The Firm: Tough Aerobic Mix combines mixed-impact cardiovascular exercise with strength-training techniques to create this complete-body challenge. Five instructors lead this variety-packed session with concentration on the major muscles (including the heart). This 48-minute course will test muscle endurance and aerobic capacities, so beginners may want to start off without any weights and keep the jumping to a minimum. These routines are easy enough for all levels to follow, and the choreography is not as demanding as the impact of these fast-paced moves. Plyometrics (quick moves that require control and strength) are integrated into the cardio sets and are key in raising heart rates and increasing agility. Intervals of weight training and isometric exercises, which are spliced between cardio sets, focus on lower and upper extremities. Leg and gluteal muscles are tested with a series of lunges, dips, and squats that incorporate the use of a step. The deltoid, bicep, and tricep muscles receive an equal dose of work as overhead presses, kickbacks, and curls are executed. Students will need weights (three to eight pounds) and a step (6 to 10 inches is recommended depending on the fitness level of the participant). The content here is solid but the music lacks a toe-tapping beat. If you can get past the music, participants will find a challenging interval workout that trains the body with an array of fitness-savvy exercises. --Olivia Voigts
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