I remember last year when Fit Bottomed Mamas interviewed Ellen Barrett. One line that I loved from the Q&A was her advice on workouts: “Workouts can be nurturing or they can be abuse. Choose nurturing.” Simple but sage advice that really speaks to the Fit Bottomed Girls’ philosophy of choosing activities and exercises that you love—not just ones that burn a lot of calories. Part of being healthy is being happy, and it’s simply hard to do that when you’re forcing yourself to do something you don’t want to to. (I talk about this SO much during FBG Life because it’s so important!) So, naturally, when her new workout Ellen Barrett Live DVDs came out, I knew we had to try one.
Ellen’s personality is so encouraging without being overly hippity-dippity or perky. She’s real, and looks like a real woman, too. From the title of the DVD series, I expected Power Fusion to be almost like a concert or at least have a performance feel to it, but instead it’s almost like you’re in one of Ellen’s live classes. All done in one continous take with Ellen and a few of her real students, Power Fusion is both high energy and calming. (Yes, you read that right.)
Mixing moves from yoga, barre, dance and Pilates, Ellen leads you through choreography to get your heart rate up. She shows a move like a plié, then adds on a twist, a touch to the “earth” (not the “ground,” which I thought was a subtle yet effective way of making the workout seem more natural) and other little additions to add difficulty. In one section she flows from triangle pose to a runner’s lunge with pulses to doing figure-eights with your arms. In another, she has you on all fours for core work where you bring your knee up towards your arms while you “thread” your leg all the way up and through.
With a gentle 8-minute warm-up, 26 minutes of cardio, and 12 minutes of floor toning and stretching, this is a solid 46-minute workout that will leave you sweaty (the moves look easy but aren’t), stretched out and feeling strong. While modifications are shown, there are a lot of pliés in this workout DVD. So if your knees aren’t the best or you simply despise pliés, this one probably isn’t for you. Everyone else though? One to enjoy and feel good about!
FBG Rating (Out of 5):
Long-Term Likeability: ★★★
Fun Factor: ★★★★
Meets Expectations: ★★★
Fit Bottomed Line: It’s hard for a workout to be both challenging and feel-good, but Power Fusion does it. Perfect for intermediate exercisers looking to de-stress and work out.
Want to try this Ellen Barrett Life: Power Fusion yourself? Leave a comment telling us why, and we’ll select one lucky U.S. reader to win in about a week! —Jenn