Buy It and Try It : The Firm workout

(Columbia) Nov. 26, 2002 - On television, The Firm workout promises to firm hips and tighten thighs. Firm Instructor Kirsten Strohecker says the important thing about the workout is to keep going, "The most important thing is to keep moving and keep your heart rate up."

Strohecker worked with a group of five volunteers, first putting them through an orientation. The group was given Firm tapes and a "fanny lifter" for their workout, the saw package featured on television.

Erma Ford, a volunteer, says she lost 50 pounds in the last 18 months, but was looking for something different, "I'm at a standstill, sometimes you have to try different things to get started again." The rest of the volunteers -- Chris Shuler, Katie Paxton, Gloria Wilson, and Brandi Martin -- all say they have tried almost everything to get in shape.Wilson says, "It's just not workin'. So when I was told y'all were doin' this, I got my co-worker and said we're doin' this."

Paxton and Ford teamed up for a few workouts in a room at WIS. Paxton and Ford both say it put them through the paces and definitely worked up a sweat. Ford says the warm-up was a bit much for her, "I thought the warm up was a little too fast for beginners." Paxton says her main concern was her knees.

Other volunteers worked out at home. Shuler, who was the only man in the group, says he was feeling the burn of the workout at home, "I ache, I hurt. I have muscles I didn't know I had." Despite the aches, Shuler says he's not having any trouble keeping up, "No, it's not hard, it's challenging."

The volunteers were asked to test the workout for 30 days. Paxton says after the 30 days, the workout was too intense, "My knees were hurting so bad, I could hardly walk. Being overweight puts extra strain on your back and knees anyway and this just made it worse."

Wilson, who was so excites about the workout, says her excitement eventually died. Wilson says she was also hoping to lose weight with the program, but didn't lose any. She offers some advice for those looking to try the tapes, "If you've already lost the weight you've wanted to lose and tone up, then this is a good program."

The Firm package costs about $90.

Posted 6:50pm by Deirdre Edwards