it out to see what started the whole FIRM following.
After having done it several times, I have this to say:
This is a workout for ADVANCED exercisers, or for those who definitely want to be advanced. Even if you thought you were advanced after months of kicking away to advanced taebo, this workout could still kick your butt. The floor work on this tape is some of the hardest out there. For amazing results, this video is one of the best. But what else can you expect from an hour long work-out with weights, cardio and extended floor work. They are not kidding about results in 10 workout hours - you WILL see them. That however does not mean you will lose 50 pounds in ten days - just that you will be on your way to loosing them faster than with just about any other exercising video out there, and you will start getting beautifully toned.
However, before you grab this video at the nearest store there are a couple of things I would want to point out:
1. This work-out was done in the mid 80s. If leotards, make-up and 80s music get in the way of your work-out you will not enjoy this. Also, if you currently do the more recent FIRMS and have not tried one of the original 6, you should know that the earlier videos are quite different from the later ones and you might not necessarily like the setting, music or the way the instructors cue.
2. This, being an earlier work-out does not demonstrate the safest version of moves. As an example you do not squat to pick up or release your weights, and also in some of the lunges people's knees extend over their toes. If you already know about proper form you can do this work-out without following the bad example, but if not you may be better off picking up a tape where proper form is talked about and well demonstrated - some of the later FIRM tapes do a much better job at that.
3. Finally, you need a set of dumbells for this workout (3,5, and 8lbs for women, 5,10,15 for men to start with) and ankle weights that are optional but recommended as you get stronger. As a beginner you should do the tape without weights and rest as needed, not doing the whole work-out your very first time. It will be practically impossible with that intensive leg work anyway.
Keeping all that in mind you will enjoy this video if you want to do something serious for maximum results and have the time, equipment and determination necessary to succeed.
on February 29, 2004
I bought this tape years ago when it first came out for 49.95. I though the price was excessive but the infomercials did it.
I having been doing this tape since that time and I am in the best shape of my life. I am 46 years old and am constantly being taken for someone 10 or 15 years younger...what does that say?
Regardless of what people say about the funky music, the 80's feel or Susan Harris's voice, which by the way I don't find irritating at all; bottem line THIS TAPE WORKS!
It's tough...period. The upper body work definately sculpts your arms and back and the floor work is a killer. I use 2 lbs ankle weights and a 10 lb weight on legwork.
This is my favorite tape of all of the Firm series and in fact the only one I use.
When I am finished working out, I am sweating profusely and my muscles are screaming for relief.
I KNOW I have just worked out and that I going to be benefiting from it. I have energy for the rest of the day and feel great.
Few tips: START SLOW otherwise you risk injurring yourself...especially when doing the lunges.
Don't think for one moment you'll be able to do the whole workout the first time, because you won't. You and your muscles have to gain stength and work up to it, so don't be discouraged ... just do as much as you can and try to push yourself a bit further the next time. It won't be long before you are doing the full workout and with weights. Don't give up... I promise you are going to see results.
This tape is a very intense workout. It might be advisable to get a doctor's check-up before beginning , especially if you are my age *smile*, have been senetary for awhile or are a smoker.
I believe this is the ultimate in fitness tapes because IT GETS RESULTS. What else could you want?
on March 3, 2002
This workout..it is UNBELIEVABLE! It is tough tough tough, and if by some chance, you outgrow it, you are doing it wrong!
:) That is the beauty about FIRMS, you can adjust weights and work harder and harder!
Susan Harris is wonderful, it is no surprise that many FIRMies want to see her again in Anna Benson's FitPrime videos!
Susan is just a top notch instructor. I simply HATE HATE HATE
instructors that are too peppy or too perfect, but Susan is MOTIVATING.. She is obviously knowledgeable about fitness, and her slender body proves then and now that women especially can be sexy and well toned by weights!
This workout is VERY tough, although it could be modified w/ light weights! Susan starts w/ a warmup then a slow weight warmup, followed by more weight segments for the upper body. There is only one "main" cardio segment (although I guarantee your heart will be racing during this workout!) The cardio has running in place w/ light weights and jacks and it is a fun segment.
BEWARE OF THE FLOOR WORK! if you don't like floorwork, DON'T GET THIS TAPE! The floorwork (as I have heard from others too) contains some of the hardest exercises..by the end, I am so exhausted! The floorwork contains many generic exercises, but the sequencing and the intensity is TOUGH! First, there is table work (down on all fours one leg up working at a time)
which is tough because there are side leg lifts as well as a new move that I haven't really seen where you bend your leg at a 90 degree angle, then turn your leg inward and do tablework..ouch!
Then more leg work later laying on your side lifting your leg w/ a weight on them and "shooting out " your leg at a 30degree angle
OUCH AGAIN, then you lay on your side again and put the back leg behind you and do frontal sweeps w/ your inner thigh/leg..OOH!
I really could go on and on about this workout. it was filmed in the eighties, complete w./ eighties hair/makeup/songs, but the workout is so hard, I would've NEVER thought I would still be doing a sixteen year old workout today, but it never gets any easier
Hope this helps!
on November 19, 2001
I didn't know that this was shot in the mid-80's to begin with, so I was a bit shocked by the legwarmers, crayon-colored leotards, mullet hairstyles and gold necklaces. Also, the music sounded like a clown circus.
Every set of muscle seemed to be worked individually, repetitively. No entertaining dance moves or fancy footwork. It's discouraging at first not to be able to do a particular set of exercise either because I didn't have enough resistance (the repetitions are really tiring) or the the muscle part involved seemed to have atrophied (I'm a beginner).
But the instructor is very encouraging, and she herself seems to have a difficult time when the set gets challenging. And with repeated use of the VCD, I find that I'm getting more and more fit and toned. This is one workout wherein you'll really see results. I like the way my stomach gets shaped the morning after every exercise.
So if you want hardcore, no nonsense, no frills exercise, try this. You'll be rewarded for your patience.
PS. I haven't tried the multi-weights required, being a beginner.
on August 9, 2002
This workout is just incredible. If you are OK with being sore, you will do fine. This is one of the only workouts I've ever done that I KNOW is doing something to shape my body. Also, even though I'm never attracted to women, Susan, the instructor, is so sexy she even turns ME on. I'm not sure whether this is a JOKE during the workout or not, but her gorgeous body and sexy voice are an inspiration! I mention this because it might actually get on some people's nerves.
Also, don't let the difficulty of the workout discourage you. I think anyone who starts with this one may have difficulties with heavy weights, but you'll be able to work up to heavier weights once you build your strength. The point is to just keep moving and the maximum resistance you can stand, just be patient and do your best! It's totally awesome and once you can keep up, you will start to feel like a fitness monster.
on June 1, 2003
I would recommend this video to anyone who not only wants to tone their body, but truly sculpt and define their muscles. Before I tried this workout, I had been doing cardio and weights at the gym, but I saw faster results after a few weeks of doing this video than I did after more than a year at the gym. The exercises simply work muscles that those machines at the gym never will. The video's strength is the the butt and thigh region, but also provides a great arm workout, and satisfactory back exercises. However- you may want to turn somewhere else for a more in-depth ab routine, or otherwise do more sets of the ab exercises on the tape.
Overall, this is probably one of the best tapes you could ever buy if you want sexy, sculpted muscles. Spare yourself the grueling gym workouts- they will never compare to this video.
on February 5, 2002
Overall, I'm a dedicated "firmie"--I've done the tapes for years. I came to the Firm, though, with some of the newer productions, in particular Strong Heart and Strong Body. But I read that this was the quintessential Firm video--the one that started it all. I have to say, I was a little disappointed. It's hard to follow, both because the instructor, beautiful as she is, doesn't queue well, and the movements are quite rapid, and change often before you've had a chance to "get into the muscle." I think it will be better once I know the tape better, but I still prefer the concentrated, methodical yet graceful moves of the later tapes I mentioned previously. They use the wonderul "tall" box to work the legs. This tape just does endless, agonizing "donkey kicks."
on June 11, 2004
The great thing about the old Firm tapes and the new FitPrime workouts is that you can ALWAYS make them more challenging. Even after you memorize the entire workout forwards and backwards, there is always the possibility of adding more weights to make it tough. This particular workout includes an exhausting thirty minute floor routine that primarily works every muscle in your legs. I saw results in less than ten workouts. Some beginners may not like the layout at first, but remember do not use weights! Just do the exercises to get familiar and work your way up. The new Firm tapes pale in comparison, so do yourself a favor and go back to the beginning, you and your body will be thankful.