The Firm: Total Muscle Shaping

Total Muscle Shaping is part of The Firm‘s Firm Box series. This workout is led by Stephanie Huckabee, another Firm trainer I liked a lot. This is a cardio + strength workout and I remember finding this one of the more challenging and advanced Firm workouts that I owned. I remember struggling through some of the strength circuits. For that reason it was one of my favorite Firm workouts. I also remember that when I started doing Jari Love workouts, some of her high rep strength exercises reminded me of this workout (muscle failure/burn out).

In revisiting this workout this morning I was very challenged. I know for a fact I used heavier weights today than I did in the past (because I own a much larger selection of dumbbells than I did back then) but they are still lighter than what I normally use pre-cancer. This workout really wore me out! I was working very hard and some of the strength circuits gave me more intense cardio than the cardio circuits! So I found this overall a very metabolic workout. The cardio circuits were also more intense than a lot of other Firm cardio circuits. But that is Stephanie–her cardio usually is more intense than other Firm trainer’s cardio–at least in these older workouts. All of the cardio circuits were basically high impact, except the step cardio on the 6 inch step, I think, but there was lots of jumping in the other two. BTW–as always, there is a beginner modifier for everything so if you don’t want the impact, there is someone doing everything low impact.

I still found this an excellent workout–definitely intermediate and even high intermediate with heavy weights. Stephanie and crew were using 3, 5 and 8 pound dumbbells. I used 6-18 pound dumbbells and it really wore me out! This workout is a good one to use to test myself–when this starts getting easy then I know my fitness level is improving. It definitely didn’t feel easy this morning!

This workout uses the Firm Box, a step that can be used in the 6 inch position, the 14 inch position and on an incline, and dumbbells. You can obviously use a regular step that can be adjusted to 6 and 14 inches and that also inclines.

Total Muscle Shaping is 48 minutes long; 2:30 minute intro, 4:30 minute warm up and 4 minute stretch. Equipment: Firm Box and dumbbells. Workout starts with Firm Box in 6 inch position for warm up.

Circuit 1: Firm Box @ 14 inches and dumbbells

  1. Stand in front of step and do squats; changes to squat pulses (18# DBs)
  2. Seated bent over double arm back row (18# DBs)
  3. Leg press, start on top of step and step to the side of the step rather than the rear of step; you will squat on the box to change sides and do the leg press on other leg (do 7 reps, then 3 reps then 1 rep) (12# DBs)
  4. Seated double arm overhead press; changes to Arnold press (10# DBs)
  5. Hover squats; add bent arm side lateral raises; continue doing side raises only while standing (6# DBs)

Circuit 2: Cardio on the floor

Circuit 3: Firm Box @ 14 inches and dumbbells

  1. Leg press, start on floor and tap toe to opposite side of box at top of press; add bicep curl; tap turns to side leg lift (10# DBs)
  2. One arm back row, hinged forward at waist and other hand on top of step (one 18# DB)
  3. Repeat #2 on other arm
  4. Repeat #1 on other leg
  5. Tricep dips off step

Circuit 4: step cardio using Firm Box @ 6 inches

Circuit 5: Firm Box @ 6 inches plus dumbbells

  1. Standing on step, do a rear lunge off step; changes to side squats on step; changes to rear lunge + side squat; add pulses to squats and lunges (12# DBs)
  2. Repeat #1 on other leg
  3. Standing on step, do alternating rear lunges off step; add hammer curl; changes to traditional bicep curl; add 3 count pulses to lunges while continuing to curl arms; pulses change to 2 counts + knee lift (12# DBs)
  4. Hammer curls (12# DBs)
  5. Narrow squats; add pulses (12# DBs)

Circuit 6: cardio step on Firm Box on an incline

Circuit 7: Firm Box on an incline plus dumbbells

  1. Forward lunge onto incline; add pulses (18# DBs)
  2. Remain in static lunge w/ foot on incline and do back rows (18# DBs)
  3. Front lunge onto incline with back row (18# DBs)
  4. Repeat 1-3 on other leg
  5. Rear delt flies (one foot on incline, hinged forward at waist); add pulse at top of fly (6# DBs)
  6. Alternating front lunge onto incline; add 4 count pulse when lunging; add bicep curl to overhead press when pulsing (10# DBs)
  7. Overhead tricep extensions (French press) (one 18# DB)

Circuit 8: Firm Box on incline plus dumbbells

  1. Push ups w/ knees on incline
  2. Skull crushers on incline (10# DBs)
  3. Incline chest fly (12# DBs)
  4. Incline pullovers (12# DBs)
  5. Repeat #3
  6. Repeat #4
  7. Repeat #3 (slower pace)
  8. Repeat #4 (slower pace)
  9. Chest press (15# DBs)
  10. Narrow chest press (15# DBs)
  11. Repeat #9
  12. Repeat #10

Circuit 9: Firm Box on incline

  1. Back on incline, knees bent and feet raised off floor, do reverse crunches; changes to reverse crunch then extend legs out straight, open legs in a V, close legs then bend knees again and reverse crunch in to chest
  2. In side plank on floor, raise and lower hips
  3. Lay on back on floor and do basic crunches (knees bent, feet on floor); add pulses; changes to reverse crunches; bicycle legs; add upper body (full bicycle maneuver)
  4. Full crunch (upper and lower body); add pulses

4 thoughts on “The Firm: Total Muscle Shaping

  1. what would you say this workout would be logged as on my apple watch ? i love doing this workout from home, cut cant seem to select the right workout to see how many calories i burnt on it. please help. thank you so much.


    1. I don’t know. I don’t have an Apple watch. My Fitbit counts the calories/heart rate/levels etc. the same no matter how I categorize the workout. Not sure why an Apple watch would be any different. Workouts like this I categorize as circuit training on my Fitbit.


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