Thursday, April 26, 2012

Core Fusion

Sometimes it's hard for me to write a post if I haven't been to a new class or done something major.  So I apologize that sometimes the blog is a little sparse... I'll keep fine tuning my writing skills so I can write about other things.
Anyway, today one my friends and I tried a class at Exhale Spa.  Exhale has locations in NYC, Boston, Dallas, Miami, LA, etc.  We bought a discount on Lifebooker for 3 classes.  Exhale offers their version of barre classes - Core Fusion, as well as some variations (Core Cardio, Core Sculpt or Core Sport) as well as Yoga classes.
We took a Core Fusion Basics class at the Upper East Side location.  The actual building the spa is located in was very nice.  The entrance was welcoming and the spa had a great lobby.  Lots of brown and earthy tones.  Then... we went to the studio, which involved exiting the actual spa and going through what looked like maintenance doors to a small studio.
The studio had 1 large window and 2 smaller windows, but it felt dark and small.  It had tan carpet and there were bars on one of the windows.  There were no mirrors, which bummed me out because I like to use mirrors to adjust myself and also to see what other people are doing and follow along.  It's a lot more distracting to have scan around the room instead of just looking at a different point in the mirror.
My friend and I observed what other people had done, and got ourselves mats, light weights (2lbs), slightly heavier weights (3lbs), and a strap. It's always great to go to a class with a friend because I feel like I'm not alone in being the new person.  As much as I've adjusted to that feeling, it is always great to have company and not feel alone.
The class started pretty slow, but we did these reverse pushups (see below) that really irritated my triceps:
Reverse Plank - we did an adaptation where our feet were planted on the floor and our knees were bent
My triceps were really tight after doing these, which made the other arm exercises a little painful, but still manageable.  The rest of the arm exercises were very similar to what I do in the gym on my own, but instead of using 7.5-10lb weights, I was using 3lb weights. The leg workouts were REALLY intense and I'm getting really bummed out that I live on the 5th floor and I'm going to have to go up and down stairs tomorrow.  The ab exercises were pretty good - there was a lot of balancing which hurts my back, whereas traditional crunches and similar exercises don't as much. Which means I don't get quite as much of an ab workout as I normally do because my back can't handle the work out.
Overall, the workout was a full body workout, but I can't help feeling like it was an hour of little movements that added up to 15 minutes of bigger, quicker, more effective movements.
I was not a huge fan of the instructor (Karen), but my friend was.  I just thought that the instructor kind of lacked personality, but my friend pointed out how directed the class was and how quickly we moved through everything.  Clearly that was just a personal preference.
Pros:
1) I definitely got a workout and the class was different from other barre classes I've taken
2) The spa itself was gorgeous
3) I didn't feel like the class was too cardio oriented - I'm learning that I like to feel out of breath in classes, but not to the same level as when I run.  I'm not taking the class to improve my running, I'm taking it to strengthen, tone or increase flexibility

Cons:
1) I didn't love the instructor - I like instructors with personality and more energy
2) I do feel like most of the effects I could have gotten on my own in shorter time
3) I didn't like the room!

Oh and also, they offer a $40 introductory week, but after that, each class is $37/class!!!  $37!  That's way too much for me.

Have you tried Core Fusion? What qualities do you look for in class instructors?

1 comment:

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