It was so much fun to do this workout this morning, for so many reasons. First, I love The Firm. I worked out on and off my whole life—until I discovered The Firm (more than 10 years ago!). The Firm helped me make working out a daily habit. I started with the original Fanny Lifter, then the incline box and finally—the TransFirmer, which is one of my favorite periods in Firm history. I love the TransFirmer. It is multifunctional—not just for Firm workouts, but I use it for other workouts, too—Cathe, Insanity (yes! Insanity’s Upper Body workout needs a bench—the TransFirmer subs perfectly), Jari Love and more—bascially anything that needs a step, a high step, a bench or an incline bench—it does it all.
Second, doing these older workouts show me how far I’ve come! I can remember when Ultimate Calorie Blaster was hard! This morning? Low intermediate. But still fun! I still love this workout. I will continue to use it for easy/recovery days. It is fun and it is a solid workout. I also love any excuse to use the TransFirmer for high step ups. Great for the butt, but I rarely do them. I also love The Firm because of their adherence to circuit training. All of their full length workouts are based on fast-paced circuits, most of which last around 5 minutes or so, so you are constantly moving and things are always changing—which keeps the workouts varied and interesting.
Ultimate Calorie Blaster is led by Stephanie Huckabee. I like Stephanie; she leads a few of my favorite Firm workouts. Ultimate Calorie Blaster is primarily a step aerobics workout, but like most Firm workouts it is a combination of step aerobics, athletic moves, plyometrics and “four limb” work with light hand weights. The choreography is basic and easy to catch onto quickly. This workout consists of 8 cardio circuits. The warm up has you use the 6 inch step, which I never use for Firm workouts. I always go straight to the 8 inch step to increase intensity. You keep the same step for the first circuit, which is a basic step aerobics circuit. 2nd circuit is floor aerobics. 3rd circuit is tall box climbs (the TransFirmer stacked to 14 inches). The 4th circuit is step aerobics on the 8 inch step. 5th circuit is more tall box climbs, this time with light hand weights. 6th circuit is floor aerobics with some plyometrics. For the 7th circuit you put the TransFirmer in the incline position and do step aerobics on the incline. 8th circuit stays in the incline position but does 4 limb step aerobics with light hand weights. The cool down is done with the TransFirmer in the incline position. Then you move to the floor to do plank work. I can remember, many years ago, when this plank work seemed so hard. It amused me this morning how easy it was. My core is a lot stronger! After the plank work you do a short stretch.
Ultimate Calorie Blaster also includes a separate 8 minute abdominal workout led by Alison. This is a tough and well rounded little ab workout. I love it! You work upper and lower abs as well as the lower back. You finish with a nice stretch. If you do the two workouts together, you get a 53 minute intermediate cardio workout that works your abs and glutes nicely and stretches you out.
Overall, I still love this workout. No, it’s not the level of cardio I am accustomed to, but it is fun and a nice change of pace. Even for an intermediate workout, it hit my buns pretty hard (thanks to the tall box climbs!).