The Firm: Hi-Def Sculpt

Hi-Def Sculpt is part of The Firm‘s CardioWeight System and it’s led by trainer Annie Lee. This workout is available on its own but when I got it, it came with 3 other workouts: Cardio Overdrive, Hard Core Fusion and Cardio Party, plus the CardioWeights. 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. BTW, that is the heaviest you can make your CardioWeights. To really go heavy in Firm workouts they combine the two dumbbells in one hand for 11 pounds. Yeah. 11 pound is not “heavy.” So to really lift heavy you will obviously need heavier dumbbells.

It has been many years since I’ve done this workout but I remember that I loved it. It was my favorite workout in the CardioWeight System. I remember that Annie did not seem to be a natural in front of the camera but she did deliver a great workout that I really enjoyed. This was the workout that began my dissatisfaction with Firm workouts. This workout IMHO is different from other Firm workouts. First, when pre-veiwing it so I could make sure I had the proper weights available in advance, I noticed that it either had longer circuits or the circuit breaks are not as easily distinguishable as they are in other Firm workouts. And although the Firm has many pure strength workouts, this one is different. Though they are using the CardioWeights, which makes it impossible to lift heavy, this workout is structured for heavier lifting than any of the other Firm workouts I own. This is the workout the introduced me to really “heavying up.” I also love to work the back and Annie includes lots of back work and done in a way that you can use heavy dumbbells. It has to do with the pace, the way the exercises are put together, the fact she doesn’t focus on burn out so you can burn yourself out through the weight of your dumbbells. Also, you have the opportunity between most exercises to swap your dumbbells out for something heavier. So you can always you use the appropriate weight for whatever exercise you are doing.

Returning to it, I loved it just as much. I am trying to build my strength back after chemo, even though I know radiation is already hindering that, and I was able to lift heavier in this workout than I have been able to in other workouts. I contribute that the slower pace of this workout. It is an all around total body strength winner and I still love it. After doing the workout once, I already see places where I can lift even heavier to get an even better strength workout. I will definitely be using this workout frequently in my rotations. The only negative for some people might be that though Annie does work your core, she doesn’t hit it as hard as other Firm trainers hit it. I am okay with that because I am currently doing Firm workouts almost every day so my core is getting plenty of work!

This DVD also contains an Express premix that is 25 minutes long and includes the warm up, circuit 3, circuit 4 and the stretch. There is also a Firm Moves segment. It is a 9:30 minute bonus in which Annie demonstrates form for some of the exercises performed in the workout.

Hi-Def Sculpt is 47 minutes; 45 second intro, 5 minute warm up and 1:30 minute stretch. The stretch is short but Annie stretches you out frequently throughout the workout. Equipment: CardioWeights or various dumbbells. It is impossible to lift heavy with the CardioWeights so you will need additional dumbbells. The weights listed below are what I used. There is a beginner modifier.

Circuit 1:

  1. Squats (15# DBs)
  2. Bicep curls (15# DBs)
  3. Repeat 1 & 2
  4. Squat w/ bicep curl (15# DBs)
  5. Deadlifts (25# DBs)
  6. Back rows (25# DBs)
  7. Repeat 5 & 6
  8. Deadrow (25# DBs)
  9. Alternating knee raises while opening and closing arms (body wave)
  10. Forward lunges; changes to 4 count lunge (15# DBs)
  11. Bent over wide rows (15# DBs)
  12. Repeat #10 on other leg
  13. Push ups
  14. Diagonal lunges (8# DBs)
  15. Scoop arms/DBs forward (8# DBs)
  16. Repeat #14 on other leg
  17. Repeat 14-16 (keep reducing reps until you are doing one of each and alternating sides)
  18. Alternating reverse lunges; changes to a 4 count lunge (15# DBs)
  19. Tricep kickbacks; changes to 4 count kickback (8# DBs)

Circuit 2:

  1. Side lunges (12# DBs)
  2. Overhead press (12# DBs)
  3. Repeat #1 on other leg
  4. Repeat #2
  5. Continue repeating 1-4, keep reducing reps until you are doing one of each and alternating sides
  6. Hold one DB in both hands overhead and do side bends, alternate sides (one 8# DB)
  7. Wide plie squats; hold at top of plie and do bent arm side raises; keep reducing reps of these two moves until you are doing one of each and alternating sides (8# DBs)
  8. Hold wide plie squat isometrically while holding DBs in front of you (elbows bent and against side) and twist torso/arms side to side keeping hips facing forward (8# DBs)
  9. Reverse lunges (10# DBs)
  10. Straight arm front raise (10# DBs)
  11. Repeat #9 on other leg
  12. Repeat #10
  13. Repeat #9-12 (keep reducing reps until you are doing one of each and alternating sides)
  14. Lunge forward and hold, alternate legs; add a wood chop to side while in lunge (holding one DB in both hands); changes to 3 chops while in lunge (one 12# DB)
  15. Still holding one DB on both hands, elbows bent and against side, tap one heel forward then to side (squatting in other leg while doing this) then twist torso/DB twice to same side keeping hips forward; add raising DB overhead when tapping heel forward and pushing DB straight out in front of you when tapping to side (one 10# DB)
  16. Wide plie squats (no DBs); hold at bottom of plie squat, raise both arms overhead and lean to one side, lowering same side arm and tapping elbow to top of thigh, alternate sides; add plie squat when lowering elbow to thigh
  17. Repeat #15 on other side of body
  18. Sit on bottom, knees bent, feet on floor, one hand on floor behind you and the other hand reached overhead, bring raised elbow down to tap opposite knee; raise leg so you are bringing your knee up to tap the elbow

Circuit 3:

  1. Lunge forward and do a single arm bicep curl w/ opposite arm while in lunge; changes to 3 bicep curls while in lunge (12# DBs)
  2. Hinge forward and do a one arm row then straighten; changes to 3 rows while hinged forward (one 20# DB)
  3. Repeat 1 & 2 on other side of body
  4. Step squat to side and do a single arm wide row while in squat, alternate sides; changes to 3 rows each time (13# DBs)
  5. Lay on back and do chest flies; changes to alternating chest flies; keep alternating between double arm and single arm chest flies (18# DBs)
  6. Lay on stomach and grip one DB between feet, bend knees, raising and lowering feet/DB (one 8# DB)
  7. Lay on back, one foot on floor and other crossed over the opposite knee, raise one DB overhead and do tricep extensions, bringing DB down to opposite shoulder; keep DB raised overhead and raise and lower hips; keep alternating these two moves while reducing reps until you are doing one of each (one 10# DB)

Circuit 4:

  1. Step out into wide plie squat, do a one arm upright row then step feet together; changes to 3 upright rows while holding wide plie squat (one 13# DB)
  2. Side lunge and do a straight arm front raise w/ opposite arm while holding lunge; changes to 3 front raises while holding side lunge (11# DBs)
  3. Repeat 1 & 2 on other side of body
  4. Alternating reverse lunges, while in lunge do a one arm overhead press; changes to 3 overhead presses while holding lunge (still alternating lunges) (11# DBs)
  5. Lay on back and do narrow chest press; add a crunch (11# DBs)
  6. Still on back do skull crushers (11# DBs)
  7. Repeat 5 & 6 (keep reducing reps until you are doing one of each)
  8. Still on back, knees bent and feet on floor, hands behind head, do a basic crunch; twist one elbow toward opposite knee; add bringing knee to elbow; add extending leg straight after tapping knee to elbow
  9. Reverse crunches w/ knees bent; add raising straight legs to ceiling when raising hips and alternate the bent knee and the straight leg version
  10. Repeat #8 on other side of body
  11. Repeat #9

3 thoughts on “The Firm: Hi-Def Sculpt

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