Fierce Force

fierceforceFierce Force was given to me by reader of this blog (Thanks Lisa!) as something I might like. I had actually been considering it since Amazon frequently recommended it to me as something I might enjoy. So I’m back, after a month long blogging hiatus, to finally try something new-to-me. I haven’t stopped working out but all of the workouts I’ve been doing have already been reviewed here.

Annie Mairs is a new to me trainer. I’m not sure what I think of her presence on screen, but she creates a brutal workout. Fierce Force is a 72 minute metabolic weight training workout. To be more specific, it is cardio HIITs alternated with metabolic strength training broken down into 4 circuits; each circuit has a total of 6 HIITs and 6 strength moves, and each move is done for a minute. If you do the whole workout, that is 24 HIITs and 24 metabolic strength moves.  If you do the entire 72 minutes, it is seriously challenging. Luckily, you don’t have to! On the main menu you have the option to do Circuits 1 & 2 with warm up and cool down, Circuits 3 & 4 with warm up and cool down, or all 4 circuits with warm up and cool down. So your first option (titled Workout #1) is 41 minutes long. Your second option (titled Workout #2) is 41:30 minutes. Your 3rd option (titled Workout #3) is 72: 30 minutes long. In addition, she has “Other Workout Options” in which it is chaptered by circuit; so if you only want to do one circuit, you can choose the warm up, the circuit of your choice, then choose the cool down.

The circuits are structured by body part. Circuit #1 is Lower Body focused, Circuit #2 is Upper Body focused, Circuit #3 is Core focused and Circuit #4 is Full Body focused. Honestly, doing just one of her circuits would be a tough and effective workout. Perfect for a doubles workout. Which is how I plan on using this workout most frequently. The first time I did this workout I did all 4 circuits, one right after the other. Because of the length of doing all 4, even tho it is a super tough and effective workout, it could only be done on weekends or days I am not working because I don’t have 72 minutes in the mornings to workout (I try to keep my M-F morning workouts 55-65 minutes). But so long as I am not working overtime, I frequently come home after work and do a second 30 minute workout. Each circuit is approx. 15 minutes long and add on the warm up and cool down (11 minutes total) and you have a 26 minute workout. So Fierce Force works perfectly for doubles.

Let me give a little more info before I go into the breakdown. The set of this work is odd. To me at least. It is a glaring white. So white you cannot see where the floor/wall/ceiling meet. The only other color is their blue yoga mats in front of them, Annie and her two crew members, and their dumbbells. It didn’t really bother me but it was odd. In the intro (or “Pre-exercise Guidelines”), Annie recommends that women start with 1, 5 and 8 pound dumbbells and men start with 2, 8 and 12 pound dumbbells. I had 3, 5, 8 and 10’s handy and ended up grabbing my 12’s for a few exercises. Because of the speed of the strength exercises (which is why they are very metabolic) you really can’t go much heavier than that. There were 1 or 2 exercises that I could probably use 15 for. Maybe if just doing one circuit. The exercises are cumulative tho, so if you are doing all 4 circuits, by the end of the workout it is harder to go as heavy as you could if you were coming to each circuit fresh. Now, some of those weights look pretty light–but she uses the lightest dumbbells for most of the cardio. So for almost every exercise–HIIT or strength–you are using dumbbells. For the cardio HIITs, most of the time, I found the light dumbbells necessary for intensity, but I won’t lie, by the 4th circuit, I decided to forgo the light weights on a few of the cardio HIITs. I was that wiped out. As mentioned before, each exercise is done for 1 minute; you get 10-15 seconds recovery between each exercise and a little bit longer (maybe 20-25 seconds) between each circuit. (It was exhausting.) Before each exercise, a pop up in the left lower corner of your screen tells you the name of the exercise and the recommended range of weight you should use. During each interval, a counter in the right hand corner of the screen counts down your last 15 seconds of each exercise.

Like I mentioned above, I’m not sure what I think about Annie’s presence on screen. She was very unobtrusive, somewhat encouraging. Maybe a little bland. But she put together a killer workout.

Alright, there’s the basics. Now to the breakdown. I will do it by circuit. So the warm up is 3:37 minutes and the cool down is 7:33 minutes. Do all 4 circuits and it is 72:30 minutes total. In the summary above, I listed the shorter workout times. To just do a circuit by itself, just add on the warm up and cool down time to determine how long the workout would be.

Circuit #1 Lower Body 15:19 minutes (for all of the cardio in this circuit you will hold light dumbbells):

1. Squat Thrust (squat with overhead press)

2. Circle Run (run in a circle around dumbbell on floor)

3. Circle Squat (with one dumbbell held in both hands, circle it overhead, then turn to the side do a deep squat)

4. Hesitation Jacks (Cathe calls these plyo jacks)

5. Lunge, Squat, Press (one dumbbell; lunge forward and bring dumbbell to front foot, turn to side and squat bringing dumbbell to shoulder, stand with overhead press)

6. Squat, Turn, Lateral Raise (wide squat, 180 turn jump, then lateral raise)

Repeat all exercises on the other side of the body

Circuit #2 Upper Body 15:31 minutes (you will use light dumbbells for all cardio moves except burpee):

1. Renegade Row to Press (renegade rows alternated with two tricep push ups)

2. Burpee

3. Crab Crawl to Press (get in crab holding dumbbells and alternate raising arms into overhead press while remaining in crab)

4. Hops (hop side to side)

5. Bicep curls (get in static lunge position while doing tradition curls)

6. Squat Jacks

7. Renegade Row to Press (same as #1)

8. Burpee

9. Tricep Extension (on knees do overhead tricep extensions with one dumbbell)

10. Hops

11. Hammerhead Curls (alternating hammer curls while in static lunge)

12 Squat Jacks

Circuit #3 Core 15:33 minutes:

1. Oblique crunches (laying on your side, knees bent and raised, bring elbow to knees)

2. Mountain Climbers

3. Jackknife to Scorpion (while in high plank, jump feet in toward hands twice (keep legs straight), then back in plank bring knees to elbows on outside of body)

4. Cardio Scissors (with light dumbbells, do scissors and with arms do bent arm side raise alternated with overhead press)

5. Windmill

6. Knee Strikes (holding light dumbbells, knee raises to the side and to the front)

Repeat all exercises on the other side of the body

Circuit #4 Full Body 15:39 minutes (use light hand weights for all of the cardio–but in this circuit I feel the hand weights for the first two cardio HIITs are optional; you can still get a great cardio blast in #2 and #4 w/out hand weights):

1. Dead Row (I really liked this exercise; you can go moderately heavy on this and really work a lot of muscles: deadlift, horizontal row, stand and pull dumbbells (with straight arms) behind you)

2. Run-Run Knee (or as Shaun T calls them in Insanity 1-2-3 Heismans)

3. Weighted Upper Cut (hard to explain, but use one dumbbell–it uses a lot of upper body muscles, very functional)

4. Leap Frog Squats

5. Inner Thigh Lunge (legs wide, holding heavy dumbbells low (both near one foot), shift side-to-side (staying low) 3 times then curtsey squat)

6. Annie’s Jacks (with one light (but heavier than your lightest hand weight–I used 5 pounds for this one, but an 8 would work, too) jump squat deep, bringing dumbbell almost to floor, then jump up and cross jack)

Repeat all exercises on the other side of the body


4 thoughts on “Fierce Force

  1. I really like Cardio Force and Jump Force, too. And the sets are better. Like you, I don’t know what to make of Annie but she can be motivational to me. I just read your upcoming reviews and it sounds like you have your work cut out for you. I look forward to all of them!


    1. I’ll have to check those out. I bought Life Force but haven’t done it yet. I am currently doing Body Beast, Weider Ruthless and PiYo–all at the same time! It works better than it sounds. I am loving all 3 so far–so in about 2 months 3 big reviews will post!


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