The summer is winding down. The days are getting shorter. The air getting a bit cooler. And I’m getting a lot lazier. I don’t know about you but in early June, I was raring to go: working out a lot, eating well. These days I have to force myself to go for a run and have been convincing myself all too frequently on how badly I need pizza.
Needless to say, my workout needs a boost. I’d been wanting to try one of the Core Fusion DVDs for some time since they get pretty rave reviews. I figured that their new one, Core Fusion Cardio – Pure Intesity might do the trick, despite the crazy close up of the abs on the cover. Core Fusion apparently was created at Exhale, a “mind/body” spa that I would probably want to live at if I didn’t need a little thing called millions of dollars to do so.
The DVD can be found at most retailers online. You need some hand weights and a mat.
The workout is broken down into five segments with the idea being that you can do one or you can do the whole workout. I’m noticing this is a trend with workout DVDs. Like they don’t want to scare you off with a full 60 minute workout. I went ahead and did the whole shebang.
After a peaceful and slightly disconcerting intro (the two instructors were always looking off camera, explaining their history to some unseen… spirits?), they start you off with their warm-up which they quaintly call “Energy Moves”. The husband and wife team who are leading the way do a great job of showing you the simple moves: some side stretches, punches slow mountain climbers. All of this is done barefooted on a mat in a gorgeous studio. But behind them are three followers in monochromatic blue outfits. It’s so serene it almost seems cultish. Have I been abducted?
But the freakishness stopped there. The rest of the segments use the moves they introduced in the warm-up but they kick it up, like, 15 notches. Most of routine is derived from familiar yoga poses and pilates moves. None of it felt strange or silly but a lot of it felt very, very challenging. They combine their muscle groups and the addition of the hand weights throughout adds lots of toning opportunities. And most of your cardio is accomplished by doing mountain climbers at top speed – talk about working your core. But they do offer modifications, so if the weights are too much, set them down. You then have something to work up to.
The last segment, “Cardio Curl”, was all about abs. And it was a killer. I’m super lazy about my abs so there were many reps I just plain sat out (or rather, laid out flat on the floor) until I could continue.
All in all, the five segments were paced really well and actually zipped right along, despite the sweat dripping down my face and my burning arms. They were just short enough that they ended before I wanted to shout at the TV. And the slight breathers in between didn’t hurt at all.
The Bottom Line
I fell in LOVE with this workout. It was the perfect combo of sweat-inducing cardio and serious toning. The familiar yet difficult moves left me sore but in that thoroughly exhausted, satisfied way that signifies a great workout. I will be doing this one regularly. And hopefully I can actually get through the entire ab section at some point without pooping out.
I’m definitely curious to see what else the Core Fusion line has to offer. It seems like most of their other videos focus on toning specific areas, so they might not be as well-rounded. And I would love to try a class at their spa (before I move in). Have any of you guys tried either? If not, I say it’s definitely worth a shot.
As usual, I am not a fitness expert and am not affiliated with Core Fusion or the Exhale Spas (until they want to adopt me) or any other exercise person/method, etc. I’m just a girl trying to pass myself off as Jessica Alba – or Jessica Fletcher.