In 1979, the first of The (Body) FIRM fitness studios made its debut in Charleston, SC, with a second studio opening shortly thereafter in Columbia, SC.
Behind the venture were sisters Anna and Cynthia Benson and Mark Henriksen, who between them created a fitness concept involving weight training and cardio together, all choreographed to exciting music.
The FIRM finally launched a ground-breaking home fitness video in 1986 – Volume 1: Sculpting with Weights – which featured Master Instructor Susan Harris. Now available on DVD, Volume 1, according to home fitness DVD specialists Collage Video, is still a Top 10 workout purchase, over a quarter of a century since its first release!
Other successful FIRM Classics include: The Cross Trainer Series; Classic Parts; The Basics Series; The Cardio Series; and Tri-Trainer Series. The FIRM was later sold to Gaiam Americas, Inc. as FIRM Direct.
In 2001, Anna Benson introduced another exciting concept to home fitness – her ‘fusion’ methodology – in 10 (original) FitPrime workouts. These routines creatively incorporated weights, aerobics, Pilates and Yoga FUSION™, Non-Dominant Training™, Pelvic Diaphragm Training™, and Smart-not-Hard™. 12 Women’s Health and Fitness Network (WHFN) workouts – 6 FitPrime and 6 KickButt titles – were further released in 2005.
Anna Benson’s other accomplishments include:
- IndePrime and RootLock Workouts
- G-Force 1 and G-Force 2 Rebounding Workouts
- Co-authoring with Cynthia Benson the book ‘Firm for Life’ (Broadway Books ©1988)
- Co-directing and editing the travelogue ‘Dear Charleston’ with Mark Henriksen and Cynthia Benson
- Co-directing and editing the travelogue ‘The Key West Picture Show’ with Mark Henriksen
- Inventing the ‘Fanny Lifter’ exercise tall-step
With the approval of Gaiam Americas, Inc, Anna Benson began to re-lease The FIRM Classics to fully-chaptered DVD format; she was not able to complete the library of FIRM Classics (The FIRM V1: Body Sculpting Basics or Volume 1: Sculpting with Weights was her last re-lease!). Anna died on November 23, 2009. Fitness Favorites, helmed now by Anna’s son, Byrd Henriksen, continues to preserve Anna’s legacy by converting the entire library of original FIRM Classics to DVD, and re-releasing the FitPrime and KickButt workouts.
We at Fitness Favorites believe that your health is your most precious possession. It's much easier to be consistent and disciplined if you enjoy your workouts, so build a collection of some of the best-ever and most-motivating productions made. Discover our YouTube (annabensonworkouts) promotional videos, range of products at Fitness Favorites and join us on FaceBook-‘FitFaves’ to learn how you can live a fitter, happier and healthier lifestyle!