Work It! Review of The Firm: Cross Trainers Firm Strength

Well, folks, I just completed this workout dvd, and I thought I'd tell ya a little bit about it.


First of all, let me say that when I started this dvd, I thought it was maybe a joke...or maybe the wrong dvd had gotten into this case. I think this dvd and the Cosby Show were filmed at the same time.

Like, early Cosby Show era.

When Rudy was a little girl.

Definitely weird vibes coming from all of the ill-fitting outfits with ladies' ENTIRE HIPS being visible through what I surmised was flesh colored tights (who works out in tights? gross). And everyone had really puffy hair and dark makeup. And the instructor, Pam, was wearing a thong. Over some bike shorts. And she worked out in front of a mirror so you could see a clear image of her backside the entire time. Lovely.

And, the setting was in a very ornate, Victorian looking library. Like, lots of books, and huge marble fireplace? And a smattering of naked statues here and there. For...inspiration?

I'm actually a little surprised that this was even available on DVD, because I assure you these ladies had never even heard about a compact disc before.

Anyway, the workout was no joke. Not a lot of cardio, and not as intense as I was expecting from the front cover. However...once I started it, I kind of figured that this was not gonna be a Jillian Michaels type experience, ya know? I was a little surprised that it actually was a pretty decent workout.

This workout actually required a lot of equipment. The suggestion was two different heights of platforms, three different sets of weights ranging from 5-15 pounds, and a barbell, and a towel. I kind of just made it work with my one set of 5 pound weights and a little plastic step stool.

Instructor - 3

Pam, the instructor on this video, just kind of gave me the creeps. I think she was fine for the most part, but I just got weird vibes from her. She gives pretty decent cues and wasn't overly peppy. But she did kind of use a weird hushed tone of voice (although better than Denise Austin!) and it's honestly hard to look past the crazy thong outfit.

Intensity - 3

I was not sweating at the end of this workout. I won't say I didn't sweat the entire time, because it did work muscle groups to near-exhaustion a few times, and there were some sections of the cardio circuits that got my heart rate up pretty good. If I had been using the 10 and 15 pound weights like they recommended, this workout would have been quite a bit more intense. However, I was definitely feeling sore the next day and could tell I had really worked my arms and core and inner thighs well. One of the last segments in the dvd is an inner thigh/abdominal section and it was killer. I do kind of wish that there was more cardio included in the circuits, or at least more combinations of muscle groups for more calorie burning. But, it is called "Firm Strength", so you get what you pay for, I guess.

Difficulty - 4

Nothing too hard here. The aerobics sequences were probably the hardest thing for me, and honestly I never pick those up very well anyway. Otherwise, lots of basic squats, lunges, curls, rows, pushups, etc. It's nice to be able to say that about one of The Firm's workouts, because they typically are very hard to follow.

Overall - 3.5

If The Firm ever decided to update this dvd, I would probably be a big fan. The workout itself was actually pretty good and enjoyable, and I think would yield pretty noticeable results if you stuck with it for long enough. Just the weirdness of the thong-clad Pam and an ancient library full of strange looking women in flesh colored tights was a little much, you know?

If you have any questions or suggestions, please leave me a comment! And remember, no one has asked or paid me to do or review any of these workouts. I am simply checking them out at the library and sharing my honest opinions with you on this blog.