Monday, September 16, 2013

The Firm: The 500 Calorie Workout (Review)

I've tried many Firm workout videos over the years.  I find it ironic and extremely frustrating that so many videos led by so many different instructors can be so badly cued and annoying.  The exception is The 500 Calorie Workout (2008), led by Kelsie Daniels.

The format is simple.  A light cardio section with some stretching starts you off.  Then a light weight section to get you ready.  A real cardio section, followed by weights. Cardio, weights, cardio, weights, etc.  There's a good ab section at the end with both standing and floor work (with weights).  And then a nice stretch.  

The cardio is pretty easy, except for the last section that includes more lunges and jumps.  They are mostly 75% low-impact but with a few high-impact (jacks, jump-rope, squat-jumps) moves that really get your heart rate up.  Outside of some combinations that may require a few tries to get the hang of, this is mostly easy stuff.  

The weight sections are challenging.  Kelsie moves quickly and does a lot of reps.  Expect side lunges down to push-ups, curtsy lunges with challenging weights, and side squats to lunges with overheard presses.  Whew!  Even though I've been doing weights for quite a while now, these sections still get me.  

I like Kelsie's ab segment because she incorporates some moves I've never done before.  It's definitely challenging but, thankfully, not too prolonged. 

Kelsie's cueing is better than most Firm instructors, but it's not perfect.  Be prepared to get a little lost at first.  But the moves are simple and you will be able to follow along in no time!  For a clip, go here.

Bottom Line: I would say this cardio is beginner but borders on intermediate in its complexity. The weight sections are definitely intermediate.  Once you've done some weights and know the basic moves, this is a great video to incorporate into your workouts.

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