Finally, I have finished The Firm Express plan. Sheesh … I had started it back in October 2011 right as I was returning to work from my maternity leave. Then one thing turned into another and I took a too extended blog absence and gained back all the weight I had lost while on maternity leave, plus another 15 pounds.
Anyway, as I said in my previous post, I’m back. I started back on the diet and exercise bandwagon on July 1st with this program. Now, according to the Firm Express you can see results by only doing three 20-minute sessions per week. Let’s just say I did not follow that. I ended up working out almost every day. Every single day except 2 or 3, I walked my dog while pushing the boys in the double jogging stroller for between 35-70 minutes. Then I did the Firm Express video on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday each week. On three of the remaining days each week I’d do another exercise DVD that I have (it rotated) for 20-45 minutes. So I definitely worked out more than this program says to.
So what is it? Basically they break the 30 days down into 4 cycles. Each cycle has 3 workouts. One to be done each of 3 days that week …. a cardio, sculpt, and cardio/sculpt dvd. Each DVD contains a 20 minute workout that includes a brief warm-up and various exercises (depending on type of workout) with four “bursts” intermingled throughout the workout. What is a burst? Well in a nutshell it’s interval training. So you go all out for 8 seconds on whatever move it is that they’re having you do, then you tap it out for 12 seconds. Repeat this 4 times and you have one burst. This is based on some university study that found that high intensity activity for 8 seconds followed by a 12 second recovery is optimal for fat loss.
Pros – I like that the workouts are only 20 minutes. Let’s face it …. most everyone is extremely busy and sometimes you can only find 20 minutes to get in your workouts. That is possible with this system. I also liked the bursts. I was a believer in interval training before these workouts and I do believe they work well for fat loss. I also like that you don’t repeat a workout at all the whole time you’re doing the program. This is good for me since I tend to get bored quickly with workout DVDs.
Cons – I found the instruction a little hard to follow at times. I’m pretty coordinated and found myself falling behind quite a few times. Also, I’m not sure where they got their success stories from on their website, but I did not find my results coming really close to that at all. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy with the weight I lost in just 4 weeks, but I did not see the inches gone at all close to these people, plus I was doing much more activity at the same time. I know that advertising success stories are not typical, but these just seem so out of whack for me. It’s possible they lost this while on the program…. I just don’t see it happening one time through the system. It does say int he book that if you’re not to your goal by the end of 30 days to just start over and keep repeating the 4 weeks until you get to goal.
Measurement Start End Difference
Arm 15 14 -1
Chest 36.5 35.5 -1
Waist 45 44.5 -0.5
1″ below belly button 51.5 50 -1.5
Hips 47 46 -1
Thigh 29 25.75 -3.25
Calf 17.75 17.5 -0.25
Weight 213.0 201.2 -11.8
So in total I lost 11.8 pounds and 8 1/2 inches. I’m definitely happy with that progress. I mean, other than someone competing on The Biggest Loser, who wouldn’t like losing almost 12 pounds in a month?
Would I do this program again? Probably not, at least not in its entirety. I’ve lent the DVDs out to the home health care worker who comes at night to help my mother-in-law get ready for bed. She saw me do most of these workouts and said it looked right up her speed so hopefully she sees great results from it. When I get them back I”ll probably pop in one of these DVDs every now and then just to mix it up and keep things interesting, but I just don’t see this program being the end all and be all for me.
Next up …. Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred.