• Core Fusion Kicked My Butt

    May 4, 2012

    Holy moly.

    What a workout.

    I totally got my butt kicked at a Core Fusion class this morning.

    And I still don’t know what happened to me.

    This morning, I was invited by the folks at Exhale to attend a complimentary Core Fusion Barre class at their Back Bay location. I had heard awesome things about Core Fusion, so I was excited to finally give it a try. The workout combines core exercises with Pilates, yoga, and ballet to stretch, tone, and lengthen muscles.

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    In addition to Core Fusion, Exhale also offers yoga classes and spa services and has 19 locations in the U.S. and Turks & Caicos.

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    I arrived just as the Core Fusion Barre class was about to start, so the instructor told me to grab a strap and a set of hand-weights. When I saw the tiny weights (1 – 5 pounds), I sort of laughed to myself. I mean, I can deadlift 200 pounds. What would little 5-pounds weights do for me? Apparently, a whole heck of a lot! My arms were screaming for mercy during this part of the class!


    After a brief warm-up, the class started with some planks, push-ups, reverse push-ups (aka tricep dips), and then we moved onto the hand-weights to work the upper body. Using the weights, we did small, controlled movements for the triceps, shoulders, back, and biceps, and, man, did it burn! I think CrossFit prepared me for this part of class because I made it through without too much trouble.

    The next part of class focused on the quads and glutes, so there were lots of pliés, pulsing squats, and leg/glute lifts, all while holding a small playground ball between your legs to work your inner thighs at the same time. I pretty much died during this part of class. My quads and glutes were absolutely burning with pain, and I had to stop a bunch of times to rest. I actually felt like a big baby taking so many breaks, but my legs just could not handle it. We don’t do these type of things at CrossFit!! LOL!

    After the leg and glute workout, we worked our abs and core. Again, I barely survived this part of the workout, but I didn’t wuss-out as much this time. Maybe I was finally getting used to the intensity of the movements? They don’t seem like they’d be all that hard, but, trust me, they are! Yowsahs!

    The class concluded with a short stretch, which felt so good on my tired, lactic acid-filled muscles. The stretching part of class also made me well aware that I have zero flexibility nowadays, and I really need to get back to yoga or something. Stretching was actually sort of painful today, which, of course, is not good.

    I generally think of myself as a fairly fit person (ROAR, I do CrossFit!!), but I definitely had my ass handed to me at Core Fusion this morning. This workout is no joke, which is why I think I enjoyed it so much. I love challenging workouts, especially when I can’t do them! It makes me want to work that much harder at it. I actually wasn’t sure what to expect from a “barre” class, but it really surprised me and made me realize that I need (and want) to incorporate some different types of workouts into my weekly rotation, specifically one that includes some stretching.

    All in all, I absolutely loved Core Fusion, and I can’t wait to do it again. I really wish I lived closer to Boston because I’d definitely do this workout regularly.


    The folks at Exhale wanted me to fully experience what they had to offer, so after the Core Fusion class, I was treated to an Exhale Pure facial in the spa. Fancy, right? I definitely felt special today!

    The Exhale Pure facial uses Tata Harper products, which are all 100% natural and nontoxic. It started with a custom enzyme exfoliation (mine had papaya extract), then some extractions (aka clearing my pores), and then a soothing mask. My skin felt totally refreshed and renewed afterward. I especially loved all of the different products that the esthetician used on my skin. They smelled amazing and made my skin feel so nice.

    Thank you so much, Exhale!! I loved Core Fusion and my facial at the spa was amazing. They were a wonderful way to start my Friday!

    Has a worked ever surprised you and kicked your butt?

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    { 59 comments… read them below or add one }

    Katie @ Peace Love & Oats May 4, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    That sounds like an awesome class! Haha and don’t worry, when I’m home and go to Jazzercise with my mom, I’ll have to take breaks sometimes… and I’m often 30+ years younger than some of the women not taking breaks…


    Angela May 4, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    Wow, that sounds awesome! Wish I lives in boston so I could give that one a try :)


    Ashley @ Coffee Cake and Cardio May 4, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    I am SO jealous! I bet the facial was awesome!


    Amanda Landry May 4, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    I think I’m going to start taking a shot every time you say crossfit :) Still love the blog though!


    jobo May 4, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    barre workouts truly kick your butt!! It sneaks up on you, no matter your fitness level. Thus why I love barre n9ne so much and teaching it. It really does give you an insanely good workout every single time, no matter if it’s your first or 100th class!! Glad you got to check it out!


    Joni May 4, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    I consider myself pretty in shape too, and a coworker of mine had me try Bar Method when I visited San Francisco for work – and holy cow. You aren’t exaggerating, that class is NO joke! I’ve been thinking about getting some dvds to do it at home every so often, since I don’t live near a studio that does it either!


    Corrie Anne May 4, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    ooo I did a similar type of barre/core workout, and i about DIED. i couldn’t believe how sore i was!! i workout almost every day, pretty intensely. but my calves were burning for like two days afterwards!


    Traci May 4, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    When I started Yoglates I thought “how hard can it be?” Lots of stretching, whatever. Yeh, well, HARDEST THING EVER! After 15 mos. of going to class 3 times a week, it’s still a killer workout & there are things I can’t do. Not that I’m a workout expert because before I started Yoglates I wasn’t doing anything!


    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama May 4, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    I’ve felt the same way going into Barre classes. Don’t be a hero – take the 1 or 2 pound weights! Seriously good workout and so fun!


    Tina May 4, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    Haha! I thought exactly that and avoided the 5-pounders. I knew it was going to be tough!


    Mary May 4, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    Cross Training is a beautiful thing…


    Ashley @ Sweat for Sweets May 4, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    Awesome! I’ve always wanted to try one of these classes as well. It’s funny though how different kinds of fitness can kick your butt in totally different ways. I guess this class was more about muscle endurance than power/strength!


    Emily May 4, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    I’ve been a member at Exhale in Chicago for about a year now… I go to core fusion classes 4-5x a week and I’m STILL sore the next day. It’s crazy but I love it!


    Christine May 4, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    Core fusion sounds a LOT like Physique 57 (similar barre workout style), especially the pulsing leg exercises. OMG do these kill! I’m lucky that I work in a building with a Physique studio so I’ve been to a bunch of classes, and my legs always feel like jello afterwards. My coworker and I joke that the leg pulsing exercises will make you cry! Such a good burn, though.


    Tina May 4, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    Yep, they’re very similar! Physique 57 is killer too!


    Angela@The Chicken Scoop May 4, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    A few years back, I had the same reaction to the little weights and also got my butt (or arms rather?) handed to me. Loved it!


    sarah May 4, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    Hey Tina!

    My fiance and I are moving to the Boston area and are so far loving Beacon Hill. If we don’t live in the city, do you have any recommendations for the suburbs?

    On another note, Barre workouts are killer and I can’t wait to try this one next time I’m in the area!!



    Tina May 4, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    As for where to live?


    erin g May 4, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    I went to a 20 minute class called “CRANK” at my gym the other day. I was thinking 20 minutes, how hard could this be.. It was basically 5 exercises 5 times each. My whole body was in pain for 2 days after!


    Carrie May 4, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    So cool that it’s a gym AND a spa!


    Lindsay May 4, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    Oh my, I can totally relate. I’ve been focusing on Crossfit-style workouts lately- heavy lifting, metcon, intervals- and I cashed in some gym currency on a 1-on-1 Pilates session yesterday “for fun”. Halfway into the session I knew I was in trouble, haha.

    My abs are so sore today I can barely stand up straight. Serves me right! I guess I need to mix it up more often!


    Tina May 4, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    Yep, sounds familiar! :)


    Cait's Plate May 4, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    I’ve definitely had yoga classes surprise me by kicking my butt when I was least expecting it. I kind of love that when it happens!


    Sarah May 4, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    I guess this is a good example of the difference between strength and endurance in muscle training, would you agree? I’ve heard trainers that are strictly in one camp or the other but I see benefits to both!


    Grace @ Grace Dishes May 4, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    It looks SO FUN! I love how you worked out and got to relax :)


    Katie May 4, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    I wish I lived somewhere close that this type of class was offered! I would love to see a post in future of the different types of moves that were in the class? Maybe you can recreate it 😉


    Tina May 4, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    I think there are Core Fusion DVDs out there! :)


    Kristen @ notsodomesticated May 4, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    Yikes, that does sound tough!! My husband and I hiked up a mountain not too long ago, and I thought it was going to be super easy … I was shocked at how physically challenging I found it to be!


    Annette@FitnessPerks May 4, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    I love teaching Pilates and core classes for that reason–it’s a totally new and different way to workout! Love it. Glad you felt ‘the burn’ :)

    That facial sounds amazing right about NOW!! hah.


    Alex @ therunwithin May 4, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    Sounds like such a cool class, I love when classes out of the blue just totally give you the best workout in all the ways you normally wouldn’t move.


    Caitlin @ This Bride's Joyride May 4, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    I love Core Fusion and (similarly) the bar method! It is always surprising during the thigh work how much it can burn and how hard it is not to take breaks! Love it!


    Stellina @ My Yogurt Addiction May 4, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    I really want to try this! It sounds like a fun workout! I feel like I need to workout my core better. My usual routine is getting rather boring and is ineffective!


    Megan @ Megan's Munchies May 4, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    That workout sounds amazing!


    Hayley @ Running Down the Runway May 4, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    I’m so jealous- that sounds amazing! I’m definitely going to have to try that class this summer, I’m working right around there in Boston! I have no flexibility either, so it will be a challenge :-)


    Sarah May 4, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    I started taking Bar Method classes this fall, and I am addicted. It never gets easy, but it is always fun and the results are unlike anything I’ve seen from running, typical lifting, pilates, yoga. Your body really leans out and carves defined muscles. I have the Bar Method dvd and Physique dvd, and they are pretty good in a pinch, but nothing like an actual class. So glad you tried it!


    Nicole May 4, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    I do a lot of the Core Fusion DVD workouts and o-m-g…I’m always really sore the next day and the workouts are quite a challenge. The moves seem really “minor” but they do push your muscles and core!


    Lisa May 4, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    Did you like not want to eat or drink anything but water after your facial so your face would keep feeling clean? lol I always feel like that after. Keep the oiliness away for as long as possible :) Glad you had a good day! All of that was prolly good for your colitis too!


    mary @ minutespermile May 4, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    Always wanted to try that! Thanks for through recap. Very helpful


    Jill is Active May 4, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    I completely know what you mean by lighter weights kicking your butt. I was doing a Tone it Up workout the other day and they said ‘pick up light weights – around 3 lbs.’ Of course in my head I though- psh, no problem! Lemme tell you, my arms were BURNING after a couple of minutes!!


    Amy @Health Hungry May 4, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    Yay for the facial afterward – what a great reward for your challenging workout. I have an entire spa day coming up a week from today – I’ve never done it ALL in one day, I can’t wait. As for the workouts, it all kicks my butt – one that I remember feeling surpised I enjoyed while being tortured was a group kickboxing class. I felt like Rocky!!! 😉


    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers May 4, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    What a great kick ass class! I want to do one too!!!


    michelle kim May 4, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    I love trying different types of workouts like these because you can still get a great workout, using different types of movements and working the muscles in a variety of ways.
    Such a fun post!


    Nicole May 4, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    I just started taking bar method/core fusion barre classes and also could not believe what a great and challenging workout it was! 3 classes in and I’m able to do more and more reps, but my muscles are still screaming in pain by the end of class.


    Lauren May 4, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    Ahh, you sounded just like me in this post! I too am a Crossfitter that thinks that just because I can deadlift 200lbs, I’ll be awesome at everything else. We have an Exhale down here in Atlanta and a girlfriend of mine dragged me to a core fusion class. I thought it was going to be somewhat of a joke too, but when they ask you to start doing squats on your tippy toes….o…m…g….i thought my legs were going to give out on me during that workout!


    Maria @ Beautiful Busy Bee May 4, 2012 at 11:27 pm

    Whoa, you can dead lift 200 lbs!! That’s amazing. Whenever I try to either lift heavy weights or do circuit training I feel like I am about to die because I’m used to just running, all the time. Have a great weekend! :)


    Catherine @ Rabbit Food For My Bunny Teeth May 4, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    I LOVE barre classes! I take Bar method, and any class that I can survive the entire thigh routine I feel like crying and then celebrating hahaha feel the burn!


    Janine May 5, 2012 at 12:40 am

    A. I love your blog
    B. I am happy you still like your beer
    C. Thank GOD you admit cross fit is not the end all. I don’t consider myself a hater but for those of us who are not motivated by competition, cross fit is not the fave. I’m in fear that it’s becoming way too much of Phase and that CF and paleo are becoming the new Atkins


    Julia May 5, 2012 at 1:39 am

    Haha! I work literally around the corner from that location (Bistro Du Midi! Come in, we have amazing food and 30 pages of wine!). Maybe a pre-work class could be a fun thing to try. I went there once for a massage to treat my mom, and it was impressive (though pricey. worth it.)…I loved the locker rooms and the complimentary teas, so great.


    Sharon May 5, 2012 at 1:41 am

    I so agree with the above poster. Although I do Crossfit, I am really tired of the attitude that it is the ONLY exercise worth doing. After a stress fracture and a break from CF, I really do not like the cult like attitude that many CFitters have. Cross training and trying new exercise is always a good idea.

    Thanks for being open to new ideas and not focusing totally on CF.


    Sara Hudson May 5, 2012 at 6:40 am

    Hi! I am the Mind Body Manager/Core Fusion teacher at exhale in Midtown NYC AND a Crossfitter. Next time you’re in NYC let me know. Would love for you to come as my guest for class :)


    Tina May 5, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    Thank you so much! I will definitely take you up on that offer! :)


    Hayley May 5, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    How exactly does one make a muscle “longer”?? How would muscles function properly if they were longer than the bones they are attached to?


    Lauren May 7, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    @Hayley: @Hayley: Technically, you can’t make a muscle longer. I’m pretty sure that Pilates, etc. invoke the notion of “longer” muscles in an effort to appeal to women who are afraid of “bulking up.” (I say this with no animosity, because I’m obsessed with Pilates…still, it’s a falsehood that you can somehow alter the natural length of your muscles). That said, I do find Pilates gives me the *appearance* of having longer, leaner legs, arms, etc., as I don’t experience any inflammation after completing a workout. (When I ran, for example, I experienced a lot of inflammation, which made my muscles look bulkier).


    Karen Driscoll May 6, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    Hi Since you live on South Shore you should try Secret Physique in either the Quincy or Pembroke location. There is a barre method class similar to the Exhale Core Fusion one. It is a great workout!


    Tina May 6, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    I want to!!! :)


    Lauren May 7, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    Core Fusion sounds so fun. I LOVE Pilates, yoga, and ballet barre workouts (in fact, they comprise the majority *of* my workouts), and this class sounds very intense. I swear – small, controlled movements can totally kick your ass!


    Rachel Wilkerson May 8, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    A bit late to this but just wanted to say YAY I’m so glad you tried (and liked) Core Fusion! It’s one of my favorite workouts and an awesome way to mix things up because it’s so different from CrossFit!


    Tina May 8, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    It was such an awesome workout! I can’t wait to do it again!


    Rachel @ Zesty Living June 10, 2012 at 11:37 pm

    LOVE core fusion. It truly changes & challenges your body unlike anything I’ve ever done before. The thighs & glutes class is KILLER. I think I’ve been in more pain in those hour classes than running the half marathons haha : )


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