See updated/revised review here.
There is something of a story behind this one. I have been working out for a long time. I bought this workout 6 years ago (I think—could have been longer). I did it a few times and remember it being nightmarish. I did not enjoy it. Very hard. I set it aside and forgot about it. A few months ago I was going through all of my workouts (100+ DVDs) and I came across it. I remember how challenging I used to find The Firm. Still great workouts, don’t get me wrong, but in the past few years my fitness level has increased exponentially and when I go back to those older videos, they’re not nearly as hard as I remember them being. So I thought—maybe I will actually like Cathe’s workouts now. So I popped it in this morning.
I was right! I loved it! Very challenging but also very do-able. Bootcamp is an hour long. The DVD lists it as 58 minutes, but my DVD timer clocked it at 61 minutes. However, there was also some intro stuff which I think was a little over a minute, so I estimate the actual workout is around 59 minutes. This is a circuit workout. Each circuit has 4 parts: 1 minute of cardio, 1 minute of lower body, 1 minute of upper body, and 1 minute of core. You do each circuit once for a total of 8 circuits. There is a 6 minute warm up and a 3 minute cool down/stretch. The intensity of each move varies. The cardio is mostly high intensity and some of the lower body moves gave me a good cardio run, too. I felt like my whole body got a good workout, but I only went to failure once and that was on a core move. That one was an upper and lower body crunch with a medicine ball squeezed between your knees. I won’t lie, I came close to failure on a few of the upper body moves. Cathe used 8 pound weights on most of the upper body moves and I used 10, 12 and 15 pounds. The moves were across the board. Various equipment is needed for this workout. Dumbbells, a medicine ball, a tall step (14 inches) and a bar bell. You can use substitutes for some of these—dumbbells in place of the bar bell and the medicine ball. The core work used the ball a lot and, in my opinion, the ball works better than a dumbbell. For lower body you used a bar bell, step ups on the tall step or you did kickboxing moves. For upper body you used dumbbells or body weight (push ups and triceps dips off the tall step).
It wasn’t the toughest workout I’ve ever done, but it was still an excellent challenge and definitely a “do-again” that will be worked into a rotation.
This is a two-workout DVD. I will be reviewing Muscle Endurance at a later date.