Lemme Work It: Core Fusion Cardio

by Rachel on October 19, 2010

For those of you just joining us, I have two preferred forms of exercise (not counting sex, shopping, and cleaning): spinning and Core Fusion. I’ve been in love with CF ever since I did Dori‘s original Core Fusion Challenge back in January and saw major results. It’s always a part of my routine, but this month, I made it a goal to start doing it four times a week again. Doing it that often is a bit of a commitment, but it’s so worth it.

Since I don’t live in a city with an Exhale Spa, I’ve always gotten my fix through the Core Fusion DVDs (you can see my reviews of each DVD here) and — since this summer! — YogaVibes. YogaVibes really is my favorite way to get things done. (And if you want to try YogaVibes, my readers get a 20 percent discount with the code “sheddingvibes20.”) I love feeling like I’m actually attending a class (DIK), and anyway, the streaming videos are considerably harder than the DVDs. I was so excited when I heard YogaVibes was adding a few new CF classes. While I loved the Core Fusion classic class, and suffered through Core Fusion Sport, I was dying to try Core Fusion Cardio.

Dori was always raving about it and said she was really excited for me to try it. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I knew from reading her blog there were “hundreds of mountain climbers.”

OK — I’ll be honest. I did not really believe there were hundreds of mountain climbers. I just didn’t. I thought perhaps there were dozens. But hundreds? No f-ing way.

Yeah, well, turns out, there are hundreds.

And oddly enough, I love it anyway!

This class is perfect for me because even though I whine about it sometimes, I really do like doing cardio, and I’m always down to burn some fat to get my muscles to show up a little better. Last month, I was trying to fit in a lot of cardio and Core Fusion and was spending more time working out and — let’s be honest — showering and re-doing my hair than is worth it, no matter how great my ass was going to look. CF Cardio seemed like a perfect solution: 60 minutes, strength and cardio, done and done. Wham, bam, one shower, ma’am!

Now, this isn’t the first time I’ve done a Core Fusion class with more cardio bursts in it. I did CF Sport over the summer, but I didn’t love it. I swore at the computer screen and my legs shook nonstop (how I decide if it’s a good workout) so I respected it…but I just didn’t love it.

I love Core Fusion Cardio.

I don’t know what it is about this workout, but it just works for me. It’s pretty tough but it’s just good tough. I hate doing all those mountain climbers, but at the same time, I love that I can do them, so I actually get rather excited about them. (Not all the time. Sometimes I collapse with like two more to go screaming “Ow ow ow!”) I love all the downward-dogging, even though it’s now very clear to me how much I need to work on my flexibility. And I love, love, love the kicking and punching segment. Seriously, the whole class flies by every time I do it, and I’m always amazed — first, that I pulled off such a tough workout, and second, that I didn’t hate it.

And they mean it when they say “cardio.” I wore my heart rate monitor once and, well, honestly, I was moving so much during the whole class, I could barely get my wrist in a position where I could even see my heart rate. But when I did see it, it was high — like, spin class high.

The biggest downside is that the cardio aspect means major sweat, and major sweat (like, to the point I’ve been worried about slipping on my hardwood floor) means major time spent doing my hair after. I’d probably do this more often if I didn’t always have to blow dry after.

The other downside is that after two sessions, my arms are usually too tired for a third later in the week. I mean, those mountain climbers aren’t fucking around, and although that is good, and I give them credit for the fact that my upper body is starting to not look like that of a T-Rex, if I do CF Cardio on Monday and Tuesday, come Thursday, it’s just not happening again.

And of course there is the problem that I had to buy new bras and yoga pants this weekend because all my old ones are just getting too big.

But those, my friends, are white girl problems, and overall, I love this workout and what it’s doing for my strength, endurance, and appearance.

And, confession: I really love this particular class because it was shot in the Hamptons and while I’m doing it, I totally zone out and pretend I’m some UES trophy wife who has the money to do Core Fusion classes six times a week (and the time to blow dry after each) and totally has the arms to prove it. It’s even more effective when I have something in the oven while I’m doing the workout. Delusional? Yes. Sorry? NOPE. I take motivation wherever I can get it.

{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Angela @ A Healthy Fit October 19, 2010 at 8:49 am

I did CF Cardio on Yogavibes for the first time last week. I LOVED it! 100’s of mountain climbers for sure. I wish I could do CF 4 times a week, it is just a tad bit too long for me, plus living in the upstairs apartment, I don’t want the downstairs guy to hate me forever. I’m sure doing 100’s of mountain climbers at 6am would not make him my best friend. I did the CF yoga this morning for 30 minutes- that shizz is damn good too!


2 Dori October 19, 2010 at 8:52 am

LOVE Core Fusion Yoga. I get just as sweaty (or at least almost) there as in Cardio. Same deal with the chin sweat splotting on the mat.


3 Dori October 19, 2010 at 8:51 am

I love how much you love Core Fusion Cardio! But then again, I knew you would. I also didn’t love Sport, but this one is just perfect. Such an amazing combination of strength and cardio. Every downward dog is a few seconds of sweet relief.

A couple of things. First, Fred designed the class in such a way that your heart is supposed to remain in a fat burning zone. You are supposed to be able to comfortable carry on a conversation while taking this class. I’m wondering if you are pushing it a little too hard if your heart rate is that high.

Do you do the class on a yoga mat? I would be slipping all over hardwood, but we always use a sticky yoga mat for class. The sweat is insane, it is pouring off my face and all over my body. Droplets descend from my chin down to the mat in little splats. It always grosses me out. I also love it.

I love the punches too! I have to say, mountain climbers are so hard at the beginning of the class and I’m always like “um I have to do 64 in a row at the end?” But as class goes on, I find they get much easier and my arms feel less taxed. Do you find that? I can never take this class two days in a row, I learned that the hard way. I do think regular CF is a necessary base for this class, so I always make it a point to take that more often.

And even the curl section seems easier after making it through the rest of CF Cardio! I hope people take advantage of the 20% off and try the most effective possible workout you can imagine. Perfect use of one hour.


4 Rachel October 19, 2010 at 8:57 am

Hmm…well my heart rate is generally in a pretty comfortable range during spin class (I can carry on a convo because I had to when I was teaching) so even if my heart rate was the same across the board, that would be fine. I mean, there are times when I am REALLY out of breath from the mountain climbers though!

I realized the other day a yoga mat would be the obvious choice to solve the sweat problem, but I left mine at home in Michigan and only brought my foam mat and haven’t bought a new one yet. I seriously almost bought one last night for that reason but then I just decided I’d wait it out and bring mine back with me since I am going home in ten days!

And I DEF agree that the curl is a lot easier at the end!!

When you started doing it, did you have trouble with the downward dogs? I seriously do not ever remember my hamstrings being this tight when I did yoga before.


5 Dori October 19, 2010 at 1:49 pm

Well I take a lot of yoga, but as a typically not-flexible person I’ve surprisingly always been able to do downward dogs easily. My feet are always flat on the floor, and I didn’t realize other people struggled with this until I started looking around and realized I was often the only one able to do it. Weird!


6 Marg October 19, 2010 at 9:21 am

I just rented the Body Sculpt one from the library and was so surprised my thighs were actually sore after that section! I didn’t get to finish the whole thing though. Curious to see how this one goes.


7 Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic October 19, 2010 at 9:42 am

My friend and I signed up for a few Core Fusion classes at the exhales Spa here in Boston and I can’t wait to try it, especially after reading such great reviews like yours (and Dori’s!)


8 Dori October 19, 2010 at 1:49 pm

Awesome! Can’t wait to hear what you think!


9 MelissaNibbles October 19, 2010 at 9:56 am

I’ve been dying to try CF Cardio, but I have to admit, I’M SCARED! CF Sport killed me. I do not like it at all and I’m afraid to try CF Cardio now. I love love love Core Fusion basic and yoga though.


10 Dori October 19, 2010 at 1:50 pm

Melissa (sorry Rach I am responding to all your comments as though I were you. I do this to Missy too) – CF Cardio is NOTHING like Sport. I never take Sport and I am obsessed with Cardio.


11 Rachel October 19, 2010 at 3:19 pm

Don’t be scurred! If you made it through Sport, you will be FINE with Cardio. Like I said, I like it a million times better than Sport!


12 Missy Maintains October 19, 2010 at 9:04 pm

I agree! I like Cardio MUCH better than Sport!! I think I just don’t like the ball that we use in Sport. Cardio is just as hard but so much more enjoyable. I did it at home through YogaVibes too and sweat more than I’ve ever sweat before! I love that you can live so far away from Exhale and still experience this class!


13 MelissaNibbles October 20, 2010 at 6:55 am

Gah! Thanks guys. I’m still scared. Are there a lot of pushups?


14 Carolyn @ lovinlosing October 19, 2010 at 10:01 am

I’ve been hearing so much about CF, lately!! I guess I’ll just have to try it out soon!


15 Robyn October 19, 2010 at 10:37 am

Arms that look like a T-Rex? Please enlighten me . . . My arms could look like a T-Rex’s arms, which is a situation I’d like to remedy ASAP. Eeeek!!!

Definitely putting this on my list of considerations for “When I Need a Good Ass-Whoopin’.”


16 Rachel October 19, 2010 at 3:19 pm

Well, T Rex have big ass teeth to attack and so they don’t need strong arms — they have those little tiny weak and useless arms that aren’t capable for punching anyone’s lights out.

I too have big teeth. I need to make sure I don’t have weak arms!


17 Bree October 19, 2010 at 3:58 pm

Haha, this is me too. Even when I have arm muscles they are tiny Trex style ones.


18 Bridget@PavementandPlants October 19, 2010 at 10:41 am

I just did it. Holy sh*t am I unbalanced. My legs are super strong and my upper body is crying out in pain. I think this may be a welcome addition to my workouts!


19 Rachel October 19, 2010 at 3:18 pm

Oh good! I am so thrilled you tried it (and so fast)! It’s suuuch a good upper body workout…I think that’s why I like it!


20 Whitney October 19, 2010 at 11:17 am

I went to subscribe, but the discount you have quoted doesn’t work… Have you hear of any problems?


21 Rachel October 19, 2010 at 11:46 am

I am looking into it now! Keep ya posted!!


22 Rachel October 20, 2010 at 8:07 am

The code is actually “sheddingvibes20.” My bad — so sorry about that!


23 Elina (Healthy and Sane) October 19, 2010 at 12:48 pm

This sounds fantastic. I kind of want to try a real class now (there just isn’t enough space in my living room to workout). Must research :)
PS – the whole shower/blow drying/straightening my hair after each workout is definitely the worst part about it. When people say “just do 10” minutes, they don’t get that it’s another 30-60 minutes of hair/make up time. But yes, that’s white girl problems so I won’t complain too much ;)


24 Janna October 19, 2010 at 12:55 pm

This is exactly how I feel about CF Cardio on Yogavibes!!! I rave about on Daily Mile every time I do it :)


25 Kaleigh October 19, 2010 at 3:14 pm

What kind of equipment do you need for the CF Cardio? Weights? Band? Etc?


26 Rachel October 19, 2010 at 3:17 pm

Just light weights! I use 2 lbs but I am upgrading to 3.


27 Trinidad Pena October 19, 2010 at 3:14 pm

I’ve taken the exhale classes and done the DVDs but I’m kinda scared of CF Cardio. Should I just stop being a punk?


28 Rachel October 19, 2010 at 3:17 pm

Yes, you do.


29 Smash @ Appreciate The Now October 19, 2010 at 3:38 pm

I’m assuming these are liking doing the On Demand exercise videos from TWC, right?


30 Rachel October 19, 2010 at 4:08 pm

Well, as far as I know, most of the On Demand exercise videos are like fitness DVDs…shot in a studio. This is like the actual class, just video taped and put on the internet. I think it’s a lot more real and not so “produced” you know?


31 Jaclyn October 19, 2010 at 4:50 pm

Mountain climbers make my legs shake and my heart pump faster than sex does, but they’re not nearly as much fun. I’m a champion of workout partners, after all. But alas, they’re clearly effective.


32 Laura Georgina October 19, 2010 at 8:13 pm

I really want to try this, but how crucial are the mountain climbers to the whole workout? My knees really, REALLY don’t like those (especially on my hard linoleum floor)…. Just checking, because when my halfsy is over I’m ready for a change-up!


33 Aj October 19, 2010 at 11:39 pm

I have done my first CF video that I’m borrowing from Bess (sculpt – but just the arms, abs and stretch since I’m scared of sore legs so close to racing). This is definitely motivating me to stick to my post-race workout plan that incorporates CF and other weights training…your before and after pics in your review of the DVDS has me sold! I’m planning a guns show for my 30th birthday!


34 MelissaNibbles October 20, 2010 at 6:56 am

I want to buy tickets for that show.


35 Chika October 20, 2010 at 11:10 am

I love your review, Rachel! Totally the way I feel about CF Cardio, except I really like CF Sport (why are there so many Sport haters?). My favorite parts are the punching series, and what I like to call the core fusion running man. And, it’s true– it totally works out your arms, but I feel like those sumo/speed skater moves work my tush and thighs really well, too!

Sister to sister — I love reading your blog! You’ve got to go on vacation to a city with an Exhale so you can have live experience, or do a retreat (one of my goals for 2011)!


36 Rachel October 25, 2010 at 9:48 pm

Rachel, I’ve never done any of the Core Fusions. Do you own all of the DVDs? Where would I even begin! It all sounds extremely exciting to me as my main goal right now is to tone up. I’m done with “losing weight” and “getting skinny.” I want to be be toned and lean. Any suggestions for a beginner?


37 Gaby October 26, 2010 at 11:05 pm

Hey! I just found your blog and have been perusing/ skimming a little bit. I love it! Perfect mix of hilarious while touching on all the important things and telling me to stop taking it so seriously. And then there’s more! I’ll have to keep reading, but I did just want to say hi and introduce myself as a local Houstonian too. I blog about traveling and other things when I’m not lazy.
I wanted to comment on this post because I see you’re tried Corefusion and I just wrote about trying the class the last time I was in NY. Not sure what area of Houston you’re in but there’s a studio that is almost exactly the same as Corefusion, or based on the same principles, called Define. Right now they’re on San Felipe north of the Galleria, but they’re opening their new studio this weekend on Gray and Dunlavy. It’s pretty awesome and they have tons of cool classes. The guy that started it, Henry Richardson, trained and taught at Corefusion in NY. He’s a sweetheart (and beautiful :X)!
Anyways, hope you’re liking the city! Feel free to check out my blog, and email me anytime. I love talking local stuff!


38 Rachel October 27, 2010 at 7:29 am

Oh thank you SO much for introducing yourself and for this info!! I have definitely wanted to take some workout classes here and just couldn’t find exactly what I am looking for. I am going to have to check this out and check out your blog too! THANK YOU!!


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