The Firm: Get Chisel’d

FirmGetChiseldI have an entire box filled with old Firm workouts I used to love and do faithfully. Lately I have been getting nostalgic and I am trying to revisit some of my old favorite Firms. Get Chisel’d was one of my very favorite Firms near the end of my (long) Firm period. I remember I found it very challenging. My memories of it are that it was very fast-paced, very hard and I always had a hard time choosing the right weight for each exercise due to the way the workout is set up. But I also loved it because it really challenged me and I felt like you got everything in this workout–total body strength training plus cardio and in only 40 minutes. Now, I worked out for an hour every morning even back then and this workout had a bonus on it–a 15 minute cardio workout called “Kick it Into Gear” that promised a burn of 175 calories in 15 minutes. So I would do the strength workout followed by the 15 minute cardio for an excellent 55 minutes workout. This was also before the enormous amount of short add-ons that I now own (and stream!), so that 15 minute workout got a lot of play time with my other workouts that fell short of an hour!

I decided to return to this workout to see how it challenged me now, many years later. The verdict? This is still an excellent total body metabolic workout. I am so impressed! With the right weights I would even put this one at high intermediate level. I actually expected to find it too easy like some of the other Firms I have revisited but not at all. I was challenged. I was using heavier weights than I did back when I used to do it regularly. As for the ability to change weights quickly enough? Not hard at all. I didn’t even have a workout card and I was able to use the correct weight most of the time. A workout card is necessary tho because there are not a lot of reps of any of the exercises so you want to be ready to go from the first rep.

The trainer is Rebekah Sturkie–another one of my favorite Firm trainers. Allie was always my favorite but Rebekah was my second favorite I think. She sounded a little scripted in this workout like they all do, but actually more natural than some of the Firm instructors from the Firm workouts I’ve done recently. She has a lot of enthusiasm and energy. This workout is from what Firmies call the “pink” workouts. They are some of the later Firms and the DVD cases have a pink stripe along the top. They are part of a collection of workouts that came out after their CardioWeight System. The CardioWeight System is a collection of workouts that came with a pretty cool dumbbells set. It had inter-changable/screw-on bells and weighted bars. However it is impossible to go really heavy with them. In this workout, to go heavy, Rebekah and the other exercisers held two dumbbells in each hand–and it still isn’t very “heavy.” The max you can lift with 2 dumbbells held together is 11 pounds. I actually still own and use these dumbbells. I have one set at 7 pounds and one set at 4 pounds to give me those odd weight dumbbells that no one sells.

Like the majority of the Firm workouts, this workout is set up in circuits. There are 7 circuits. Each circuit works the lower body then the upper body, then combines the upper and lower body moves into a compound exercise. The circuit ends with a “power” blast which is a plyometric that comes close to being a HIIT, depending on your fitness level. I never felt like I was at a HIIT level, but some of them were intense little blasts and I really liked them. The power moves are also usually contrast training for the lower body–mimicking the strength move you just did for the lower body. The weights listed in the breakdown below are the weights I used. There is also a modifier and she is just doing all of the weighted work without dumbbells and does a low impact version of the plyometrics.

For the 15 minute cardio bonus it is just Rebekah and there are no modifications. The cardio bonus is not super intense but I still find it a nice way to end this workout. I did not burn 175 calories tho! Just FYI–according to my Fitbit I burned 116 calories during the bonus.

A note on Circuit 3 below. To get the most out of this workout (for my purposes, that is) I made some modifications to Circuit 3. First, I have metal screws and plates in my heels, so certain things are difficult for me. I can do heel lifts to work my calves but something like a releve while in plie is beyond what my feet will do (releve is a heel lift/raising onto toes, which I can do, just not both feet while in plié; **after I posted this review I did a barre workout and did plié with both heels raised, so I think the difference is, in this workout I had heavy dumbbells and in the barre workout, no dumbbells and I was holding into a chair–it’s been 7 years since the accident and I am still figuring out what my feet will let me do). But that’s ok because I feel like I still got a great workout by just continuing to do plie squats w/ heavy dumbbells. As for the back rows, I am also balance challenged for the same reason–metal heels. So during the rows when she was on one leg, I just did traditional, heavy back rows w/ both feet on the ground. BTW–I can do some balance moves as well, so I had no problem w/ the other balance moves in this workout. My heels just don’t allow me to do a sustained balance move, but if it is done briefly, I have no problems. I mention this because I know a lot of people are balance challenged too (for other reasons). There are almost always modifications you can do to make a workout just as intense w/out the balance challenge.

Get Chisel’d is 41:30 minutes long; 45 second intro, 5 minute warm up, 3 minute stretch. All you need for this workout is a variety of dumbbells. You will be on the floor at the end for core and plank work, so you may want a mat, too.

Circuit 1:

  1. Deadlifts (add a tap back while deadlifting ); 25# DBs
  2. Windmill (hold DBs in front of thighs, palms forward; raise straight arms to side (shoulder height), pause, then raise overhead); 8# DBs
  3. Deadlifts, raising one leg behind you (alternate legs); 25# DBs
  4. Windmill (this time when DBs are overhead, turn palms toward face and do a shoulder press and at bottom of windmill do straight arm front raise); 8# DBs
  5. Deadlifts w/ leg raise while doing a straight arm front raise w/ opposite arm; 10# DB
  6. Power move: 8 air jacks, recover, 4 air jacks, recover, 4 air jacks, recover

Circuit 2:

  1. Wide squats; add alternating knee lifts after each squat; 20# DBs
  2. Bicep curls: 2 to the side, 2 to the front; add a rotate from side to front (or front to side) while in the up/static position between sides; 15# DBs
  3. One leg squats; add knee lift at top; 20# DBs
  4. Concentration curl while in squat; 15# DB
  5. Repeat 3 & 4 on other side of body
  6. Power move: High knee, wide leg, tire runs: do to count of 8, recover, do to count of 4, recover, do to count of 4, recover

Circuit 3:

  1. Plie squats, add releve; 25# DBs
  2. Bent over row, add a leg lift, then make a balance if you want (not lowering leg); 25# DBs
  3. Plie squats w/ releve, add pivots from side to side after each plie squat, when you pivot you raise back leg into air; 25# DBs
  4. Bent over wide rows, add leg lift and make it a balance move if you want; 20# DBs
  5. Plie w/ releve and upright row, pivot to side w/ leg lift and back row; 12# DBs
  6. Power move: 8 Plyo plie jacks, recover, 4 plyo plie jacks, recover, 4 plyo plie jacks, recover

Circuit 4:

  1. Alternating reverse lunges holding DBs by bell and tapping other end/bell of DB on floor at bottom of lunge; 12# DB
  2. Push ups, add alternating rows after each push up (no DBs)
  3. 4 reverse lunges on right done just like in #1 (DB taps floor at bottom); this changes to reverse lunge then at bottom of lunge, raise and lower back leg 3x; do this sequence 4 times
  4. Push ups, add alternating shoulder tap
  5. Repeat #3 on left leg
  6. Power move: Squat thrust (burpees but they progress; first you step out into plank, then you hop out to plank, then you add the hop at the top, then you add the alternating rows while in plank, and finally you do the alternating shoulder taps while in plank–no recoveries during this one)

Circuit 5:

  1. Alternating diagonal lunges w/ pulses at bottom of lunge; 15# DBs
  2. Holding DBs, palms facing ceiling, raise both arms straight in front you (this is the starting position); bend elbows, pulling DBs in towards waist then back to starting position; 10# DBs
  3. Alternating diagonal lunges w/ pulses at bottom of lunge; 15# DBs
  4. Start doing #2 again; this changes–when you return to start, add a bicep curl from the start position; this segment ends w/ just pulsing bicep curls in the start position; 10# DBs
  5. Diagonal lunge while doing a bicep curl then while in lunge, hinge forward and row DBs back to side; alternate sides; 12# DBs
  6. Power move: Split jumps (plyo lunge jumps) 8 reps, recover, 4 reps, recover, 4 reps, recover; repeat on other leg

Circuit 6:

  1. Alternating reverse lunges; this changes to alternating front kicks; then you combine them to reverse lunge then kick (keep alternating legs); 15# DBs
  2. Tricep kickbacks in side lunge, add pulses; 10# DBs
  3. Reverse lunges w/ kicks, this changes to reverse lunge, kick, reverse lunge on same leg; alternate legs; 15# DBs
  4. Repeat #2 but side lunge on other leg; 10# DBs
  5. Reverse lunge, kick, reverse lunge, side lunge, two tricep kickbacks, return to standing; alternate sides; 12# DBs
  6. Power move: 2 reverse lunges w/ a kick + 8 scissor runs, 1 reverse lunge w/ a kick + 4 scissor runs 4x; repeat on other leg (no recoveries in this one either)

Circuit 7:

  1. Chest flys w/ bicycle legs; 20# DBs
  2. Pullovers; add a crunch; 12# DBs
  3. Chest press with legs bent; this changes to straightening legs and raising torso in crunch when pressing; 20# DBs
  4. Basic crunch variations
  5. Side elbow plank with straight arm raise; 7# DB

Kick it Into Gear is a 14:30 minute cardio workout. It actually has a little warm up and cool down, but I am going to include them in the breakdown. No equipment is needed for this workout. This workout is made up of several combos. Rebekah introduces each move individually, them combines them. So below, I will list the entire combo as one number, but know that each move in that combo is introduced by itself and done for longer than it is done when it is combined in the combo.

  1. Deep breaths then several arm-only movements to warm up the upper body
  2. Squat
  3. Round and flatten back
  4. Combo 1: Step touch side to side w/ reach and pull arms; double step with reach and pull arms; alternating knee lifts w/ diagonal arms; alternating front kicks w/ punch arms; hamstring pulls w/ pumping arms; back cross step w/ tricep kickback arms
  5. Alternating side lunges
  6. Bend and hinge stretch
  7. Combo 2: push ups; alternate bringing knees in while in plank; push ups; alternate bringing knees in diagonally while in plank
  8. Combo 3: Shuffle, shuffle, tap; shuffle, shuffle, side kick w/ a punch; shuffle, shuffle side kick w/ punch, side knee, side kick w/ punch
  9. Combo 4: tap side to side w/ hands in guard; continue the tapping and add alternating punches; still punching turn to side and add leg raise to back as you punch
  10. Combo 5: wide leg hops raising and lower arms overhead; continue hopping just bringing feet close together; plyo squat jacks; squat pulses w/ front kicks; butt kick runs; high knee runs; run-run-hold; hop/tap toes forward w/ speed back arms; burpees
  11. Combo 6: alternating knee raise while arms reach and pull down; do this same move but stay on one leg
  12. Cool down combo: squats; round and flatten back
  13. Alternating side lunges w/ stretches
  14. Bend and hinge stretches
  15. Round and flatten back

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4 thoughts on “The Firm: Get Chisel’d

  1. Good review….I am actually interested in this now. I completed the “Thin in 30” workout program from the Firm and found it so annoying….the moves were WAY too fast and by the time you figured out what they were doing, you were moving on to the next thing. I spent half my time standing there, and the rest of the time yelling at the TV in frustration. Mind you, those are only 20 minute workouts, so I guess it had to be fast. This sounds different and I like the fact that it is almost an hour. I’m also glad it’s not as scripted….I was getting really tired of them saying “Okay, listen up….”. 🙂

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    1. Ah! Firm Express! I own that too! It has been so long since I’ve done it, I can’t remember whether I felt they moved too fast or if I was frustrated by it. I do remember that there were only a few of those workouts out of the whole collection I liked enough to return to. But I haven’t done one in years. I actually have been planning to run through it again in conjunction w/ ChaLean Extreme.

      And Rebekah did say “Okay, listen up” a few times! I do remember that. It is irritating now how scripted Firm workouts are. I do remember when I did the Firm all the time it never bothered me but now that I do mainly Cathe. Kelly Coffey-Meyer and Beachbody programs, it really stands out and grates to hear it!

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      1. Well I look forward to reading your review when/if you do the program again. I found the last level the best…the pace seemed to be far more reasonable from what I remember and I actually did most of the workout! But honestly, I don’t think I would return to it unless I was desperate–and with so much choice out there, I’m sure I won’t be!!

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