The Firm: Cardio Overdrive

Cardio Overdrive is part of The Firm‘s CardioWeight System and it’s led by trainer Alison Davis. This workout is available on its own but when I got it, it came with 3 other workouts: Hi-Def Sculpt, Hard Core Fusion and Cardio Party. 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. I still use those weights but I keep them at 4 and 7 pound pairs.

Cardio Overdrive is a cardio workout set up circuit style. The circuits are either pure cardio or use light dumbbells to increase the intensity. It is similar to Alison’s Ultimate Fat Burning Workout but IMHO not nearly as good/fun. I did enjoy this workout and I did get a good cardio burn, but I enjoyed Ultimate Fat Burning so much more. Though I did catch onto every combo eventually, some of them confused me and I stumbled around a bit before catching on. This workout has impact but no plyometrics–just jumps/hops, nothing crazy. There is a low impact/beginner modifier so if you want no/low impact then stick with her.

This DVD also has an Express version of this workout that is 25:30 minutes. It contains the warm up, circuits 1-3 and the cool down/stretch. There is also a 6:46 segment called “Firm Moves” in which Alison does a form tutorial on some of the exercises used in this workout. They are exercises from the 4 limb/weighted circuits. I had no problem with those exercises–it was a few of the combos from the pure cardio circuits that confused me. But no tutorial for those moves.

Cardio Overdrive is 47 minutes long; 45 second intro, 5 minute warm up and 5 minute cool down/stretch. Equipment: a set of light dumbbells. I used 5 pound dumbbells. All of the circuits are done add on style. I will list the exercises in the order they appear, but you repeat each move many times, and obviously the ones introduced first are done the most since every time you repeat the circuit you add on a new exercise. Once everything has been introduced you will repeat the complete circuit several times. And though I will primarily list what you are doing with your lower body in the cardio circuits, know that there is always an accompanying upper body move.

Circuit 1: step tap side to side, tapping foot behind opposite foot; knee repeaters; changes to 2 knees + 1 sweep + 1 knee; step w/ side leg raise; tristar (tap front, side and back); calf pumps

Circuit 2: (light weights)

  1. Hinge forward and alternate rows then row both arms; add stepping to side when doing the alternating rows
  2. Alternating front kicks with bicep curls to overhead press
  3. Step squat side to side w/ alternating bicep curls
  4. Alternating front lunges; add raising one arm to front and one to side w/ each lunge

Circuit 3: step touch moving forward and back; add lateral skaters; kick front, back front; step to side w/ glute lift, knee pull, glute lift; samba forward and back

Circuit 4: jog in place w/ an arm combo; high knee run w/ arm combo; run-run-hold; step touch side to side w/ arm combo; plyo squat w/ 2 hops–punch in front of you when hopping

Circuit 5: (light weights)

  1. Alternating reverse lunges; add arm scoop combo
  2. Side lunge + front lunge, alternate legs; add stir the pot move when doing side lunge and wood chop when front lunging
  3. Alternating front lunges; add rows
  4. Alternating knee raises holding arms/DBs overhead; add pulling elbows down to knees then doing overhead tricep extension
  5. Step touch w/ upright rows

Circuit 6: reverse V step; jumping jacks; tap w/ knee pull; knee repeaters; step front w/ knee, alternate; pivot knee repeaters

Circuit 7: step back, side, front then triple step; swing one leg forward, back, forward then hop and change legs; glute lift repeater; hamstring curl; squat steps w/ arm wraps

2 thoughts on “The Firm: Cardio Overdrive

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