Sunday, June 13, 2010

DVD Review and Giveaway: Cardio Party by The Firm

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As you'll see in previous posts and in future ones, some of my favorite workout videos are produced by The Firm.  And in recent years, Cardio Party has been a go-to choice for me on many occasions. Effective and fun, this workout is great to do on one of those days when I'm feeling down or unmotivated.

The workout is about 39 minutes, including a short warm-up and cool-down.  There are 5 cast members, and each gets their time to lead the program.  It begins with Alison Davis, using some steps from her other video Cardio Overdrive. She's fun without being too perky, and her segment provides a great warm up and cardio build-up.

The next segment is led by Emily Welsh, a veteran Firm instructor.  Fans of her Complete Aerobics & Weight Training (CAWT) workout from 2003 will notice a few moves that she's gleaned from that routine.  I really love CAWT and was delightfully surprised to see those steps included in.  I literally laughed with delight.  Along with that, Emily's section is also fun and effective.  Her standing abdominal segments are a great alternative to doing crunches on the floor.  And she's serious without being too much so.

After Emily is Rebekah, leading us with some material we've seen from her before.  I find her to be pleasant and her moves attainable. As is the case in other areas of the workout, the small number moves that involve impact can easily be adapted to low-impact versions. In my case, I substitute "heel digs" for the calf pumps that are sometimes too challenging for me. And long-time Firm fans will enjoy the new take on the "Tri-star", which is the "Quad-star" with Rebekah.

Following Rebekah is Annie Lee.  She seems the least comfortable of the instructors.  Her muscle definition and fitness are apparent, but it's clear she hasn't had as much experience leading on camera as the other ladies.  Her short segment isn't too difficult and I'm usually glad when it's over.

Concluding Cardio Party is another Firm veteran, Allie Del Rio Pointer.  She includes steps from her Cardio Dance Slimdown DVD.  While that workout does has its fun moments, I've found it to be less challenging.  This may be of benefit to the user, however.  One of the few quibbles I have with the Cardio Party is that the cool-down/stretch time leaves a bit to be desired.  By doing Allie's segment last, you do get a bit of a cool-down, and she does work on relaxing the shoulders and inner thighs. But we aren't given much time to stretch our hamstrings, glutes, calves, hip flexors or quads-- all of which were used quite a bit in the routine. Of course, we can do this on our own, but it would've been nice to have it on the DVD.

Overall I really enjoy Cardio Party.  It's great to have so many favorite leaders take turns during the program, and with each segment being less than 10 minutes, you never have a chance to get bored.  The enthusiasm of the ladies is infectious without being cheesy.  And while the routine doesn't include the usual Firm weight-training segments, your muscles are getting some work in, especially with the calf pumps, lunges and squats .  Save this workout for a day when you're sore from a previous weight-training session and just need some fun cardio to keep you fit and limber.  It would be also be great to take on the road, as there's no equipment required-- just some floor space in which to move around. And knowing some of the moves from other Firm workouts made this routine easier to pick up the first time. If you enjoyed the other videos in the Firm: TransFirmation series, you'll like this one as well. I look forward to doing it again soon!



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CSN.com
Giveaway Contest Time!
Sponsored by CSN Stores

Does Cardio Party sound like something you'd like to try?  Remember that New Years resolution you made about 6 months ago?  How about a Firm fitness pack to get you motivated?  Thanks to the folks at CSN Stores, we have the following items to give away to one lucky winner.  CSN has everything from lights to sofas to fitness DVDs and much much more.

Here's what our winner will receive:


Ergodyne Chill-Its® Cooling Towel

Black Netpack Carry-On Duffel Bag

Doesn't that look great? A fun workout, a towel to cool you off during and after you exercise, and a duffel in which you can keep all your gear. All of these items with shipping are almost a $40 value! So if you'd like to enter to win, here are the details:


  • Leave a comment below; this counts as your entry.
  • Entries accepted until 11:59pm on Saturday, June 26th
  • Open to U.S. and Canadian addresses only.
  • Make sure at least one posted comment includes your email address. If you'd rather not have your email posted here, you may contact me directly to give me that information after you've entered here.
  • I will compile the entries and the winner will be chosen by Random.org, so even one entry can make you a winner!
  • Should you win, I will contact you on Sunday the 27th for your mailing information.  Please take measures to ensure that my email will make it past your spam filters, lest you miss my message! (CalicoCritic@gmail.com) You'll have 72 hours to respond before I pick another winner.
  • After receiving your information, I will pass your email and mailing address on to my contact at CSN Stores.  They will then be responsible for awarding your prize.
  • More information on the giveaway policies can be found on the Contact / Policies page.

Bonus Entries

Please make note of all your bonus entries in your comment(s).  You may post separate comments or a single large comment.  Here are your bonus entry options:

  • Follow The Calico Critic by clicking on the Google "Follow" button on my sidebar (old or new followers both get the bonus entry, just please let me know that you're following).
  • Follow me (@LHartness) on Twitter and tell me your @UserName.
  • Tweet about the giveaway on Twitter.com; be sure to use an URL linking back to this blog posting in your tweet. You may do this as frequently as every 8 hours between now and June 26th at 11:59pm EST.  For each tweet, please come back and post the direct URL link to that specific tweet, not just your @Username.



That's it!  Thanks for stopping by, and good luck to all the entrants!







CymLowell


40 comments:

  1. The Firm is a great fitness series! Thanks for the contest!! I'd love to enter!!

    +1 blog follower
    +1 twitter follower (in_the_hammock)
    +1 tweeted here: http://twitter.com/in_the_hammock/status/16118011538

    inthehammockblog (at) gmail (d0t) com

    ReplyDelete
  2. After writing that review last night, I was inspired to do the workout today! I still love it!

    Laura

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am always looking for a great fun way to get and stay in shape. I can always use new exercises. :)

    +1 - Comment
    +1 - Follow The Calico Critic Blog
    +1 - Follow on Twitter (@mellhay)
    +1 - Tweet about Contest http://twitter.com/MelLHay/status/16173321537 (which I just now figured out how to do!)

    Thanks!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Melissa:

    I know what you mean about the Twitter URL thing. I couldn't figure it out for the longest time, and then once I was enlightened, it was like --- OH!!! So simple. Thanks for entering, and for the tweet!

    Laura

    ReplyDelete
  5. a fabulous giveaway...please count me in...thanks :)

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  6. comment: great giveaway!!!! Thanks Laura :)

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  7. I follow you on twitter @fitnessforus :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. blogged about this here: http://lindseylu8.blogspot.com/2010/06/61510-this-weeks-giveaway-will-be.html

    tweeted here: http://twitter.com/FitnessForUs/status/16252758641

    ReplyDelete
  9. Sounds like a fun workout!

    +1 - Comment
    +1 - Follow The Calico Critic Blog

    umpiremom@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  10. Throw my name in the hat...

    cymlowell@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  11. We tweet @cymlowell

    cymlowell@gmail.com

    Thanks for the opportunity!

    ReplyDelete
  12. This sounds like a fun video!
    veroshopgirl@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hey - Great review - I'd love to win this! Laura - I just discovered your blog thanks for LindseyLu's blog. I remember you from VF - I'm Fit Kitty. Your blog is cool! fitkitty1@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  14. You have a new follower :-)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hey - great review and great giveaway. I'd love to win this!

    Laura - I remember you from Video Fitness - I'm Fit Kitty over there. I just discovered your blog thanks to LindseyLu's blog. Cool blog!

    fitkitty1@gmail.com

    P.S. If I have posted this twice, sorry! My first post didn't appear to work.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Karen / Fit Kitty:

    Yay! I'm so glad that Lindsey led you over here! Good luck in the contest, and thanks for becoming my newest blog member.

    Just to let you know, when you post a comment, it won't show up until I moderate it. This prevents spammers from posting their mess.

    Good luck!

    Laura

    ReplyDelete
  17. What a great giveaway!!!
    My kids and their spouses and I are pretty much couch potatoes so we decided to train for a 5K.
    This would definitely help me get in shape.

    readingatthebeach(@)gmail(.)com

    ReplyDelete
  18. I follow on Twitter: ReadAtTheBeach

    readingatthebeach(@)gmail(.)com

    ReplyDelete
  19. I'm a follower

    readingatthebeach(@)gmail(.)com

    ReplyDelete
  20. Vicki:

    5K's are great! And this video would be a great choice to do on one of those days when you're sore from a long run or just want to stay inside. It's fun.

    Good luck with your racing!

    Laura

    ReplyDelete
  21. I am a Firm Believer!!!! I have been doing 6 different Firm DVDs for 3 weeks and I finally have biceps!!!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Oops Here's my email address erdamiz@gmail.com

    A FIRM BELIEVER!!!

    ReplyDelete
  23. DC in KC:

    I'm a Firm Believer, too! Stay tuned here, because if I get to do another CSN giveaway in the future, my goal is to do more Firm stuff!

    Laura

    ReplyDelete
  24. What a great giveaway!! Thanks for the chance to win it!

    ReplyDelete
  25. I have several Firm DVDs but not this one. Would love to win it!.

    Another entry: I became a follower to your blog.

    I'll send you an email. Thanks Laura!

    ReplyDelete
  26. I have lots of fitness dvds but no Firms. Would love to try this one! What an awesome giveaway!
    p-rogers@shaw.ca

    ReplyDelete
  27. Pam:

    No Firm DVDs?!!? Say it isn't so! Well, if you win I'll be proud to say that I helped you start your collection!

    Laura

    ReplyDelete
  28. I am also following your blog now!

    ~Laura
    winloseorblog-laura.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  29. What a great giveaway! Thanks for the chance to win!

    ~Laura
    winloseorblog-laura.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  30. Follower via Google Friend Connect
    mtm.dudley{at}gmail{dot}com

    ReplyDelete
  31. I'd love to win this!! With 3 little ones at home, Workout DVDs seem to be the only way to get some exercise in. I'm always on the hunt for a good one!
    mtm.dudley{at}gmail{dot}com

    ReplyDelete
  32. Tiffany:

    I know what you mean! I really started getting into DVD workouts after my first son was born in 2000. My stay-at-home-mom budget couldn't afford a gym, and with our schedule, I like being able to do it whenever I can work it in. Today I did a workout while tonight's dinner cooked in the oven, before I had to run out and play taxi driver for my guys.

    In case you're not aware of them, CollageVideo.com and VideoFitness.com are the best places to go to find good stuff. Over the years I've amassed dozens of videos that I received through trades and SASE envelopes from the Video Exchange section over on VideoFitness.

    But time and time again, "The Firm" has always been my favorite!

    Good luck!

    Laura

    ReplyDelete
  33. I love the firm and this is a great prize package.

    I follow on twitter (@cfulcher)
    I follow on Google Friend Connect.
    I tweeted (http://twitter.com/cfulcher/status/16929775770)

    crystalfulcher(at)ec.rr.com

    ReplyDelete
  34. I'd love to win this. I'm always on the lookout for new ways to exercise so I would love to try this out.

    Lost_Star_99 (at) yahoo (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  35. I follow on twitter as edmontonjb

    dftrew(At)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  36. I follow with GFC

    dftrew(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  37. I would love to give this workout a try. I love trying new DVDs to keep me motivated

    dftrew(At)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete

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