The Firm: Complete Aerobics & Weight Training

Complete Aerobics & Weight Training is part of The Firm‘s Body Sculpting System 2 and is led by trainer Emily Welsh. Emily wasn’t one of my favorite Firm trainers but I did like her, which is good because she leads a lot of Firm workouts. This system came with 3 workouts: this workout plus Maximum Cardio Burn + Abs and Total Sculpt plus Abs, the Fanny Lifter and Sculpting Stick. The Fanny Lifter is a square step with two levels (6 inch and 8 inch) that fit together so that you also have a 14 inch square step, and the Sculpting Stick is a body bar. It weighs 8 pounds and separates into 3 parts–two 2 pound “twigs” and one longer 4 pound bar.

This was as excellent of a workout as I remember! It is total body cardio + strength but some of the strength circuits really get your heart rate elevated so you are getting cardio and strength even in the pure strength segments. Circuit 8 is a Firm “four limb” circuit–a cardio circuit that uses light dumbbells to increase intensity. Use heavy enough dumbbells (I used 5 pound dumbbells instead of the 2 pound twigs) and you will get some good shoulder work during that circuit, too. With the right weights, I found this a challenging intermediate level workout. And like most Firm workouts–it was lots of fun!

Complete Aerobics & Weight Training is 60 minutes long; 2 minute intro, 6:30 minute warm up (push ups during warm up) and 5:30 minute stretch. Equipment: Fanny Lifter, Sculpting Stick and dumbbells. I used my high step instead of Fanny Lifter and I also substituted a weighted barbell and dumbbells for a few of the exercises that use the sculpting stick. Emily and crew used 8, 5 and 3 pound dumbbells. The weights listed below are what I used. The workout starts with the 6 inch part of the Fanny Lifter in front of you. There is a beginner modifier.

Circuit 1: Fanny Lifter @ 6 inches and dumbbells

  1. Squat w/ one foot on step and DBs held at shoulders; add overhead shoulder press (10# DBs)
  2. Reverse lunges off step; add bicep curls (10# DBs)
  3. Repeat 1 & 2 on other side of body
  4. Raise Fanny Lifter to 14 inches and do one arm, bent over back row (other hand on top of step) (one 18# DB)
  5. Tricep push ups w/ hands on step
  6. Repeat #4 on other arm

Circuit 2: Cardio on floor

Circuit 3: Fanny Lifter @ 8 inches, sculpting stick and dumbbells (I used one 15# DB for entire circuit)

  1. Stand behind step holding stick in one hand (using for balance) and a DB is on other shoulder, do a forward lunge onto step and pulse down and up before stepping back; add raising other leg behind you instead of pulsing
  2. Plie squats; add one arm bicep curls; add plie pulses; add sliding one foot in to other after pulses
  3. Repeat #1 & 2 on other leg

Circuit 4: Fanny Lifter @ 14 inches, sculpting stick and dumbbells

  1. Seated double arm back row; add pulses (18# DBs)
  2. Stand on top of Fanny Lifter w/ DBs on shoulders and step down w/ one foot and back up (leg press) (12# DBs)
  3. One arm back row (bent over w/ other hand on top of step) (one 18# DB)
  4. Hover squats w/ sculpting stick on shoulders (35# barbell)
  5. Repeat #3 on other arm
  6. Repeat #2 on other leg

Circuit 5: Fanny Lifter @ 6 inches and sculpting stick

  1. Holding stick in one hand for balance, do front kicks; add a squat after each kick; changes to pulse squat; squat kick again; pulse squat
  2. Set sculpting stick aside and do step cardio

Circuit 6: Dumbbells and sculpting stick

  1. Plie squats; add pulses w/ heel lifted (12# DBs)
  2. Bicep curls (12# DBs)
  3. Holding stick in one hand for balance and DB on other shoulder, step squat out to side; changes to 4 count squat; add leg lift to side (one 15# DB)

Circuit 7: Fanny Lifter, sculpting stick and dumbbells

  1. Leg press, holding stick in one hand for balance and DB on other shoulder; changes to stepping down to side of step; step up changes to leg raise to side (press up into side leg lift) (one 15# DB)
  2. French press (double arm overhead tricep extension) w/ one foot on step (one 15# DB)
  3. Repeat #1 on other leg
  4. Seated tricep kickbacks (8# DBs)

Circuit 8: “Twigs” (2 pound ends of sculpting stick) or light dumbbells (I used 5 pound dumbbells)

  1. Side kicks; add a punch when kicking
  2. Tap toe front, side and back; add arms, lifting them straight front, to side then down (Emily calls it “tri-star”)
  3. Step squat w/ bicep curl
  4. Repeat #1-3 on other side of body except step squat changes to plyo squat jump
  5. Tap toes to front then to side; add lifting straight arms to front then to side
  6. 4 front raises; 4 side raises; changes to lift front, open straight arms out to side then return to front then lower
  7. Start with arms held straight out in front of you then pull DBs back to shoulders

Circuit 8: Middle portion of sculpting stick (4 pounds), dumbbells and mat

  1. Lay on side and do one arm tricep push ups
  2. Lay on back and do chest fly (18# DBs)
  3. Pull overs using middle portion of sculpting stick; changes to skull crushers (alternate between pull overs and skull crushers) (I used two 10# DBs)
  4. Chest press (18# DBs)
  5. Repeat #1 on other arm

Circuit 9: Mat

  1. Lay on back, hands behind head, knees bent and feet on floor, do a basic crunch; add pulses; changes to twisting elbow toward opposite knee when crunching; add bring knee toward elbow when crunching up
  2. Return to basic crunch; changes to reverse crunch; add upper body crunch (full crunch); add straightening one leg while crunching (alternate legs); changes to straightening both legs while crunching; just reverse crunch w/ legs raised straight to ceiling
  3. Still laying on back w/ legs raised straight to ceiling, alternate reaching hands toward shoelaces; changes to reaching both hands toward laces; still crunching up, press arms out to sides
  4. Still laying on back w/ legs raised straight to ceiling, alternate raising and lower straight legs; changes to raising and lowering both legs together
  5. Reverse crunches; add upper body for full crunches; cross ankle over opposite knee and continue full crunch
  6. Basic crunch; extend arms overhead while continuing to crunch; extend legs straight while continuing to crunch; changes to pulsing crunches

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