In January, Fusion: HEART.MUSCLE.MIND, opened on the corner of Samson and 12th Street. Throughout 2007, I have noticed everything going fusion! I shave my head with a Fusion Phantom Power razor and love it, I have enjoyed fusion cuisine for years, the Fusion is the hottest new car from Ford and last week at the “7-Eleven” I was surprised to see that they offered “Fusion Coffee” combining herbal supplements with your favorite coffee. So what is fusion and why is it so HOT, HOT, HOT right now?
The basic concept of Fusion in exercise is to combine the three basic components of fitness: cardio, strength, and flexibility in one, coached workout. Fusion courses have been offered in clubs around the country for a few years, and have been really hot out on the West coast. In order to find out more about the local offerings, I went to the Philadelphia source and participated in a week of classes at Fusion owned by Gavin McKay and participated in a week of “Fusion Fit” courses at 12th Street gym.
Fusion offered an amazing facility with such attention to detail. The equipment was very nice, the space was huge and the facilitators were excellent. Most classes followed the same basic format described above. We began in the cardio room and Gavin coached and motivated the group through a 30 minute cardio workout that on its own had us all dripping in sweat and ready for a break. But that was only the beginning; we then went over to the studio and grabbed several dumbbells, weight bars, and steppers. The space was large and mirrored all around to allow great view of your form (and other’s as well).
The weight training workout was creative and intense. Individuals are able to modify the exercises to challenge themselves and the instructor’s intensity and motivation kept everyone working hard. The final portion of the workout was a yoga session designed to stretch and cool down the body.
During each section of the workout, the colors of the room, the color of the lighting, and the music were adapted to compliment the emotional state required to achieve peak performance. With hot reds and oranges used with upbeat music during the cardio and weight training shifting to blues and greens with calming music for the yoga and stretching. This was part of what made the actual fusion studio a wholistic and full mind, body, spirit experience. Even the final moments of the workout engaged the sense of smell with an orange essence massage lotion applied to the neck and shoulders of participants interested in receiving the instructor’s healing touch (and you would be a fool to not.)
Marcus, an amazing stylist from Lion’s Mane, has been a regular participant for over 3 weeks when I visited and said that “the workouts get harder each time” and he loves it. I recently sent one of my clients down to Marcus and he did a great job, give him a call, back to Fusion.
The sessions at 12th Street gym followed a similar format. The Fusion Fit Studio is a nice space lined with stationary bikes and a tread mills. Some of the coaches were incredible and really got to know the clients and several seemed to be regulars as well. Each of the 12th Street courses had a slightly different twist to it and individual instructors seem to have the freedom of developing the course to their strengths, so be sure to try several instructors. The weight training session took place in the same room and the equipment was simple and a little limited but it got the job done. The workout the Jaime Morales took us through was great! The stretching at the end was much shorter and focused on basic stretching rather than a full 30 minute yoga routine.
My only criticism of both Fusion courses is that participants are not sure what body part is going to be targeted. Unfortunately, I did quads the day before one of my courses and the course focused on quads and shoulders. For those who plan out their workout, not knowing what is coming can be a challenge.
Bottom line: The facilities were different, the style and content were unique but both gave me a good workout. If you have never been to Fusion, they are usually running a special to try out a week for free, contact them today and give it a shot. If you are a member of 12th Street Gym, Fusion Fit Courses are included with your membership, you just need to go. Try out both and find out for yourself, the only mistake you can make is by not going!