We all have our go-to workout buddies, and a lot of times, we have specific types of workouts we do with them. I mean, I have friends I’ve run with for years, but we’ve never done any sort of strength training or yoga together. And I don’t know what it would be like if we did—would we bring that same competitive drive that keeps us running into other types of workouts?
What I’m trying to say is that I feel like Core Fusion is a bit of an old workout buddy. I’ve been doing their workouts, which have generally focused on flexibility and strength, for a long, long time. So when Fred DeVito and Elisabeth Halfpapp came out with Core Fusion Cardio: Pure Intensity, which is Core Fusion’s first cardio program, I was equal parts thrilled and skeptical. I mean, I tend to love their videos—heck, Body Sculpt made our top 10 list! But would their tried and true methods work in a cardio class?
Like the other Core Fusion videos, this offered five segments of about 10 minutes each and had a bonus stretching segment at the end. It was immediately clear how they intended to turn up the cardio in their workouts—by adding mountain climbers, and lots (and lots) of them. I actually like mountain climbers, generally, but dude. Enough. There are other ways to elevate the heart rate while working multiple muscle groups.
The five sections weren’t quite as varied as I might have liked—many of them flowed into one another, with many side bends, downward facing dogs and, of course, mountain climbers thrown in. The first, Energy Moves, was done pretty slowly, which probably makes it a good warm up, but it had me concerned about whether the video was ever going to get my heart rate up.
Cardio Flow, the second segment, incorporated light hand weights—and by light, I mean very light. You do some moves that don’t feel very good on the ol’ shoulder if you go over five pounds, even if you normally consider five or eight to be light. There are a few variations on Warrior I and Warrior II poses, and, you guessed it, mountain climbers. The third segment, Power Flow, is similar, only you work in Warrior III and incorporate more balance work.
Power Sweat, the fourth segment, I found most challenging. There are lunges and plies, and enough leg raises and small movements, both with arms and legs, to make a girl beg for mercy. Also, umm, mountain climbers.
The final section, Cardio Curl, is very much along the lines of what you’d expect from Core Fusion for ab work, although there were some moves thrown in that were new to me. From there, you go on to the stretches, which were wonderful—these instructors have a great understanding of what muscles you’ve worked and how to stretch them properly.
FBG Rating (Out of 5):
Long-Term Likeability: ★★★★
Fun Factor: ★★★
Meets Expectations: ★★★
Best for: Folks looking to mix up their flexibility and strength training, or, anyone who’s doing a lot of cardio work and wants a complement to it that will still get their heart rate up.
As expected, this is a solid, challenging workout, if a little (a lot!) heavy on repetitive mountain climbers, but it didn’t really deliver the huffing, puffing cardio workout I’d hoped for. I felt it in my hips, thighs and shoulders much more than I felt it in my lungs.
Want to try this Core Fusion Cardio workout DVD for yourself? Leave a comment with why you want to win, and we’ll select one random U.S. reader to win in about a week. The winner will be contacted via email and in the comments. Good luck, FBGs! —Kristen