Monday, December 2, 2013

Core Fusion Revisted

Greetings, faithful readers! I'm back after embarking on my special 3-for-the-price-of-1 deal at Core Fusion. I did Cardio and Bootcamp this weekend, and I'm scheduled for Sport on Saturday. I was going to wait and review them all at once, but I could write a book on one of them alone, so I think I'd better just get started.


I arrived at the Back Bay studio bright and early for this heart pumping little gem. I'm not going to lie, I was a little scared. Fear of the unknown and all that. I asked a classmate for suggestions on what weights I should take. She kind of hemmed and hawed... she takes 4lbs., but she's been coming for a while. I'm a first-timer, so she suggested 3lbs., or maybe even 2. There were lots of weights in the bins, so I took 2s, 3s, and 4s. I'm here to push myself, people.

I found myself a spot... which was weirdly the same spot I had when I took the barre class at CF back in July. Why do we instinctively go back to the same spot? Has anyone scholarly studied this? I didn't even really like that spot back then because it wasn't near a mirror. It's nice to be near a mirror to check form, but I stayed put because a.) I had a good view of the instructor, and b.) it was in the back. I figured if I was totally out of my element, at least I'd be in the back.

The class started filling up, so I checked out how all the veterans were placing their equipment. First I arranged them artfully thus:

Then I noticed some people were placing theirs beside the mats like this:
Or how about this?
Ok, could we please start the class and put me out of my obsessive weight-arranging misery?

It was a lot of mountain climbers, some lunges and squats with upper body weights and finished with abs and stretch. I found it challenging, but doable. My heart rate was very elevated throughout the whole class, which was a little disappointing. I wish it had been planned as a high-intensity interval format, rather than high-intensity steady state. HIIT is proven to be more effective than steady-state, and in my opinion, the intervals make it more interesting. I did find myself watching the clock every now and again.

How did I feel afterwards? Invigorated! Not quite the same feeling as the post-barre lalalas, but good none the less.

Oh yeah, and the weights? I used the 4 pounders. I'm a badass.


I can't say I was feeling quite as scared of boot camp. I figured I got through Cardio just fine, so really, what was all the feeling scared about? I'm in pretty good shape. I can do boot camp.

I drove downtown with Darling Husband and the small people. They all went to the Children's Museum while I walked over to the Back Bay studio. Ah, the bliss of walking all by myself.... really, it's the little things in life.

I got to the studio, grabbed my mat and staked my claim over in the front corner--mirrors all around. I was all set to enjoy watching myself be a boot camp badass.

The instructor was Meg, and she was super. She came right over to me and introduced herself and asked me if I had any injuries or issues she needed to be aware of. I love it when instructors do that kind of thing. That's why a live class is so awesome. She was super nice, offered me some modification options and made sure I had the equipment I needed. A+ for Meg.

Here are the required toys:

Yay! Class is about to start! Prepare to see badass in action! In lots of mirrors! Meg started us off with a brief warm-up, then we headed into multiple sets of mountain climbers, burpees, pushups, plyometric jumps, kickboxing-esque moves with weights and then all kinds of horrible things with those medicine balls. Including planks and pushups on the ball, which hurt my hands. That's why I didn't use the ball. Yeah, because my hands hurt.

Apparently I picked the badass corner because they were all around me. And not sweating. Why aren't people sweating? Are you kidding me? I'm a beet red sweaty beast, and my neighbor, who is beautiful, by the way, is not sweating. At all. Neither is the major badass behind me to the right. Beautiful Neighbor is looking at me every once in a while, probably wondering when is the right time to call the paramedics, yet she sweats nary a drop.

I know, I shouldn't compare. Compare = despair. Comparison is the thief of joy, etc. All true. But I can't help it. And I can't help telling you about it. We keep it real here at the barre. I finally look at the back row, which I can easily see through all the mirrors at my disposal. They're sweating. I feel better.

Actually, I really don't know why all the badasses were in my corner, because it turned out to be a pretty crappy spot. That's the main thing I don't like about the Back Bay studio--the room is very small and it's an odd shape. I don't know that you can be near a mirror and see the instructor at all well. Even though Meg provided excellent verbal cues, I'm a visual learner. It really helps me to see someone doing the moves, especially when I'm tired. I find it hard to concentrate on the cues when I'm that tired. Although, with all the sweat in my eyes, I was finding it hard to see anything at all.

So, yeah, it was wicked hard. Wicked. Hard. I couldn't even do it all. Towards the end I was modifying a lot and I actually found myself wishing I were at the Children's Museum at one point. That's saying a lot, since while the Children's Museum is a small person's paradise, it's not so much fun for the big people.

Finally, Meg tells us to get on the floor. Yay! We get to do abs! We get to be on the floor in some position other than plank! My old roommate Becky used to say she loved doing crunches because at least she got to lie down. I'm kind of with her on that now. You know it's bad, though, if I'm excited to do abs. I don't really like working my abs because they're weak and it hurts. But really, after the Boot Camp Amongst the Badasses, I'm actually kind of excited.

At last, the whole thing ends and we all return our toys to the toy box and schlump out of the studio. I thank Meg on the way out and tell her she kicked my tail. She says, "You did great!" She's lying, but I appreciate the sentiment.

How did I feel afterwards? Humbled. I climb into the car and Darling Son #1 says, "Did you win?" Umm, no, I definitely did not win, but I tried, and that's what counts.

Would I take it again? Of course. What a question...

Core Fusion Sport is on tap for this weekend. I'm excited (and by 'excited' I mean scared,) mostly because it will be at the Boston Battery Wharf location and I've never been there before. Back Bay is a little more convenient for me, but let's face it, the whole thing is a schelp so what's a little more schlepping? I'm hoping the studio is a little more able-to-see-the-instructor friendly, but we'll see... literally, I hope.

If you're interested in these classes but don't live near an exhale Core Fusion location, there are Cardio and Bootcamp DVDs. My cardio class was similar to the DVD, but I'd say the class was much harder, which is typical (I almost always find live classes harder than DVDs.) I've never done the Bootcamp DVD, but I might have to try it now. I need to prepare for my next attempt at badassness.


  1. LOL! Great post! And thanks for letting me live vicariously through you. I haven't taken a live class of anything since 2007 when I signed up for spin classes.

    1. There's a CF in your neck of the woods... just sayin'!