The Firm: Upper Body Sculpt

Upper Body Sculpt is part of The Firm’s Body Sculpting System 2 and is led by trainer Janet Brooks. I remember this workout from way back when. I purchased BSS2 then later ordered some of the add ons. This was one of them. This was not my favorite Firm workout. I remember finding it very hard, burning out my shoulders big time and I also found Janet very irritating. I think it was mostly her unnaturally wide and perpetually frightened eyes and excessive make up. Also she was not a natural in front of the camera. The way she cues the workout is very scripted. She definitely seemed to be reciting everything from memory.

This workout is similar to the TransFirmer workouts in that it uses the Fanny Lifter in a way that cannot be easily duplicated. For some of the exercises you have to have the 6 and the 8 in portion next to each other. I just used my high step at 8 inches and my Firm Box at 6 inches. Since this is a pure strength workout and all upper body, the length of the Firm Box didn’t cause any problems.

On returning to this workout I did not find it as torturous as I remembered. She does hit the shoulders hard but I found it easier than I used to. However it is a thorough upper body workout and I like it a lot better than I used to. She uses a lot of tempo changes to really burn out the muscle group being worked. Janet, however, is still kinda irritating.

Upper Body Sculpt is 37 minutes; 2:30 minute intro, 6 minute warm up and 2 minute stretch. Equipment: Fanny Lifter, Sculpting Stick and dumbbells. Janet and crew are using 3, 5 and 8 pound dumbbells. The weights listed below are what I used. I also used both my 9 pound and my 15 pound body bar, and a barbell at 25 pounds. For the warm up you are only using the center (4 pound) portion of the sculpting stick and the 6 inch portion of the Fanny Lifter. For the stretch you use the full assembled sculpting stick and the Fanny Lifter @ 14 inches. There is a beginner modifier.

Circuit 1: Fanny Lifter (or high step) @ 14 inches and dumbbells.

  1. Push ups w/ hands on step; add isometric hold at bottom of push up; regular push ups with hands on step again but alternate lifting one leg w/ each push up
  2. Single arm bent over back row, one hand on top of step (one 18# DB)
  3. Seated double arm back row (18# DBs)
  4. Repeat #2 on other arm

Circuit 2: Fanny Lifter (or high step) at 8 inches and dumbbells

  1. Alternate tapping toes on top of step; add bicep curl + overhead press; changes to just overhead press while still tapping step; changes to alternating overhead presses; reverse bicep curl + overhead press (10# DBs)
  2. Bicep curls; changes to alternating bicep curls w/ pulse; changes to diagonal curl (bringing DB to opposite side of chest); wide bicep curls; raise both arms into goal post and hold (10# DBs)
  3. Overhead press; changes to turning palms toward each other at top of press; alternate arms (10# DBs)
  4. Return Fanny Lifter to 14 inches, place thighs, knees or shins on top of step and walk hands out, do push ups in this position

Circuit 3: Fanny Lifter separated w/ both levels next to each other and dumbbells

  1. Tricep dips w/ on hand on each part of the Fanny Lifter (one hand on the 6 inch portion and one hand on the 8 inch portion)
  2. Push ups with one hand on each part of the Fanny Lifter (Fanny Lifter parts are separated now with at least a foot between them)
  3. Legs in wide plie, arms in goal post, open and close arms in front of chest; holding the arms in goal post, squeeze shoulders back (scapular retraction) (8# DBs)
  4. Repeat #1 and 2 but w/ arm positions swapped

Circuit 4: Fanny Lifter @ 8 inches and dumbbells

  1. Move 6 inch portion of step out of the way and alternate tapping toes on top of 8 inch step; add front raise; front raise then open arms straight out to side, back in front of you then lower (5# DBs)
  2. Alternate tapping toes to side; add bent arm side raise; add pulses at top of lift; add on front raise between each pulsing bent arm side raise (5# DBs)
  3. Set DBs aside and cross arms in front of you like a Genie–squeeze chest in this position

Circuit 5: Fanny Lifter @ 14 inches, sculpting stick and dumbbells (I used my 15 pound body bar for this circuit)

  1. Seated overhead tricep extension using sculpting stick
  2. Seated wide rows using sculpting stick
  3. Single arm bent over wide back row, other hand placed on top of step (one 15# DB)
  4. Seated concentration curl (one 15# DB)
  5. Seated French press (overhead tricep extension) w/ dumbbells this time (8# DBs)
  6. Repeat #3 & 4 on other arm

Circuit 6: Fanny Lifter @ 14 inches, sculpting stick and dumbbells (I used a barbell @ 25 pounds instead of the sculpting stick)

  1. Seated rear delt fly (raise straight arms out in a V) (5# DBs)
  2. In elbow plank, alternate tapping knees to ground; changes to alternating lifting legs; changes to raising and lowering hips while still in elbow plank (pike to plank)
  3. Chest press using sculpting stick; add pull over (one chest press + one pullover) (25# BB)
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