Does The Firm Express Work?

I know the Firm Express infomercial is out, and since I reviewed the whole workout as I went through the first thirty days, I’ve been getting a lot of hits. So I figured I’d craft a short answer: sort of. I’ve been a Firm Believer since 2002 when I bought my BSS1. I did the same two workouts several times a week until BSS2 came out, and I was hooked!

Since then, The Firm hasn’t put out anything that, for me, has worked as well. Some of their “older Firms” (as we Firmies refer to them) were close, but were criticized for not being as good on your knees because of faster reps and being outdated.

Since BSS1, vie been “chasing the high” of the results of that first set. Have there been good workouts I’ve liked? Yes. But over the past several years I have honestly felt like The Firm has gone “soft” catering to a crowd that wants easier and faster workouts. Where The Firm of yon was for a small subset of exercisers who wanted a harder workout than was ever available. One of the first wimen’s workouts to incorporate weights, they were pioneers. And hit the nail on the head of fitness.

All that said I was intrigued by the Firm Express workouts because I know interval training does burn more fat, and for me, breaks up the workout and makes it more interesting.

But I was skeptical of a twenty minute workout, three times a week. And should have been. For me, a fairly regular workout girl, the workouts were definitely a challenge, but not enough to get the weight off. Many were “stacking” workouts (doing more than one a day, sometimes even three), and most were working out five or six days a week.

And there’s nothing wrong with this. Other than it was NOT as advertised. And the more frustrating part, was the “intermediate” and “advanced” stacking of workouts wasn’t published unless you paid extra for their Firm Believers site. Stupid.

Yes, stupid. Sorry.

What you should probably do if you’re considering buying this workout is consider it four to six workouts. Not thirteen, as advertised. Plan on working out about five days a week for two or three videos (40 or 60 minutes) a day. None of this is bad. That’s about what’s recommended. Most of the videos are fun. I personally prefer the sculpt videos (look back at reviews for specifics) over the other two types. And prefer the three later sets of videos (especially Alison), over Emily’s.

I also vary my routine with walking, jogging, elliptical, other videos (my favorite is Cathe), and yoga. and I lose weight dreadfully slowly. But, I’m also going to disclaim that with, in the case of these videos, I think it will be a rare instance where 20 minutes of anything, three times a week, will be enough to knock off weight. Even if you ran 20 minutes three times a week, I’d recommend 30-40 minutes of weights at least twice a week…

So there’s that. Questions? Ask! And if you want more soecifics on each workout or the overall oacakge, check back other posts!

Losing Motivation

Try as I might, I can’t regain motivation to do Firm Express. I really want to. My irritation came this week when The Firm posted asking people where they’re at in their rotations and a bunch of people said they weren’t seeing results. Many people were asking about the routines housed on the Firm site (which you can get online if you’re creative, BTW). And rather than posting the freaking rotations, they said that they’re something special for those paying for the Firm site. What? The stupid Firm instructors didn’t even make up the routines. Firm Believers (the people who have access to their site) did. And what’s more, people have paid upwards of $100 (or more!) for this routine, and are being denied a calendar of HOW to do the routine? Come on, Firm. Get it together. You’re losing more customers over this than anything. At this point, I have no plans of ever purchasing another Firm product.

That really shouldn’t sway me from doing The Firm as it stands, but somehow it is. I don’t want them to take credit for my hard work, especially when they’re being so greedy about it. The routines didn’t cost them a thing to make. And, frankly, who REALLY thought someone who works out regularly would see results in 20 minutes 3 times a week? I’m eating no more than I was when I started working out (and probably, in all honesty, better and less). And was doing 4-5 workouts a week. What are my results? NONE. ZERO. NADA. I know I need to step up my routine, but there’s not really any support for that. Why don’t they help some of us in-betweeny people bridge the gap between doing one and stepping up to two workouts a day? I personally feel like I CAN’T do two workouts, but maybe I can? And if I do two in a day, should I do two sculpt workouts, etc.? I’ve seen all of the calendars, and honestly, the intermediate calendar is a LOT more than the beginner calendar. You’re doing two workouts, five days a week.

Finally, after a lot of complaining and people who are paying subscribers to the additional board saying they don’t care if the calendars are shared, they posted a “beginner 2” workout schedule. Which was laughable. All it was was the 3X a week program, smushed into 5 days a week. Same order as the original. ANd then the final week was a random mix of workouts.

How is that helpful?? I’m sorry, I don’t mean to be a complainer. But I want to get from doing one workout 4-5 days a week to somehow up to that intermediate level, and I can’t seem to do it. And if The Firm can’t help me, then I’ll do it on my own. And won’t purchase their products again.

It’s “the principle” of the thing that gets me more than the fact that, yes, I COULD make my own calendar. It floors me that The Firm doesn’t think the average person who paid $120 (because I think that’s the price if you weren’t a member of the board – I personally joined the board just to get the discounted purchase price, and wish I’d canceled in the first 30 days now) doesn’t deserve a little help getting over their fitness humps. It’s like they WANT us to stay fat/unhealthy.

End of vent. I apologize for being overly whiney.

Firm Express Round 2: Rebekah’s Cardio/Sculpt

I rocked out to Rebekah’s cardio/sculpt video last night. I definitely like just the sculpt one better. I can’t figure out what I miss with the cardio sections. I LOVE the bursts, and love the weights stuff, but some of the cardio stuff seems to drag on. I wish I could do sculpt videos every workout, and that’s what I’d do. But I think my muscles would get over-fatigued. Or! I wish there were a workout that had the burst 8/12 and then a one or two minute recovery, then burst again. All cardio. Anyway, I’m digressing. I don’t DISLIKE the videos, I still love that they’re 20 minutes, but I find myself getting bored/distracted with the cardio stuff.

However, I also found myself REALLY breathless for parts of this video. Especially transitioning from a burst right into weights. And while there were some awkward moves (some of the lunges feel awkward to me), and I struggled with coordination on one of the bursts, overall it was a good workout.

Up next? I’m not sure what I’ll do. I’m set to do cardio tonight (as I was last night), but I might end up throwing in a different video. We’ll see.

Firm Express Round 2: Rebekah’s Sculpt

I did Emily’s cardio/sculpt on Saturday but forgot to post about it, so I don’t have a lot of feedback to give other than it was pretty challenging this time around, too. Especially since I’m trying to up the weights I’m using. The cardio in one segment plus challenging weights means the workouts seem even harder this time around (although I think I’ll stand by that I feel like my endurance has improved, even though my weight/measurements haven’t). I’ll also re-commit to my statement that the sculpt videos in this series are my FAVORITE. I love them. And Rebekah’s workout isn’t an exception. This workout was built to be able to heavy up on weights, and I did. I used mostly 10s and 12s, but ended up back down at 5s for the one burst that used weights (it was like a side lunge or something). I felt like I was out of control already and adding weights was only making it scarier.


Firm Express Round Two: Emily’s Cardio

I remembered the first time around this was one of my least favorite videos. I don’t know why, because in general I like cardio, but in this series I REALLY like all of the sculpt videos, and feel like the cardio sculpt videos really take me to the max endurance-wise. The cardio videos almost seem like a break. So that’s not a knock on this specific video, I’ll have to pay closer attention to the other cardio videos in the other cycles. My complaint with this video isn’t with the bursts, I actually really like most of the bursts. But I feel myself getting bored on the cardio sequences in between. The video is described as simple moves you don’t have to learn, which I guess might be where my boredom comes from? I’m not sure. I definitely don’t like dancey workouts because I spend more time stumbling over my feet than getting my heart rate up. I guess I feel like the cardio/non-burst portion of this video wasn’t challenging enough maybe? It’s hard to put my finger on it. However, all that complaining aside, I DO get a good workout by use of the bursts and making some of the other cardio pieces as active as I can.

I think Rebekah’s cycle is next. If I remember right, I really loved her sculpt workout, so I’m looking forward to it. And her screaming.

Firm Express Round 2: Emily’s Sculpt

I hate having to look up the name of each cycle every time I do a workout, so from now on I’m referring to them by the instructor. I think this is probably how the average person will refer to them anyway… I’m doing all of the workouts a second time thru, and hope to give more feedback than, “I didn’t throw up!”

Tonight I saw the return of Emily. And with the running shorts I just bought vowed to step it up another notch with weights (mostly because I feel like I’m already maxed cardio-wise).

Firm Express Round 2: Pump It Up

Tonight I started round two. I’ve been cooking for a few hours today and have been including cooking in workout time because it’s not only a cheaper, healthier way to cook, but also better than sitting around watching TV.

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