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The Firm - Cardio Inferno
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The burn is back with master Firm instructor Sue Mi Powell. Cardio routines are by far the fastest way to burn calories and slim down, but they can often be a drag. These fast paced, fun movements that incorporate both high heart rate exercises with light resistance are a recipe for fat burning success.
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It begins with a long-ish warmup...okay, I must admit that it could have been a little bit shorter than what it is (almost 8 minutes). As it is done in an add-on style, the very 1rst move (stepping from side to side while alternating an arm raise) gets pretty old about half way through. But that is probably my only real beef with this program!
What I like about CI is that it is a FUN cardio program that raises your heart on a gradual slope, a little gentler than many of the other Firm workouts. The cardio is not dance-y, however. It is composed of athletic moves like jacks, kicks, lunges, hamstring curls, and hopping. Have a mentioned that I think this is really FUN? :-)
The program is actually a cardio/light sculpt hybrid, so it's pretty effective even if done alone. There is a sculpting segment, followed by a cardio segment, then another sculpting segment, a final cardio segment and then your cool-down. Light weights are recommended for the sculpting segments. The sculpt moves are pretty fast-paced, and your arms and lower body will be moving fast in bicep curls, lunges, squats, arm raises, etc., so I would listen to them and keep it light. I personally don't use anything heavier than 3-4 lbs. It is Firm-style sculpting, so your upper and lower body will be doing things simultaneously. Like I said, I definitely felt the burn with my 3 lb. weights,!
Many of the other reviewers weren't crazy about the instructor, Sue Mi. I must admit, she's probably not my favorite of the Firm instructors, but I have no issue with her. Yes, you may find her a little...corny. But she actually kinda makes me smile, and I'm having fun doing the workout, so I don't really mind her cheesy grin and comments like, "Knee higher, pleeease!"
Intermediates/Advanceds: Yes, this will probably not leave you panting and crawling for the shower. But that's why I like it. It's lighter, and perfect to combine with something else to make a harder, personalized workout. Being that it's only 30 minutes, and never gets to abs, I actually combine this with The Firm's Slim and Sculpt Stability Ball workout, also 30 min. In CI, I burn calories and do a little bit of sculpting, then in S&SSB I finish toning everything and get an awesome stretch-out. I think it's a perfect hour workout! (Of coarse there are many other 30-min. sculpting workouts out there that would be great on the end of this).
So in a nutshell, this workout is FUN, effective and (if you're a fitness nerd like I am) perfect as a cardio add-on to a shorter sculpt workout. If you would like to see a clip, check out collage video's site.
The good things: I liked the sculpting sessions for the most part especially the 1st one. The instructor is peppy but not over the top. It did get my heart rate up. It's on a bright and airy set. The music is OK and not distracting.
The bad: the cues of the instructor especially for the aerobics moves are terrible! Two examples I remember are going from a knee repeater to a jumping thing back and forth that she just does really quickly and doesn't break down. As another reviewer says the backup people (who are all recognizable as fellow Master Firm instructors) also look confused. She does it again in another cardio aerobic section with a kicking move which goes from a front kick to a back and forth front kick with foot change. It again is not broken down just added on really quickly.
I will do try this workout again to see if it improves or is easier to follow with more attempts. Still really like the FIRM!