We all remember our first love (and first kiss, and maybe even the first time we ever held hands with someone special). No matter where life takes us, that person and moments shared with them will always have a special place in our hearts.
In a similar way, despite the types of exercise I tend toward these days, a little part of me still holds a lot of affection for my first fitness love. I was in law school and discovered that I no longer had 90+ minutes a day to spend at the gym (shocker, right?!). The solution was to work out in my living room before the hubby was awake and the rest of the day's responsibilities kicked in.
I am not really sure how I found The FIRM workouts, but they were my first fitness love. The workout videos (yes, VHS!) were based on the successful studio classes founded in South Carolina on an AWT (Aerobic Weight Training) theory:
The FIRM’s signature class and the most effective, AWT delivers a combination total-body workout that blasts fat and reshapes your body like no other workout can—in fact, it burns up to three times more fat than cardio alone. Upper body and lower body moves are sequenced in an alternating pattern to improve cardiovascular fitness and burn fat while you shape lean muscles.(From The FIRM studio's website)
I loved the way that the workouts got so much accomplished (cardio, upper body shaping, lower body toning, and abdominal training) in an hour or less. I also loved that I only needed to stash three or so sets of weights under my apartment couch, rather than the enormous range of weights some other home workouts require.
Although the workouts, originally formulated in the 1980s, had a leotard and legwarmers reputation (like the ones worn in the first FIRM video workout, above), they underwent a modernization in the early 2000's. At the time I discovered them, the workouts centered around the (in)famous Fanny Lifter.
When stacked together, this 14" tall box slays the "butthigh" (Billy Crystal's word for that area where the buns meet the thighs) like no other!
When I graduated from law school, my present to myself was a pilgrimage to Columbia, South Carolina to take classes at the actual FIRM studio. I took three classes in two days with two of the stars from the videos I did at home - it was geeky fitness bliss!
For reasons that I suspect are related to marketing and reaching a larger audience, the Fanny Lifter seems to have been abandoned in more recent years, however the FIRM still has some great workouts to offer. They have also tended away from 60 minute workouts and begun offering shorter (10-30 minute workouts).
Below is a full 10-minute AWT workout for you to try from The FIRM's recent release, Zero in Ten .
And another free way to get your FIRM sweat on: if you should ever find yourself in the neighborhood and in the mood for a studio class, your first one is free!
So tell me: what was your first fitness love?
Disclosure: this post contains some affiliate links.