It’s not every day that a workout knocks me on my butt. But this one did and I kind of liked it! Today I’m bringing you a review of one of the most high-energy, effective, versatile workout series I’ve ever done. Enter Fusion Fitness Dream Body Cardio Series. This 5-DVD set will torch calories, leave you dripping with sweat and have you feeling like you’re on top of the world.
Need a challenge? Looking for something new to add to your workout mix? This is it.
Fusion Fitness Dream Body workout reviews
My regular readers know I’m a frequent gym-goer but sometimes you don’t have time to hit the gym. Or maybe you don’t even belong to a gym and enjoy working out in the comfort of your own home. Looking for a challenge? Fusion Fitness Dream Body Cardio Series is an excellent addition to anyone’s home fitness DVD lineup and here’s my detailed review of what it is and why it might be right for you.
To give you a bit of background, I like to push myself. I don’t work out to mindlessly go through the motions (most of the time) and pushing my physical limits is a challenge I’m up for (just not in the heat, that’s not cool ever). I’ve done all kinds of difficult workouts over the years with the harder hitting cardio ones being Insanity and BODYATTACK. The Fusion Fitness Dream Body Cardio Series ranks right up there with them and is no joke. But it won’t just challenge your cardio fitness.
So let’s get to it…
Overview of Fusion Fitness Dream Body Cardio Series
The 5-disc set is fun and innovative with many moves I’d never seen before and you won’t get bored. What I liked about the Fusion Fitness series is that the workouts challenged me in a variety of ways. It wasn’t just a pound-it-out cardio workout like Insanity that focused on your cardio fitness that I could mentally push myself through. It wasn’t just about resistance work with the band or weights where if you’re really strong you can just hammer it out until the end. It blended cardio work with balance and resistance all in one so if you’re really strong in one aspect of fitness, these DVDs will force you to work on your weak points.
I found my muscles getting tired from the resistance work but still having to really focus and mentally commit to continue doing the cardio part and make it until the end. The format was exciting and you will see results.
In each DVD, the main instructor takes you through the workout with two others behind her — one doing the advanced moves and one doing modifications.
Equipment: You’ll use a combo of light weights, a resistance band, ball and paper plates. If you don’t have these things, you can use two soup cans or water bottles if you don’t have light weights and a pillow in place of a ball. If you don’t have paper plates, use a glossy piece of junk mail instead. The resistance band is important though and I’d recommend you use that when noted although I’ve heard a pair of old pantyhose will do the trick in a pinch.
Music: Option to play with the built-in music track or on silent if you prefer your own music. The backing music was pleasant and wasn’t a distraction for me at all.
Price: $129.99 via Amazon
Who Fusion Fitness Dream Body is for:
This set is challenging. As someone who works out often (with a few days of intense workouts each week), I have to admit that I would often drop down to the modifications or take a breather for the last couple of counts of each move on a couple of these DVDs. I’d only do these workouts on days when I felt motivated and energized because I knew I’d need to be in the right mindset to get through it. Not for the lazy days when you’re feeling tired!
This set is for the very fit — I might even say advanced — exerciser. You will be pushed to your limits while working up an intense sweat. The box set is for those looking for an intense, energetic workout that forces you to dig in. That’s not to say it’s off limits for a beginner but I feel someone new to exercise might not get the most out of the workout if they aren’t familiar with proper form or would end up discouraged because they’re falling behind and not able to do exactly what the instructor is doing at the same pace.
Let’s take a look at each of the 5 discs:
Disc 1: M.I.L.F. (Max Interval Laced with Fusion)
What it is: The first 30 minutes focus on cardio intervals that will ramp up in intensity while decreasing in length (from 1 minute down to 15 seconds). You’ll work through this sequence three times. The second 30 minutes are all about resistance work and will leave your muscles screaming. You’ll use light weights, a band and paper plates.
My thoughts: The cardio intervals are no joke here and aren’t traditional cardio moves but innovative full-body moves with quick transitions that will take you from standing, to a plank position, to band work and more without skipping a beat. Your heart rate is up the whole time and you’re working muscles you didn’t even know you had. I was more than happy to modify a couple of these and was kind of wishing we could just jog in place or do jumping jacks. But nope — the intensity stayed up! The second half used the band almost the whole time and you’ll definitely have to dig in to finish.
Disc 2: inTENse
What it is: The name of this should clue you in that you’re in for a major challenge. Here you’ll work through six (10-minute) segments alternating between cardio, arms and abs. Each muscle group will be thoroughly fatigued and you’ll be so proud of yourself when you reach the end. You’ll use light weights, a ball, a band and paper plates.
My thoughts: If you want time to breathe, you’ll have to pause the DVD because this one absolutely lives up to its name and has you going hard from start to finish. Many of the moves (even the woman doing the modified moves) are quite advanced here and might frustrate a beginner. The pace is quite intense — almost frantic — and the band work toward the end will leave your arms burning.
Disc 3: Bikini Bootcamp
What it is: You’ll focus on cardio and abs in Bikini Bootcamp and incorporate kickboxing moves with the resistance band. Your arms will be feeling it and your cardio will keep the calorie burn up and the sweat pouring down your face.
My thoughts: WOW this one was tough. I loved the band work — instead of using it in a loop which is more common with lower body exercises, a lot of the moves incorporated the band unknotted for upper body work. You can ramp up the resistance by getting a tighter hold on the band or loosening up to give it some slack when it starts getting tough. Again the moves are fast and you will definitely feel the burn.
Disc 4: Fusion 50
What it is: A 50-minute workout that will take you through a cardio sequence followed by a real burner that will light your glutes, hamstrings and arms on fire in just 15 minutes. You’ll use light weights, a resistance band, paper plates and a ball.
My thoughts: Out of all the discs, I think I enjoyed this one the most. The moves played to my strengths and I felt like I was more motivated to push through it until the end. That’s not to say it was easy by any means. Even after the cardio, I still had sweat dripping off my nose during the sculpting part of the DVD and had to dig in (loved the one-legged band tricep work while holding the ball with your leg. Killer!). Fusion 50 is still extremely challenging but in a doable, fight-to-the-finish kind of way.
Disc 5: Bata Barre
What it is: This workout will take you through 30 minutes of calorie-torching tabata intervals and then 30 minutes of ballet barre (that is some of the hardest barre work I’ve done). You’ll need light weights, a band, ball and paper plates.
My thoughts: Sometimes workouts are hard and leave you feeling challenged but confident you can finish strong without giving up. This workout had me questioning whether I’d make it more than once. No lie. This was HARD. But I made it and felt really good at the end. I did take a few little breaks here and there but it’s what I needed to finish strong.
Tom thought it would be funny to snap a few pics of me trying not to die.
What the Fusion Fitness Dream Body DVDs do really well:
Professional, easy-to-follow format. Excellent quality video that’s bright and crisp with non-distracting backup music and instructors that will motivate you.
Motivate you to really work to your limits. Again, these DVDs are not for the faint of heart and the exercises will challenge your level of fitness: either cardio, strength, balance, endurance or a combo. The instructors are fit and energetic and do the moves with you.
Introducing a variety of moves so you don’t get bored. Many of the moves were new to me and were fun to do. While they mix in more traditional moves like jumping jacks and burpees here and there, everything is mixed in so the workout remains fun and you’re guessing as to what will be next. You never do any one move long enough to the point of getting bored. The format of the workout moves fast so the time passes quickly.
Innovative exercises. Many of the moves were so cool! Using a band or a paper plate (to slide with) really challenges your muscles in new ways and I found myself really enjoying the creativity of the workout.
Excellent counting down. For me, I like to know how much time is left for each move. It’s a mental thing, so if there are 10 seconds left, I know I can push myself to finish strong. The instructors do a great job at letting us know how much longer we have to go before we change and I found that really helpful.
What the Fusion Fitness Dream Body DVDs can improve on:
Focusing more on modifications. While low-impact modifications were given for many of the moves and one of the instructors demonstrated them throughout, the main instructor quickly pointed out the modifications and then moved on. To make the DVDs more accessible to all levels of exercisers so newbies don’t get discouraged, it might be helpful to say a little more about the modifications or give an alternative option for those who find even the modifications challenging.
More guidance on form. The workout is fast-paced and if you’re new to exercising, you may not know the proper technique for a plank or a punch, for example. It’s also why I say this set is geared toward the more experienced exerciser. It might be beneficial for the instructor to focus more on form to ensure that the folks at home are performing each move correctly.
Model the next exercise in advance. Many times, I found myself standing there for the first count or two of a new move as I tried to follow what the instructor was doing. It might be helpful for the instructor to cue the next move a few counts before the current one is up or model it quickly. Something as simple as, “Get ready in 4 to go down to the mat” or “Keep going, you have 10 seconds, get ready for high knees with arm raises (model move) next. Here we go…” That way we’d know exactly what was coming and could join in immediately without watching for a few counts to get the move right (although I needed the mini-break a lot of the time!).
Add in a short warmup. The DVDs get started right away without a quick overview of what’s to come or a warmup. For me, a warmup helps me to mentally get ready for the workout and there weren’t any warmups here. Even with really tough workouts, the warmup not only gets my body ready but helps prepare my mind for what’s to come. The “hard” parts seem more bearable when they aren’t right out of the gate. Make sure you’re warm before you start!
Fusion Fitness Dream Body Cardio Series is an extremely well-rounded, challenging workout series that will whip your butt (and entire body) into shape, provide variety for those who are in a rut or just want a change. The DVDs are innovative, professionally filmed, and most of all, FUN! Highly recommended.