Video Fitness

Get Hard: Arms and Shoulders

I have been exercising for 14 years and this is the video that has changed the shape of my arms. It is by far the best upper body video on the market. I do this video two times a week (the other five I do other upper body videos). Cory does a warm-up which I skip, because I am warmed up from aerobics. There are three sections. Section 1 is a Shoulder Workout - she uses a barbell, but you can use weights. I use 8 lbs. and 6 lbs. for the shoulders. She does three sets of various exercises for the shoulders, delts, lats. You will really feel it. She goes at a vigorous speed, no baloney or explanations, just non-stop, which is what I like. Section 2 is Biceps - what a workout - I use 8 lbs. and 6 lbs. again. You will really feel it. Three sets of each exercise, bicep curls, hammer curls, even forearm work. Section 3 is Triceps - she does a great series of exercises - three sets of each. The entire workout is about 23 minutes. It is fast paced, intense and you will see results. I highly recommend this tape. (Don't bother with Get Hard: Glutes and Abs).

Mary Ann Parker

I am a true fan of this video and always look forward to the "good burn" which I get during the workout. I find that Cory does a good job on this video. She cues well and encourages well. And her body and that of the other exercisers sure is motivating.

Like Mary Ann I enjoy this video because there's no unnecessary chitchat: it's all down to business. I've done many other weight training tapes but find this one to be the most challenging and yet at the same time (can I dare say it?) fun. I've ordered Cory's Butt and Thigh Solution and Ab Solution from Collage video (her Gotta Sweat Series). Has anyone out there done it? If so, please submit a review. I hope it's of the same calibre. I most definitely highly recommend this video for the intermediate to advanced exerciser.

Terri M.

All I can say is oooouch! My arms hurt. And this from someone who has been using the FIRM series for a year. I like it! Granted, I was thankful my husband wasn't there to hear Cory groan and moan 'lets get hard' (he would have laughed-at me). And my face gets red when I think about some of his friends seeing the video-they would laugh too. I was laughing myself but today I am moaning: my arms hurt. I can't wait to do that workout again. It goes on my heavy rotation list along with the FIRM. It differs from the FIRM in that Cory does sets; for example, she does three sets of military presses (12 reps each) in a row with just a slight pause in between sets. I must be working my muscles differently or in a new way because I'm pretty sore, more sore than I've been in a while. It's a great workout.

Sandy Martelli

I have done this video several times now, in fact I use it regularly in rotation with other upper body workouts. I feel that this really works your biceps, triceps, and shoulders incredibly well. Cory starts you out on a muscle building set first, then you do a tri set of firming and toning exercises for the body part you are working on. She goes pretty fast so you have to keep all your weights close at hand. By the end of each set, you really do feel pumped up. The exercises are all pretty basic. This also includes some exercises that are for your forearms and wrists, which I like a lot since my wrists are really wimpy. This would be the perfect upper body workout if she would have included lat and pec work, but I still highly recommend it. The set is very jungle like and some of the instructors look like biker babes in their get up, but overall this is a workout that you will get results from doing .

Doreen Bochmann

I have to agree with the rest of the reviews of this video. I feel this tape is an "awesome" work out for your arms. The format includes one set of muscle building exercises for each muscle worked and then a "tri-set" of exercises for each muscle. You use heavy weights for muscle building and lighter weights for the tri-sets for toning and shaping. The tri-sets are typically sets of three exercises with very little rest in between. Cory moves pretty quickly to each exercise so you need to keep your weights close by. However, she doesn't go too fast sacrificing good form. Grade : A (would get an A+ if included chest and back)

Joyce Thurman

I have been working out to Abdominals & Glutes, and Arms & Shoulders for 4 months now, and I absolutly love them, I highly recommend them to my friends and any one else out there who haven't had the great experience to working out to them. I'm already seeing good results, people who don't even know me ask me "where do you work out, as they are looking at my arms" So I tell them, "at home with Cory" The videos are very bubbly, all the instructors make it fun, the music is catchy and upbeat, not slow and boreing, and I always find my self singing along and saying the words with Cory (I'm loosin it!)...Forearms. I am satisfied with the results I have been seeing although I could use some help on the legs, gotta work those legs! I'd like to say thanks to Cory for getting me motivated, some day my body will look like yours.

All of these instuctors are bubbly, smiley, just by looking at there bodies give you motivation that you, yourself can have a toner body, it is possible.

Colleen Schreiber

If you want a video that hits the arms and shoulders from all directions, this video certainly delivers. For each body part (deltoids, biceps, triceps, forearms) you first get a few sets of one muscle building exercise, then super sets or "tri-sets" of 2-3 different shaping exercises to hit the muscle from different angles. I have done this video about 5 or 6 times now and am still pleasantly sore the next day. This is definitely a gym-style workout--no choreography at all.

I would say that this video is best for people with previous experience training with weights, because although Cory *says* good form is important, she gives practically no form pointers. This isn't a big deal for those of us who could do a bicep curl or military press in our sleep, but others should keep that in mind.

I must confess that I didn't care for Cory's manner and all the "pumped shoulders are sexy" type comments. I exercise early in the morning, and I guess I'm just not ready for her personality at 6 am--it doesn't bother me so much that I don't like the video, but eventually I might just memorize the routine and do the sets on my own.

Wendy Niemi Kremer

I had to do a review of this jewel of a workout because as a Firm Believer, I've never come across another heavy weight lifting video I liked. Untill now. If you can forget about the ripped up potato bag background set and the muscly flexing introduction ( every one is flexing one to another in the beginning) this tape WILL defenitely give you results. After doing this workout, I felt sore in places the Firm hasn't made me. My shoulders were aching all night in a good pain. I almost had to reach for the Advil.

The workout is divided into 3 segmants. Shoulders, biceps and triceps. I like the fact that they aren't afraid to use heavy weights and use all different sizes not just ONE size which is what most toning video's do. I think since they are body builders they can show the public to use heavy weights. Cory always is telling you to go up or down in weight after the end of the set and before the beginning of the next set of reps. At the end of the shoulders work, Cory flexes her shoulder to show off her muscly physique and then goes to flex her huge bicep to show you that the bicep section is coming up. She uses a barbell for some work like the shoulder presses and some of the tricep and forearm work. She also has a great set of forearm weight work. This is so unique. Not even the Firm has this in their video's. The Firm says in 20 questions that just holding the weights works your forearms. I must say that after Cory's workout on the forearms ( which she says is good for racquet sports or waterskiing) I know my forearms are weak. Cory says this is her worst area on her body.

I like all the different toning for the triceps. French press, kickbacks and then you go down on the bench( I use my step) and do some tricep work with a barbell but you can use dumbells instead.

As you know from the other reviews, Cory doesn't do pushups or back work. I don't mind so much because I know I'm getting it with the Firm video's. Cory's Get Hard Arms and Shoulder will definately be rotation with my other Firm weight training video's.

Cory maintains good form in her black two piece exercise attire. Her cueing is good and she is friendly ( in a sexy sort of way) as she says things to you like, " if I can do it you can or I hope I can finish this with you!" She has other very muscly body builders in the video. Two women and 3 men who alternate for each segmant. One man on the Shoulder's segment looks like he wants to be the Incredible Hulk! Her hair looks darker blonde or light brown. Different from the light blonde in her other video's. I like how Cory talks to you in the cool down. She reminds you to think about the muscles you just worked. I am amazed at how muscly she is! When she was doing bicep work, it was huge! I looked at my bicep and there is no comparison! She must be a Mesomorph!

Mandy Lee

This tape has done more to shape my arms in just a few sessions than years of FIRM workouts. It's tough, fast-paced, and short -- all things I like. In 30 minutes you'll work your delts, biceps, and triceps to exaustion. Cory combines 2 training methods into one workout, muscle-building and muscle-shaping. The first exercise for each muscle is a muscle-building exercise using heavier weights. Then the remaining exercises are for shaping and definition. For any given muscle, there are 3 sets of the shaping exercises, and you repeat the entire sequence 3 times. She gets right to it, not wasting any time. And your arms will burn! This tape really works. It's the best arm/shoulder tape I've ever done, and I've done at least 90% of them, I'm sure! I give it an A+.

Instructor comments: Cory is, well . . . Cory. She definitely has her own unique personality. Her comments about sexy arms, etc., don't bother me as they do some VFers, but they are a little corny.

Annie S.

I really, REALLY like this tape. I don't mind that it doesn't have chest & back because I can always do a set of lat rows or pushups after it's over. The three areas Cory does -- shoulders, biceps, triceps -- she covers very well. There's a warmup/stretch, then it's into shoulder work. She does a muscle-building exercise first, which is three sets of militaries, 12 reps each set. This is followed by a tri-set of frontal, rear, and lateral delt work. She repeats the tri-set 3 times. This is the pattern for the next two sections also. Next is bicep work. The muscle-building set is bicep curls with a barbell (though another exerciser uses dumbbells). Cory follows this with the shaping exercises: concentration curls and hammer curls. She does forearm work after the biceps. Last is triceps. For the muscle-building exercise she does a triceps press lying on the bench, using a barbell. The shaping exercises are the french press and kickbacks. She follows these with 3 sets of triceps bench presses. Last is the stretch. I think I actually like this video better than the Firm Upper Body video, but I still use that one because of the chest and back work.

Instructor comments: I really like Cory...this is the first tape I've ever gotten with her in it. I'm sure my husband would laugh if he heard her comments about sensual shoulders and bulging biceps, but I just tune those comments out now.

Melissa F

This series is the best video set I own. My only comment is I wish Cory would add a chest and back tape to this series. It would complete the set! How about it Cory?

Instructor comments: cory is great! the tricep/bicep section is just motivating, but so is the entire series.

donna nihill

I am going through a phase where I like this video so much I'm going to have to force myself to do something different! One of the things I like is that it's very easy to do in the evening or something where I don't have the time or energy to do a full-blown workout. Very solid, thorough, no-nonsense.

Instructor comments: Part of the reason I got this tape was because I wanted to see what this infamous Cory was really like. I actually like her quite a bit - even though she looks amazing, she seems more interested in encouraging and motivating others than bragging about how wonderful she is. She strikes me as someone that would be fun to know in "real life." One thing (of many) that I think is hilarious is when she talks about actually seeing some muscle on her forearm, then lets out a cackle. I laugh out loud every time.

Jen Blaske

This is a WONDERFUL workout for the arms and shoulders! Cory does both strength building and toning and shaping exercises so that you get -as she says- the best of both worlds. The workout is very thorough- I like having exercises included for the forearms.

I had been doing "Firm" videos for many months and had seen barely any change in my arms, so I purchased this videos after reading the glowing reviews on this site. I committed myself to doing it twice a week for a month and finally, my arms are changing! As Cory promises, my arms have become HARD. In this short time, they have gained much more definition than I thought possible. Finally, RESULTS! I also really enjoy doing this video- the fact that it is a mixture of both straight sets and super sets "breaks up" the workout and prevents it from becoming boring.

I wish it had a companion video that works back and chest, but it's not a big deal as I can do my own exercises for these body parts.

The only 'minus" to this tape is that I find some of the reps are performed too quickly for my taste, as I prefer a slower, more controlled pace when lifting weights, especially on the muscle-building exercises. That said, I just go at my own pace even if that means I sometimes have to rewind.

All things considered, this is my favourite upper body tape and the only one I've done that works for my arms and shoulders. I highly recommend it (it is fast becoming the only upper body tape I do!).

Instructor comments: Cory is very upbeat and energetic. Although I can see how her constant "perkiness" might get on some people's nerves, I actually found her quite motivating. Her incredible physique is also motivating.

Linda P.

I have mixed feelings about this video. On the one hand, nothing has ever given me better arm and shoulder definition than doing Cory's Get hard routine (and I'm counting the years I spent working out in the gym). Being a classic ectomorph, I definitely do not gain muscle easily, and most strength training videos on the market do very little for me. They simply do not offer enough exercises for each muscle group, not enough sets per exercise, and not enough reps per set. Cory's video, by contrast, is very thorough. There are 4-5 different exercises for each muscle group (shoulders, biceps, triceps), and you do 3 sets with 12 reps each for every exercise. Some of the exercises are done in supersets and you have the option of pyramiding your weights. There are also a number of forearm exercise--a muscle group completely neglected by most strength training videos.

The problem with Cory's video (apart from her rather corny commentary) is that she goes through this video like she's trying to set some kind of speed record. There is hardly enough time to change weights between exercises, let alone to rest (and unless your goal is muscular endurance rather than strength, rest is critical). The reps are performed so quick, it's hard not to use momentum (i.e to cheat). I finally got so sick of constantly having to hit the pause button on the remote that I decided to memorize the routine and now do it without the video. I take it very slow and use the heaviest weights possible. Usually I work to failure. Sometimes I do variations of some of the exercises (for instance, I'll do barbell crazy 8's instead of regular barbell curls) or add more exercises on days I'm feeling particularly motivated. I do Cory's routine twice a week, and I have gotten great results. For the first time in my life, my arms don't look like two skinny sticks. I've actually got some real bicep and tricep definition, and even my shoulders and forearms look great. In fact, my husband was so impressed with my results that he's started doing Cory's routine too.

Instructor comments: In her efforts to be positive and motivating (I have no trouble believing that she used to be a cheerleader), Cory says some of the corniest things I've ever heard an instructor say on video. She'd be better served giving form pointers (something she rarely does) instead of talking about how you're going to look on the beach or about what men and women consider sexy.

Darian Stanton

This is a fantastic video! I've only done it once so far, but it's definitely going into my regular rotation. This workout is tough! Cory breaks the video up into three sections: shoulders, biceps and triceps. She starts with a muscle building exercise, then does tri-sets of muscle toning, or shaping exercises, as she says. The "toning" sets I thought were harder since they require so much endurance! There's not much of a pause in between sets. My arms and shoulders were pleasantly sore the next day and I haven't felt that in a while. I've been doing Firm videos for some months now, and although my arms and shoulders feel worked-out after doing them, it's nothing like after Cory's workout! If it's muscle and definition you're after, this workout will give it to you!

Instructor comments: I've never done any videos by Cory before, so I got this video after reading all the reviews. She's great! She is very motivating and friendly. She is extremely muscly! She's very inspiring.


I bought this video through Collage and just got it in the mail today. I went ahead and gave it a whirl. To sum this up in one word would be WOW! This is definately the hardest shoulder/arm video I have ever done and I consider myself an intermediate exerciser. I used 8 lb dumbells throughout the tape and I was barely able to finish the rep and a few I couldn't finish (esp the shoulders) I also use In Shape with Rachel Mclish with my 8 lb and have no problems finishing. IMHO this is the best arm/shoulder video on the market. It was worth every penny!!! I highly recommend it!

Instructor comments: I found her to be very motivating. She is moaning and groaning through the exercises just like I was. I really liked her and I would buy another exercise video of hers! Does anyone else think she is a dead ringer for Jessica Lange?



Although this video has been around for several years, it's still a winner in my book. It's quick, it's thorough and it's Cory. Cory is one of my fitness role models; she has truly advanced women's bodybuilding and has proven that you can have muscles and still be feminine. She's also very "real" even though her body is extraordinary. She is right there with you, working hard and is not at all condescending. Cory knows how to build and define muscle better than anyone (in my opinion, having watched her TV show for years and read her books). With her short half hour workout, she helps you to gain the strength and definition in your biceps, shoulders and triceps (and forearms), that you've been looking for. It's basic and straight-forward. My only criticism is that she goes very quickly; there is no rest, even between tri-sets. I sometimes have to pause the tape. Also, the one negative about Cory is her voice and her silly comments. Yet, it's worth overlooking because this is such an effective workout.

Abbe G

My arms make the most progress in terms of shape and definition using this tape twice a week. I love it! When I use it in combination with FIRM Tough Tape, I end up seeing more changes in my bodyís shape than any other combination of tapes. I like that the workout goes by very quickly (easy to tack on to Tough Tape to make an hour-long workout) and every arm muscle is hit.

If I want to use this video as part of a complete upper body workout, I add it to the chest and back work from Catheís CTX series or MIS (Maximum Intensity Strength) since I have those on DVD. I don't mind that thereís no chest and back work in Coryís tape because the box specifically says itís an arm workout, not a complete upper body workout.

I know Coryís chatter bothers some people but it doesnít bother me at all. I kind of rather enjoy it. I donít ever do the warm-up because Iíve usually used something else to warm-up to and I donít do the cool-down at the end because I usually do my own stretching for a long time after each of my workouts. However I do enjoy the stretches between each arm segment.

The only part of the workout that I sometimes leave out is the final triceps bench press. If my triceps are completely fried, I donít even attempt those.

Grade: A

Sharon Muha

This is a fabulous upper body workout, but it is NOT for beginners. Some tapes can be easily modified by using lower weights or reps. This is not one of them, and for a long time, it sat on my shelf, unused, because it was too intimidating.

Iím glad I gave this tape another try. It is an intense workout: each body part gets three sets in a row of a focused strength-building move, followed by three sets of super-setted exercises for endurance. Itís a lot of reps, but the supersetted structure makes the time pass quickly.

The exercises are pretty standard, and the routine is well-structured, but this tape is definitely for the more advanced exerciser. Cory does not offer much advice on what weight to use (other than a generic ďgo heavier if you want toĒ) and youíll need to know your strengths, no pun intended, well enough to judge this sort of thing on your own considering the number of reps youíll be doing. The three sets of supersets allow a chance to pyramid if you want, so some trial and error might be involved initially as you adjust to the workout. There arenít a lot of gym-style pyramidable tapes out there, so if thatís your thing, this short, efficient workout is definitely worth trying.

Joanna C

After working out my upper body at a beginning level for quite some time, I was finally ready to move on to something more challenging. Although Cory's workout was highly recommended, I was a little nervous about working out with a former Ms. Olympia. I need not have feared, however; the workout, while quite challenging due to the repeated sets, is also quite accessible to various exercise levels. Even most advanced beginners would be able to make it through this routine using lighter weights and completing fewer sets/repetitions of each exercise.

After a brief warm up (3 1/2 minutes), the routine is divided into three sections: shoulders, biceps/forearms, triceps. Each section starts with a strength building move, which means 3 sets of 12 repetitions using the heaviest weight you can manage. For shoulders, it's the shoulder press, for biceps, the bicep curl, and for triceps, it's a lying tricep extension. Next comes a "tri set"--3 different exercises, each performed for 12 repetitions, and then the entire series repeated twice (3 times total). I generally lose light weights (5 lbs.), but I often have to sit out a few repetitions in order to keep pace with Cory. A brief stretching segment is a nice conclusion to this tough workout.

Cory uses various equipment, including dumbells, barbells, and an exercise bench, but I've been able to get by with dumbells alone and no bench (I use a chair or the floor instead). Clocking in at exactly 30 minutes total, this is an excellent, challenging workout for the entire upper body.

Instructor comments: For a former Ms. Olympia, Cory comes across as very non-threatening--she's like a workout buddy who smiles and jokes throughout the exercises. She is accompanied by a rotating pair of male and female exercisers, all of who are quite buff themselves.

Beth (aka toaster)

February 2, 2004

Okay, this workout is dated. I'm fairly sure it's out of print too, so you'll need to root around ebay, library sales, etc.

This was filmed in the early 90's and has the gang (Cory and her background exercisers) rollerblading in the beginning and then working out in a sexy-fisherman's-wharf style set. The outfits are a little frightening. Cory is also wearing gold jewelry and purrs some of the instructions.

Overall, a very good 1/2 hr arms and shoulder workout. Nothing new just effective moves. How I wish she had included chest and back to finish up the upper-body, but this is still worth picking up. It's one of the very few VHS tapes I keep around, so that is saying something about its longevity (if only in exercises, not set design or fashion!)

Instructor comments: She tends to give more words of encouragement than form pointers but is likeable and upbeat.



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