Long, long ago, Karen and I took a class at Fusion Fitness in Kansas City— and it pretty much rendered me useless for the rest of the day and the two days following because, OMG, the soreness. And not just any soreness. This was like epic, I-didn’t-know-I-had-a-muscle-there or holy-goodness-I-can’t-pee soreness. It was an incredibly memorable experience, and I recall being just wiped after class, gingerly going down the steps from the upstairs studio back down to the parking lot to the safe comforts of my automobile. The only thing that saved me and my jiggly unreliable legs was a turkey burger after class with Karen to rehash the deets of the class.
(So, what I’m really saying is that it was pretty darn awesome. I was challenged in so many new ways.)
Well since that class years ago, Fusion Fitness has exploded. And not just in KC; it’s gone national. They have workout DVDs (reviews to come — promise!), they’re listed as a hot new workout by like everyone, and owner Darby Brender is basically a fitness celebrity. So when I got the chance to try Fusion Fitness’ new indoor group cycling class, Fusion Fly, I pretty much had to do it. Plus, I had to redeem myself from the workout of yesteryear when I about died.
My new fit bud and Fit Bottomed Mamas’ writer Jenny Schlozman regularly goes to Fusion Fitness and joined me for the fun. We signed up for the 45-minute Rush Hour class with Darby. Here’s the exact description:
Put the pedal to the medal for 45 minutes of pure sweat. Spike your heart rate & burn fat with climbs, sprints and jumps for a hardcore calorie burn. We won’t neglect your upper half during this rush hour so you’ll walk out with toned arms and a great cardio workout. Finish with a stretch and you’re out the door.
And can I say that the whole place is just lovely? They’d expanded since I’d last been there, and it was just had the best feel-good vibe.
Jenny and I got to setting our bikes up properly. Please note that I hadn’t done a Spin class in, oh, at least a year. So, you can go ahead and cue the ridiculous crotch soreness, no matter how perfectly I positioned myself and the bike.
And let’s talk about the bikes for a minute. They were amazing and such an upgrade from the group cycling bikes I’ve been on before. See that little screen near the handlebars? Well, it was filled with all kinds of good info like time, calories burned, RPM and your resistance level. And it all fed into a computer that Darby could look at — meaning, in real time at any point of the class, she knew exactly how everyone in the class was doing. And when she said “turn up the resistance” or “speed up,” it wasn’t one of those subjective kinda-sorta turns of the resistance dial or a half-hearted attempt at pedaling faster that we’ve all been guilty of doing. Oh, no, she gives you exactly what number to turn it up to. Technology is so cool. (Although, for the record, I still listened to my body and did what I could when I could without beating myself up for it. Oh, the leg burning.)
And the rest of the class? Well, it was pretty amazing, too. I can certainly see why people love Fusion Fly and Darby. The “push yourself” neon sums up the class quite nicely — you get a heck of a workout with hills, climbs and sprints, plus a series of push-ups and mountain climbers on fitness sliders at the end that makes you question your ability to breathe.
But what I really, really loved about the class — and that I wasn’t fully expecting — was how emotionally charged it was. Darby not only taught a great class with modifications and proper form cuing, but she really inspired everyone to dig deeper and “take out the trash” that was holding you back. Trash like negative thoughts, habits, guilt — all that stuff that weighs you down we just pedaled out and away from, ending the class at a higher more positive place. I’ve been dealing with some heavy soul-searching and life-changing stuff lately, and during one of the pushes when we were doing a seemingly never-ending climb, everything she was saying really resonated with me. I kind of had my own personal moment. And I left feeling tired, but accomplished and lighter.
So if you’re in Kansas City, do I recommend Fusion Fly? Hell to the yes. And if you don’t live in KC, be sure to check out one of Fusion Fly’s many workout DVDs.
Have you ever had an unexpected “moment” in a group class or workout before? —Jenn