I know I’m behind on some Core Fusion posts, and I promise I will get to them. I just need to skip ahead and tell you all about Core Fusion Cardio right now!
First, I want to reveal something. The first time I took Core Fusion, I almost walked out within the first 10 minutes. We were doing the planks and pushups in the beginning of class, and I very clearly remember thinking, “This is not for me.”
That was it. “This is not for me.” I thought this based only on planks and pushups (ironically, one of the “easier” parts of the class for me now).
But I didn’t quit, I decided to stick it out, out of curiosity and also because I feel embarrassed walking out of a class. I’d only done it once before, in an extreme situation.
So I stayed. I stayed through burning thighs (did NOT know to expect that, wow), glutes, and abs. After abs I thought, “Anyone who does this workout regularly will have the best abs ever.” And then class was over and as we stretched to a Joshua Radin song I felt so at peace and so happy I stayed in the class. And I could not wait to go back.
Now that I rambled long enough and set you up with the background, let’s get to the meat here: Core Fusion Cardio.
Core Fusion co-founders Fred DeVito and Elisabeth Halfpapp listened to what their students wanted and set to work to create it. As wonderful as Core Fusion classes are, people also wanted some fat burning cardio thrown into the mix. And while Core Fusion Sport and Core Fusion Yoga will certainly give you that, people wanted more – especially since Sport and Yoga are not for everyone. I happen to love Core Fusion Yoga with an intensity that shocks me, but you might have noticed after reading my experiences for almost two months that I don’t take Sport. I tried it and decided I would rather spend my time on Core Fusion or Core Fusion Yoga.
That said, when I found out that Core Fusion Cardio was being debuted I jumped at the chance to try it out as soon as I could. And try it out I did, on Monday night. I brought two girlfriends with me; one, a seasoned Core Fusion veteran (Missy!) and the other my friend Jackie, brand new to exhale, just two classes in to her unlimited week pass!
From the website:
Core Fusion® Cardio is a calorie burning, sweat inducing, body sculpting, power-packed fitness experience, masterminded by the co-creators of Core Fusion®, Elisabeth Halfpapp and Fred DeVito. Merging cardio with intense strength and flexibility moves, this 60-minute class generates maximum calorie burn, resulting in defined abs, sculpted legs, and high, rounded glutes.
I had no idea what to expect. That was the worst part. We got to class and set up a yoga mat on the floor along with light hand weights. Again, I had no idea what weight to use. I asked Fred and he told me 1 or 2 pounds. I took both because I didn’t know what I’d need.
Before class began, Fred spoke to the class for a minute and explained he they developed this class. He also informed us that the class is conducted at a fat burning level – meaning no more than70% of your max heart rate. As Fred explained, we should be able to hold a conversation at any point during class. When you work out at higher intensity, like in a spin class, you are burning carbs and sugar. At this lower intensity, that is how you burn fat.
And class started. I don’t remember specifics about the warm up but before I knew it we were holding a plank, doing some pushups and doing mountain climbers. I was familiar with this exercise from when I did Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred last year and it is a hard move. Even harder is how many we did in a row. We started by doing 16 in a row, and kept increasing the amount throughout class. By the end, we were doing 64 mountain climbers in a row without stopping!
Let me describe a mountain climber: you hold yourself in a straight arm plank, with your weight over your hands. Push one knee forward, off the ground, to your chest. Put your leg back and immediately push your other knee forward, all the way to your chest and switch again. And switch. When you are doing this correctly, your abs will be pulled in and your weight will be above your wrists. Your feet will be light, barely even touching the floor. We did these quickly and repeatedly throughout the class.
I do have to say, by the end, the first few sets became easier. But as we added on more and more, it was very hard to keep up. I would say I held my own pretty well considering it was my first time!
I was struggling. This was hard. I didn’t know what to expect. The thoughts that went through my head were very similar to that very first CF class: “This is not for me. I’m glad I tried it, but I won’t ever be back here again. How much longer until this is over?”
But we all know I’ve said those words to myself before, and look at me now, taking Core Fusion all the time.
I guess I just wasn’t used to this nonstop fast movement. I wasn’t used to sweating like this. The class was entirely strength moves, I need to add. Don’t think for a second that you are skipping a strength day to do Core Fusion Cardio. Um, NO WAY. We did planks and pushups, of course. As I said, we did countless mountain climbers. I’m going to have to ask Fred for the total number of mountain climbers done during one Core Fusion Cardio class, because I am curious and because I want to tell people how hardcore I am, supported by statistics.
We did leg moves such as lunges, plies, squats, warrior 1 and warrior 2 – all while holding hand weights and doing upper body work. I LOVED this. My favorite section of Core Fusion is when we use the hand weights and work on our arms, and it made me so happy to be able to do this exact thing throughout the entire class. Did I mention that I got complimented on my newly toned arms the other day?? Love it! I used my 2 lb weights throughout most of this, but had to drop down to 1 lb a couple of times.
Interspersed throughout everything was, yes, mountain climbers. There were many brief downward dogs, which is one of my favorite stretches. We also did some punching and boxing moves that I absolutely loved. And we did more of the punching holding our hand weights. Awesome. And the longer class went on, the stronger I felt and the more I loved it. My thoughts of never returning faded and I found myself realizing that this class is going to be insanely popular, and I wanted to be a part of that. I started loving the entire class. And then I saw one of the Core Fusion teachers, Erin J. taking class too and I waved to her and she said “Hi Dori!” It was great seeing a teacher learning the class!
By the time we did 64 mountain climbers in a row, I was feeling both tired and awake at the same time if that makes sense. And I felt SO GOOD. Fred counted in sets of 8s, which really made it seem bearable. When we were adding on 8 more, we were really just adding one more set of 8 and it seemed attainable!
Towards the end, we did the curl. As I got into my position, Fred looked up at me and commented on how much I’ve improved. That was so great to hear! Back in January, Fred had to really help me get into the correct position and I struggled a lot. I have noticed improvements myself but it is always nice to hear validation for my hard work. It’s still not perfect, but I am so proud of my improvements. Fred said, “Don’t worry, we will only be in this position for 4 minutes.”
HA. 4 minutes is brutal in the curl. Luckily, the time really did go quickly and I was able to keep up. We actually held hand weights during this. I used my 1 lb weights and eventually I had to put them down and use no weights. Hard stuff!
I was dripping with sweat. The entire class was dripping with sweat. As I looked around, I saw so many people – older, younger, men, women, all getting the workout of their lives. All keeping up, too. I was impressed! When I had looked over at my Jackie who is new to Core Fusion, I was worried about what she must be going through if I was working so hard to keep up. And she looked incredible! Punching and squatting and looking totally in her element. As soon as class was over, she turned to me and said “I LOVED IT!” She plans on going back again this week. Her exact words were: “I’m excited for it, and I’ve never been excited for anything exercise-related in my entire life.”
I loved it too, and afterwards I talked more about class with Missy, who is a CF regular. She felt just like me – a new obsession! We both love it. We both think that this class is the perfect complement to Core Fusion Open classes. And now that we know what to expect, I am sure the class will feel a whole lot smoother. We both plan to go every single week! In fact, I will be missing my favorite show House to attend class, that is how much I love it. And missing House is a very big deal. (Sorry live-tweeting House friends!)
I was on a high for the rest of the night. I couldn’t even fall asleep! Taking this class made me feel amazing. Don’t trust that voice that tells you “this is not for me” – always give it a chance. Imagine I had walked out of that class the first time after 10 minutes? I would still be slaving away on the elliptical and spin bike, trying to see results that just weren’t there. Core Fusion on its own did so much for me, but if you want cardio too? Here’s your class. Fred and Elisabeth are in the process of training more teachers in Core Fusion Cardio, and then more classes will be added to the schedule in NY and the class will begin popping up in the other locations as well!
And really, what it comes down to is this:
Anyone who takes Core Fusion Cardio regularly will be in the most amazing shape ever.