Showing posts with label exhale spa. Show all posts
Showing posts with label exhale spa. Show all posts
Monday, December 22, 2014

Exhale Core Fusion Barre Basic Class Review: It Never Gets Easier

Exhale Core Fusion Classes,
Image via exhale spa
After an indulgent trip to Paris where, as usual, I lost weight living on cheese, chocolate and wine (granted I did walk about eight miles a day and eat small portions) it was time to return to the gym. I had done some light weightlifting on my own but nothing too regimented. This past Saturday I took one of exhale's Core Fusion Barre Basic classes, my 56th of the year but first in a few weeks. I felt like I was taking it for the very first time.

Core Fusion Barre Basic may sound like an easier version of an Open class. That couldn't be further from the truth. The movements are targeted, tiny and effective. Each time I take one of these classes, it is challenging. I was sore the next day, in a good way. In fact after Saturday's class, I am still sore on Monday.

Core Fusion Barre Basic Movements
In Core Fusion Barre Basic, you will do movements for both the upper and lower body with an emphasis on glutes and thighs. You will use a combination of light weights as well as your own body weight.

After a three to five minute warmup, you will spend about seven to 10 minutes doing a variety of weighted movements for your arms, shoulders and back with a quick set of pushups thrown in. The movements are rapid and deliver a good burn, despite the light weight.

Exhale Core Fusion Basic Review, exhale core fusion basic class
Lower body movements for Core Fusion Basic

You will focus on your lower body for the next 30 minutes. You will spend roughly 15 minutes on your thighs and 15 minutes on your bootie. You will do pliƩ squats, leg lefts and circles on a ballet bar and, sometimes, on a floor mat. The movements are tough and ALWAYS make my legs shake.

For the last 15 minutes, you will focus on your abs after a quick set of bar pullups. The ab work combines rollups, planks, leg lifts and extensions. For me, the ab work rarely burns in class but I usually feel it the next day.

You always finish with a good stretch, something I love. I could spend an extra 15 minutes stretching at the end of class. I feel like that's something I always need.

There is not a heart-pumping cardiovascular component to this 60-minute class like there is in exhale's Core Fusion Cardio Barre class (read my review HERE). Taking that into account, I rarely feel like I need to do cardio on days when I do a Core Fusion Barre Basic class. I consider it "enough" of a workout.

The Gear
You can wear pretty much anything to Core Fusion classes. I recommend yoga pants/leggings simply because shorts tend you leave you a little, um, exposed. Grip socks are mandatory to keep you from slipping on the wooden floor.

The Takeaway
exhale's Core Fusion classes are never routine. The class size is small enough that the instructor can deliver individual attention to you. Sometimes you love it because it helps you perform a movement properly. Most times, candidly, I hate it because it makes the movement infinitely more difficult. That's what you want, though, because these classes deliver results. The movements target those tiny muscles which truly give your body a lift in the areas that need it.

Core Fusion classes are always a challenge, no matter how experienced you are with this type of exercise. That's a good thing.

Shop Fitness Gear

Friday, June 6, 2014

An Interview With Exhale Co-Founder Fred DeVito: Why Core Fusion & Barre Classes Are Great For Men

One of the best Father's Day gifts you can give your favorite dad is one that will make him a healthier man.

exhale, core fusion, dallas, barre class
exhale's Core Fusion class
I have become addicted to exhale's Core Fusion Barre classes Dallas' Hotel Palomar.  They do a better job of lifting my booty than just about anything else.  There are a few men who take the classes but not many.  I contend guys should consider these workouts for two reasons:
  1. It's a phenomenal way to strengthen your entire body, particularly your core, while gaining flexibility.  
  2. It's a great way to meet girls!  The girl to guy ratio is usually 10:1.  That's why I am dragging my 27-year old brother with me.  True story: one NBA player told me "If you want to meet the hotties you gotta take pilates." Wise words.  I digress.  
Exhale Core Fusion classes were co-created by Fred DeVito.  He and his wife, Elisabeth Halfpapp, are the athletic brains behind the program that is a true gamechanger.

exhale spa, Fred DeVito, barre class, dallas exhale spa class
me and exhale co-founder, Fred Devito

During his May visit to Dallas, he shared the benefits of barre and Core Fusion classes for men with me prior to teaching a booty-kicking Core Fusion Barre class.

"We focus on things in our class that men don't focus on: flexibility and core strength," Devito said.  "Men focus on cardio and weights.  They’re good at that."

"The philosophy is that you’re only as strong as your weakest link in a chain.  If you strengthen the weakest links in your body, your entire fitness level will improve.  You’ll reduce the risk of injuries.  You’ll perform better, look better and feel better."  

"To get there it takes dedication, consistency and commitment.  You gotta work your butt off and you have to allow some time to see results and that’s difficult." 

DeVito suggests signing up the father or sig-o in your life for a class you're not taking. 

"Men don’t want to be in the situation where they’re looking stupid," he admits. 

"Get him to a class you’re not taking because then he’s not worrying about what you're thinking about him."

That's smart.  I'm trying to get not only my brother but also my husband to join me.  I know I'll give them crap for looking awkward while trying to master the moves.  

The Takeaway
In all seriousness, a series of classes, gym membership or session with a personal trainer is a great gift for the man in your life.  Whether he's looking for a change of pace or starting a program, he'll notice an enormous gain in strength, flexibility and stamina by taking these types of classes.

Click here for the latest exhale Dallas class schedule.

Core Fusion Extreme
As for what's next for exhale, they will be rolling out Core Fusion Extreme, a high intensity interval training class in a few weeks.

Image via

"It incorporates station work where they will be five stations.  You’ll rotate around and do 45 seconds of each exercise multiple times. It is a kick ass class.  When you’re done with the stations there’s center core work for balance and stability."

It's a one-hour class that will feature TREX suspension training, plyometrics, heavy weights and sliders.

"It’s all based on our core fusion principles and on working with correct form.  A lot of classes are about speed (i.e. how many reps can you do in 45 seconds).  We’d rather you pace yourself and work correctly so you don’t get hurt and build your endurance and stamina."

Don't have an exhale near you?  You can exercise with one of their DVDs.

Scroll through the selection below to learn more. 

*exhale provides classes on a complimentary basis.  Opinions expressed here are my own. 
Wednesday, February 5, 2014

What to Wear to the Gym, Polar Vortex Edition

If you follow this blog with any regularity you know that I am a recovering fashion victim when it comes to the gym.

The thing is, I don't want to spent a fortune on gym clothes!  I'd rather invest in classic, timeless clothes for work or the weekend.  But after having a come to Jesus with myself after being fashion-shamed in yoga last month, I have resolved to look like a gym slob no more.

The cold weather, and my newfound affinity for yoga, has me searching for affordable pants and tops to wear to the gym AND running errands.

Target has some KILLER ones.

C9 by Champion Premium Skinny Pant
C9 by Champion Premium Skinny Pant
I picked up this exact pair of C9 by Champion Premium Skinny Pant this weekend.  They are gathered at the ankle and fit pretty tight.  The thing is, they're so slimming.  I felt like my booty had shrunk wearing these!

C9 by Champion Pullover
C9 by Champion Pullover
These C9 by Champion pullovers are a cute, warm top to pair with the pants.  They come in a variety of colors.
C9 by Champion Cowl Neck Layered Tank
C9 by Champion Cowl Neck Layered Tank
If you are looking for a tank top to work with the pants, these cowl neck layered tanks with a built-in bra are perfect.

C9 by Champion Women's Yoga French Terry Layering Top
C9 by Champion Women's Yoga French Terry Layering Top
I'm also really digging this Yoga French Terry Layering Top.  So great for throwing over a tank top to keep you warm.

Get the Goods

Put Those Fashions in Action
Interested in hitting the gym?  Exhale Spa has a Love Your Body Workshop Series (who doesn't need to love ourselves a bit more?). 

Love Your Butt: This 30 minute butt-burning workshop will help lift and sculpt your backside with a variety of glute-focused exercises.

Love Your Arms: In 30 minutes the focus will be defining and strengthening your arms.

When: Love Your Butt- Saturday, February 8 at 1:15pm | Love Your Arms- Saturday, February 8 at 1:45pm

Pricing: $15 members and $17 non members each session.

Sign up here.

Thanks for Reading! 

Follow on Bloglovin
Friday, January 24, 2014

Confession of a Fitness Fashion Victim

Do you worry about how you look when you work out?  I don't.  You don't either, right?

Turns out, we're in the minority.  Many women equate the yoga studio or pilates class as a bamboo-covered runway to show off their latest workout fashion finds.

Don't believe me?  The popularity of Lululemon and Nike activewear is so lucrative that other fashion designers are getting into fashion/fitness game.  Tory Burch wants to do a golf line while H&M is launching its H&M Sport line.

I realized I was the fitness fashion victim during a yoga class at exhale recently.  I was wearing tattered, 7-year old leggings from Target and an old Texas Rangers t-shirt I had scored during a Rangers/Astros series in 2012. Frankly, working in sports I score so many free t-shirts that I didn't buy workout clothes.

The offensive T-shirt
That is changing.  During this particular class, I felt like I was wearing a plaid shirt and Doc Martens amidst couture clad yogis.

I always equated workout wear as an unnecessary expense, thinking my shorts and t-shirts would do just fine.  I'm wrong.  There is also some functionality to activewear.  Shirts with a banded waist won't ride up and expose my stomach while I'm trying to do a headstand.  Longer pants can help with crow pose to keep sweaty legs from slipping on my forearms.

After doing some legwork, I found adorable and affordable activewear options:

C9 by Champion women's mesh cami tank
C9 by Champion Women's Mesh Cami Tank
I bought this cami tank top at Target and LOVE it.  It doesn't expose my stomach when I am doing crazy yoga poses and the built-in bra is pretty supportive.  Double bonus?  It's only $18.39! 

C9 by Champion Reversible Capri Tight
C9 by Champion Reversible Capri Tight
C9 by Champion offers some adorable tights that are reversible.  It's like two pairs of leggings in one.

Nike Principle 2.0 Dry-fit Jacket
Nike Principle 2.0 Dry-Fit Jacket
Over the years, I have accumulated a nice collection of Nike jackets.  These have a fashionable slim fit and do a good job of keeping you warm.  I have had this pink one going on five years.  It has withstood numerous long runs AND bad t-shirts.  At $58.50, it's a worthwhile investment.

AND you can support a team you love while working out or running around town and look fashionable in the process.  Look at what I found:

Texas Rangers workout hoodie

Dallas Cowboys Fleece Shorts 

I'm still on the hunt for cute Stars & Mavs workout gear.  If you find some, please let me know! 
Thursday, January 9, 2014

Exhale Spa's Core Fusion Cardio Barre Class Review

How many calories burned in core fusion class
exhale spa co-founder Elisabeth Halfpapp, center

What is Core Fusion Cardio Barre? 

Exhale core fusion cardio barre review,
The cardio portion of Core Fusion Cardio Barre

It is a one-hour strengthening and fat-burning class that sculpts your muscles and gets your heart rate up. It was created for the busy person who wants to get a full body toning and cardiovascular workout simultaneously.

The class begins with 30 minutes of exhale's signature plank runs and other heart-pumping moves followed by a short recovery period.  After the cardio session comes full-body toning moves with light weights, as well as your own body weight.  The toning portion incorporates yoga moves and has dance influences.

Friends, it's a workout.  There were moments during the hour-long class that my legs were shaking, my heart was racing and I was praying for strength.  Those are all good things, though.   It has helped me rediscover tiny muscles I didn't know I had.  The feeling you get from working those minuscule muscles is uniquely different than lifting heavy weights.  It's an overall sense of having worked, in a good way.

The class ends with a solid stretch, something many of us sacrifice for the sake of time.

"The really important part is stretching at the end," exhale co-founder Elisabeth Halfpapp told me.  "We work really intense and we want to have the strength and flexibility component as well as the cardio and strengthening."

What's the Burn Factor? 
I know a lot of us are about the numbers.  How many calories do we torch in this class?

"We had Self magazine track the burn for us," Halfpapp told me after I took her class in December.  "On average it's 375 calories per hour, give a little bit, depending on body weight and your BMI (body mass index)."   

"What's amazing is that you're not only burning calories in class but because we're gaining muscle density, it (muscle density) needs more calories to function and you're burning more calories at rest." 

The Takeaway 
Cardio Fusion Cardio Barre is a challenge.  While I was completely spent after the class, I wasn't terribly sore the next day.  This class can transform your physique using your own body weight or lighter hand weights which can result in that lean, sinewy look.  Do it consistently and certain body parts will get that desired "lift" scalpel needed.


*Classes were offered on a complimentary basis for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own and based on my experience. For more information, please visit