The Firm: Time Crunch Cardio

Time Crunch Cardio contains 3 twenty minute workouts led by trainer Allie Del Rio. This is another Firm workout I bought when it first came out but then never did. I have been trying the workouts out as add ons to finish off other short Firm workouts and I love it for that purpose. So I cannot really comment on coming to these workouts fresh and only doing one 20 minute workout, but as add ons, they are awesome. They are perfect for finishing off those Firm workouts that clock in at 30-40 minutes. They would also make a great workout if you did all 3, one right after the other. There is a “play all” option and if it plays it in the order they are listed on the menu (I assume it does but haven’t tried it to see) then you are starting with the most intense workout and ending with the easiest. In fact, Calorie Burning Cardio is some pretty easy cardio–very dancy with little impact. There is a beginner modifier in all of the workouts.

Cardio + Sculpt Combo is 20:30 minutes; 4 minute warm up and 1 minute stretch (the stretch is actually longer than one minute; Allie combines some standing core work with stretching–#s 18 & 19 below). Equipment: dumbbells in various weights. The dumbbells listed below are what I used. This was a great little cardio + strength workout that is a perfect add on to finish off any of The Firm’s 30-40 minute strength or cardio + strength workouts. I loved it! I used it to finish off The Firm’s Total Body Toner workout which is 40:30 minutes long. Together the two workouts give an excellent 61 minute metabolic strength workout.

  1. Push ups
  2. Deadlifts (25# DBs)
  3. Burpees
  4. Push ups
  5. Squat jumps
  6. Burpee + 3 push ups
  7. Squat jumps
  8. Squats (25# DBs)
  9. Alternating back rows (15# DBs)
  10. Squat w/ knee raise; add a reverse lunge + front kick after each squat
  11. Bicep curls (12# DBs)
  12. Wide plie squats, stepping out side to side; add a side leg lift after each squat; changes to 3 leg lifts each side (15# DBs)
  13. Bent over row w/ palms facing forward; add a tricep kickback after each row (10# DBs)
  14. 3 pulse squats + side kick, alternate sides; changes to 2 jump squats + side kick each leg; changes to 1 jump squat + 3 alternating side kicks
  15. Front lunge + side lunge + reverse lunge + narrow squat, alternate sides (15# DBs)
  16. Bicep curl to overhead press; changes to Arnold press only; changes to one bicep curl + 3 Arnold presses (12# DBs)
  17. Step forward and hop, raising one knee then step back and repeat on other leg
  18. Standing crunches (raise arms overhead and do a knee raise, bringing arms down to knee); step back and do stationary lunges, raising and lowering arms overhead as you lunge; step leg forward so legs are wider than high width and raise arms overhead then fold forward touching shins
  19. Other side of body: standing crunches (raise arms overhead and do a knee raise, bringing arms down to knee); step back and do stationary lunges, raising and lowering arms overhead as you lunge

Fat Blasting Bursts is 20 minutes; 4 minute warm up and 1:30 minute stretch. You need a variety of dumbbells. I don’t know what Allie and crew were using but the weights listed below are what I used. This is another excellent workout along the lines of Cardio + Strength Combo (above). It is more cardio/metabolic focused so your weights will be lighter. I used this to finish off The Firm’s Cardio Sculpt Blaster which is a 33 minute cardio step workout. This worked perfectly to give me a 53 minute cardio workout. The cardio in this workout is the fat blasting bursts of the title. So this is primarily metabolic weight training (with lighter weights) alternated with very short and intense cardio bursts. I think this workout is great for anyone new to the HIIT concept. The bursts are extremely short and not repeated–so you can see if plyometric HIITs are for you without doing something crazy intense like Cathe‘s HIIT or Tabatacise, or Amy Dixon’s Breathless Body workouts. And along the same lines it is also perfect for someone returning to exercise after a hiatus or recovering from illness or injury–great at building yourself back up.

  1. Tap legs side to side w/ tricep/bicep combo (bicep curl w/ one arm and tricep kickback to the side w/ other arm); add a knee raise + one arm overhead press; changes to alternating knee raises w/ alternating single arm overhead press (6# DBs)
  2. Squats; changes to jump squats
  3. Squat, pulling elbows/DBs back when squatting and pushing DBs overhead when standing, palms facing upward the entire time (6# DBs)
  4. Alternating front lunges w/ arms holding DBs straight overhead (do not lower arms); changes to overhead press, pulling DBs down to shoulders when lunging (6# DBs)
  5. Alternating forward lunges w/ arms in guard; changes to alternating jump lunges
  6. Alternating side lunges w/ cross bicep curls (one arm curls across the front of body while the other arm curls behind body); add a side leg lift after each lunge and when raising leg, also do a bent arm side raise; changes to straight arm side lift when raising leg (6# DBs)
  7. Step touch side to side; hop side to side
  8. Alternating reverse lunges while holding arms/DBs overhead (do not lower arms); add a single arm overhead tricep extension, alternate arms (6# DBs)
  9. Alternating forward lunges; add double arm back rows (10# DBs)
  10. Step forward and hop with a knee lift, step back and lunge, tapping fingertips to floor
  11. Deadrows (15# DBs)
  12. Alternating reverse lunges; add hammer curls (10# DBs)
  13. Combine 11 & 12 ((10# DBs)
  14. Low impact burpees; changes to regular burpees
  15. Push ups; straight arm plank hold; push ups
  16. Wide static plie squat, hands behind head, lower elbow toward same side thigh
  17. Still in plie squat, raise one knee bringing opposite elbow toward knee
  18. Still in static plie squat, arms in guard in front of you, torso twist side to side, not moving hips; add alternating front punches

Calorie Burning Cardio is 20 minutes; there doesn’t appear to be a warm up, 1:30 minute stretch. This is a primarily low impact cardio workout. There are some jumps but if there is any impact, the move is always done low impact first. And, of course, the modifier stays with the low impact version. It is not intense at all but it is fun. Allie adds a lot of dance flare with your arm movements to many of the moves. I did it this morning after doing Fat Blasting Cardio and this felt more like a long cool down. Moves you will see: cross punches while marching in place, step out to side w/ various arm motions, squats, alternating knee raises, side to side lunges w/ shoulder rolls, step touch side to side, step knee w/ hop and step back, hop side to side, shuffle step to side, front kicks, jump squats w/ hops to turn. And as already mentioned, there are also  a lot of dancy steps and arm movements.

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