Core Fusion Challenge: Week Four

by Rachel on February 15, 2010

Well, four weeks have passed and the Core Fusion Challenge is officially over for me!

So, first, let me say, I officially met my goal of completing 16 sessions! This is a big deal for me. I’ve had the Core Fusion DVDs for more than a year but haven’t been great about doing them regularly. Also, I used to only to one or two segments; for the challenge I had to do the whole 50-minute shebang (which creates a rather different workout!) I’m really excited I was able to stick with it!

The Results:

Lost inches. Within the first two weeks, I noticed I looked more toned, and it only got better. (Although I have been food journaling for the past two weeks, I didn’t make any significant changes to my diet for the month of the challenge.) Well, the numbers don’t lie: I lost 1.25 inches  off my waist, an inch off my hips, a half-inch off my thighs, and a full inch off my upper arm. I was shocked about the arm — that’s one of the hardest areas to tone!

Major strength. Just like Fred promises in the DVD, it does get easier. It’s still hard, but I can lift heavier weights and hold more of the advanced positions now.

Body awareness. Because you learn to constantly engage your core doing Core Fusion, it started to become a habit during everyday activities. I’d notice myself standing in the kitchen and realize I was pulling in my abs and standing up taller. I am also more aware of my posture when I am sitting at my desk. I think I am most aware of the change when I am spinning, especially in position two (standing). I feel so tucked in and so strong through my core. I love this feeling! I also remember to BREATHE more! They emphasize breathing a lot on the DVDs, and I find myself breathing deeper now, especially during other forms of exercise.

Outer beauty. It’s not like I’m not slightly motivated by vanity…and Core Fusion didn’t disappoint. I’ve noticed the biggest change in my back and in my arms and shoulders. My upper body is way more toned and sculpted and (pardon my brag) my middle and lower back look fantastic. The other day I caught sight of my back in the mirror and I was like, “Who are you?” I also noticed my torso looks much longer; I walked into the studio one day and, with mirrors everywhere, I realized how much longer and leaner it looked. My aunt noticed it the other day too; she said, “I don’t think it’s been that long since I’ve seen you…but you really look smaller.”

Body balance. It’s hard to explain, but I just feel so balanced now. I feel more flexible and healthier. My back feels stronger and less sore. I think my posture really reflects all this too!

Renewed commitment to strength training and working out at home. I’ll probably expand on this at some point, but basically I realized that I’m ready to end 0r significantly change my relationship with cardio-at-the-gym-five-times-per-week. Also, I realized Saturday night, when I almost didn’t get my second-to-last session done, that Core Fusion can be a great evening workout. Normally I wouldn’t work out so close to bed, but I realized that it was seriously refreshing and relaxing after sitting and working all day. It felt so good to stretch my back (seriously, I can’t emphasize enough how good it makes my back feel) and still work my muscles. And now that I’ve seen that I can make time for strength training four times a week — and that the results are fabulous — it makes me want to keep doing it!

Bottom line: I can’t recommend these DVDs enough, but I’d also like to say that I think doing your own version of the Challenge — even if it’s just you doing it, even if you only do it two or three times a week — is a great idea. I really don’t know if I would have had the motivation to stick with it otherwise. Even though doing one or two segments is great, doing the whole DVD regularly is what helped me see the big results.

I haven’t decided exactly what’s next for me. I love Core Fusion, but I do love changing up my routine. I might start doing it twice a week because I want to do other forms of strength twice a week. I also might order the third DVD, Pure Abs & Arms. I still need to figure out the logistics of it all, but Core Fusion is definitely going to stay in regular rotation!

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Dori February 15, 2010 at 8:36 am

Omg this is amazing and makes me SO happy!!! I noticed I engage my core when I am running now too. How amazing! Like you, I don’t recognize my shoulders and back — both things I didn’t even care about before this and now I’m like “Wow I look so good.”

There’s also a thighs & glutes DVD. I have them all but have to admit I haven’t opened any other than Body Sculpt yet! I do plan to since I did buy the DVDs myself :)

They are coming out with new DVDs this year that mimic a full length class. I am SO excited for those as well and I am excited for you to do those.

I love the blog world for things like this, where I can motivate you to do this challenge and you motivate me to get amazing new songs and books (loving Half Orange!). I hope you keep doing the DVDs because it is easy to lose what you’ve achieved. Of course, mixing it up with other DVDs and workouts is a great idea too!
.-= Dori´s last blog ..Crazy Planks and Music Yoga Flow =-.

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2 Teri [a foodie stays fit] February 15, 2010 at 9:56 am

Um, wow…awesome results! I want these DVDs so bad!
.-= Teri [a foodie stays fit]´s last blog ..I love this love day =-.

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3 Katie@ Two Lives, One Lifestyle February 15, 2010 at 10:21 am

Impressive results, can’t argue with all those inches. I skip core work a lot because it gets so boring, but maybe someone telling me what to do via DVD would help
.-= Katie@ Two Lives, One Lifestyle´s last blog ..Happy Presidents Day! =-.

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4 Rachel February 15, 2010 at 10:34 am

I definitely avoid core work too, but one thing I really like about this is you will NEVER do a single crunch! I just like the exercises a lot better than all the other core work I’ve ever done.

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5 Ashley February 15, 2010 at 7:50 pm

Hey! I just started and did 2 10 minute segments today! I’m trying to do 20 minutes each day primarily arms and thighs as these are my problem areas that I want to focus on now. Did you do the stretching portion each day too?

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6 Rachel February 15, 2010 at 7:52 pm

I did do the stretching because I want to work on my flexibility! Sometimes I would do some of my own stretches but I really tried to stretch for 10 minutes at the end!

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7 PaganAngel February 15, 2010 at 10:00 pm

Thanks for the follow-up! I checked out these dvds on your recommendation, and have done half the pilates, but I tend to get frustrated with so many difficult poses. Hopefully with your pep talk I can push myself through the whole routine tomorrow!
.-= PaganAngel´s last blog ..Baked Apple Pudding =-.

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8 Rachel February 15, 2010 at 10:13 pm

I know…some of those poses are really tough!! Just believe when they say it DOES get easier! I also noticed I can NOT do the DVD effectively after spinning because my legs are just too tired to begin with, so maybe consider how it fits into your overall routine as well?

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9 PaganAngel February 17, 2010 at 10:49 pm

Okay, I switched from Pilates to the Body Sculpt, and found it much more doable. The third segment of Pilates was just killing my drive. Now, with a bit of an ego boost, I feel like maybe I can make it through pilates too, and maybe even attempt something like what you did–your results are impressive! Thanks!
.-= PaganAngel´s last blog ..Baked Apple Pudding =-.

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10 Rachel February 17, 2010 at 11:12 pm

Woo woo!! See I found the third segment of Body Sculpt was my big ego-killer…the standing glute work is brutal for me! But I’m glad you switched it up and are feeling more confident…I have also found that doing the segments in a different order can also help! I really like doing arms and core first, and then the other stuff.

Keep me posted!!

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11 Kara April 2, 2010 at 8:33 am

Sweet Jesus, Rachel — I did the body sculpt dvd for the first time this morning and nearly died. I’m trusting your advice that it does get easier! I know it’s a great workout though — my abs (ok — all muscles really) were buuuurning. I also enjoy how damn happy they look throughout the whole thing — just smiling away like they’re on a nice leisurely stroll. Maybe one day I’ll be grinning and not wincing?

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