Friday, July 15, 2011

Core Fusion Bootcamp at Exhale Spa: A Review

I have come to the end of my two-week unlimited class Exhale Spa certificate and I must say it has been fun. I tried a whole new bunch of classes, spent copious amounts of time in the spa-like changing rooms and met a new workout buddy (Hi Cameo!).

The final Exhale class that I will be reviewing is it's newest (it debuted last month), Core Fusion Bootcamp.

This class is described as "combining signature moves from all the core classes to present you with the ultimate strength and cardio challenge, which also includes a full 15 minutes of ab work."

I went down to the uber-stylish Gansevoort Hotel location of Exhale Spa down in the Meatpacking district to take this class. I was surprised to see the number of people in class considering it was the evening of July 4th! A lot of people were, like me, taking the class for the first time. Not surprising since the class is so new. Our instructor (Micaela) told us the format of the class. This class takes elements from Core Fusion Yoga, Core Fusion Sport and Core Fusion Cardio. The props we would be using would include: a yoga mat, a medicine (weighted core) ball, a smaller playground ball, one heavy hand weight, and a set of lighter hand weights.


The class started off with stretching and then the first part of the class consisted of sun salutations that progressively became faster; a mini-version of Core Fusion Yoga. The next section was the Core Fusion Sport-inspired set which involved doing jumpbacks while holding the medicine ball, along with one-handed push-ups with the other hand holding onto the core medicine ball. This portion also involved maintaining chair pose while holding onto one heavy weight as well as lunges performed while holding the medicine ball. As I have described in my review of Core Fusion Sport, the jumpbacks and lunges are done at a slow pace.

The third section, the Core Fusion Cardio-inspired set involved a dynamic arm series, with lots of punching movements done while holding onto the light set of hand weights, followed by a set of 64 mountain climbers. The last 15 minutes were spent on the floor doing abdominal work while in a curl. In this section we held the playground ball between our thighs for added inner thigh work and held the light weights for additional resistance.


The Good:
1. The class: It flows very well. Even though there are three different segments from three different classes it does not feel disjointed.

2. The music: Like all of the Core Fusion class I have been at the music is excellent. I want to know who is responsible for choosing it!

The Not-so-Good:
1. The class: The class is not a "bootcamp" if that is what you are looking for. While it is still a good workout, with a good amount of strength training, the burn is more a yoga-burn. Also, I would have loved the Core Fusion Cardio segment to be longer as it is my favorite of the Core Fusion classes.

Truth be told, I was disappointed with this class. When the word "Bootcamp" is attached to a class' name, I expect to have my butt kicked and to be working at my maximum capacity. I did not feel that way in this class. I did get a workout but what I felt was similar to how I feel after taking a challenging yoga class. I did feel my thighs work when I held the chair pose, my upper arms when I was doing the dynamic arm series and my abs when I was on the floor in curl.  But I was able to do it comfortably, not breaking into too much of a sweat, The class is heavily inspired by Core Fusion Sport, a class which I found too slow for my fitness style. Had it been called something like "Core Fusion Yoga/Sport" (or something a little more inspired along those lines!) I may have enjoyed this class more because I would have gone in with different expectations.