Friday, January 29, 2010

The FIRM: Upper Body Sculpt Review

The FIRM: Upper Body Sculpt
Janet Brooks, 2003

This is an add from the Firm 6-pack that came out after BSS2. It is a 33 minute upper body strength workout. Besides the warmup there is no cardio. This w/o utilizes the Fanny Lifter (FL), sculpting stick and a range of dumbbells. The set is bright and white with the purple & brown tile in the background. Janet leads with 4 background exercisers. Alicia provides the beginner modifications-uses no dumbbells (sometimes she uses the twigs) and the purple (6 inch) section of the FL.

I like the warmup in this one for a variety of reasons-1) not as much stretching as many Firm w/u's, 2) she uses the sculpting stick and it is actually perfect for warming up. Sometimes they use the stick, just to use the piece of equipment they are selling. But it was perfect for this, and 3) she does a lot of upper body moves with the stick-perfect lead in to the workout.

After the warmup you go into the upper body work, some is actually quite unique and some your normal UB fare. You will do a variety of bicep curls, clean and press, bench press, a lot of push ups, tricep dips, overhead tricep extensions, bench press, etc.There is also a short ab segment that has some crunch & plank type moves in it.

Unique moves: she uses the FL stacked side by side for a set of pushups and tricep dips. So your hands are on an uneven surface and it works the muscles differently. She also does a lat row with a twist at the end and I could tell it was hitting the muscles differently.

There is one or two short segments where she uses the stick instead of dumbbells-I just use dumbbells as the stick is really too light to do much with.

This one is intermediate I suppose, but its hard to rate because she goes slow enough to allow for pretty heavy weights. You can make it easier by using lighter weights and more challenging by using your heaviest weights. I wouldnt say its advanced though, because even really heavying up-its only 33 minutes and you are working your entire upper body-so you really cant fully fatigue everything IMO.

I like Janet as a lead. She cues well and is encouraging but not over the top. She has really high eyebrows so sometimes she looks surprised but I really enjoy her as an instructor and would have liked to see more w/o's from her.

1 comment:

  1. Lots of upper body workouts lately! I have all you've mentioned, and I think Janet's is my favorite. Not that I'm going for a calorie burn with weights, but I do burn more with this than The Firm's Upper Body. I haven't done Upper Body Split in a long time--since before I started blogging my workouts. Will have to check that one out.

    The cardio with Lisa I like as well. It's not a high calorie burner for me and I just had a d'oh moment while reading your blog--I could go up a bit on the step! I'll switch to 8 inches. I like Lisa Kay and enjoy that wo.

    Off to check out your pumpkin smoothie recipe. =)