Address: 3 locations: Mission Farms, Overland Park, Corbin Park
Avg. length: 45min to 1hr
Drop in rate: $15
WTFartlek Sweat Scale: 10 out of 10
Best for: Cardio + Toning
Fusion Fitness isn’t new to town. The fitness studio has been around since 2008. There is a reason it has grown to include two additional locations – they offer some of the hardest workout classes in the Midwest and they have grown quite the community of Fusionistas. Girls that go to Fusion are loyal fans and rightfully so. The atmosphere can be intimidating at first but at the core it is fun and encouraging. The instructors want you to look and feel your best! (Stick with it and you will.)
Darby Brender is the creator and owner of the Fusion community. Fusion is all about pushing past your comfort zone and challenging yourself. For the most part, Fusion is a fast paced, high intensity environment. You might only use 1 or 2lb weights or that little green band but don’t expect to put those puppies down. You’ll feel the burn – trust me!
Fusion is for everyone. It is crazy hard but in a crazy good way. They offer uplifting Weight Loss Boot Camps, 30 in 30 challenges, and AmpCamp programs to get their clients on the right track so they can meet their fitness goals. I’m a runner, I can run 13+ miles but Fusion takes my cardio endurance to an entirely different level. It has helped me feel faster and stronger on the trail. I prefer to run solo so this makes my workout fun and social – a fitness social hour if you will.
I live conveniently by all three locations so I have the luxury of hoping around to all of them! Here are my top picks:
Fusion Mix: This class combines a little bit of everything – cardio, classic Fusion, barre and a touch of boot camp. This sculpting session will keep your heart rate up. For whatever reason, I always find this class to be the most challenging for me. Maybe because of the ballet/dancer-ish type moves that are incorporated. Shoes are optional in this class, most go barefoot but I like to wear my Nike Studio wraps for grip.
Bikini Boot Camp: This is one of my fave Fusion classes. For purposes of this post, I went to Gerilyn’s class and Darby’s class. Gerilyn was a sorority sister and I’ve always loved her vibe. She’s a new addition to the Fusion crew and I highly recommend her. This is Fusion’s version of boot camp. Expect 30 minutes of heart-pumping punching and kicking during the beginning of class. I consider this the cardio portion. Followed by 30 minutes of technique driven body sculpting moves that target arms, legs, buns and abs.
Sweat Lab: This class is designed to torch fat and tone your muscles. It combines Fusion faves for one sweaty workout. 1/4 Bikini Boot Camp, 1/4 Fusion Mix, 1/4 HIIT (high intensity interval training), and 1/4 Fusion. My class with Becca was super high energy. We did a lot of kicking, jumping (plyometrics), punching and burpees. She continuously switched out weights for a green band, which I liked. None of the combinations were too difficult or confusing. You can tell she’s very technique driven, which is always helpful!
Hustle HIIT: I liked Gerilyn’s teaching style so much I came back for seconds! This high intensity interval workout has you hustling your way through 4 minute body blocks – cardio + toning. HIIT in general is all the rage lately. This training technique has you going all-out, through quick and intense bursts of exercise, followed by short active recovery periods. This type of workout keeps your heart rate up and burns more fat in less time – hence why the class is only 45 minutes. Not only do you typically burn more calories during a HIIT workout but you also burn more fat and calories in the 24 hours after a HIIT workout than you do after a steady workout or run.
Tabata + Toning: Tabata training is a type of high intensity interval training that follows a regimented format. Typically this consists of 20 seconds of very high intensity exercise followed by 10 seconds of recovery exercise. This is a one hour class mixing 6 rounds of tabatas with 10 second body toning intervals. Tabata is really straight forward. The moves aren’t crazy but if you aren’t that coordinated don’t worry, you repeat stuff so if you don’t get it the first time around you will the next round! For Darby’s class (she plays awesome tunes) we used several props; small purple ball, green band, gliders, and 2lb weights. Gliders are the the best/worst thing ever. It hurts so good!
Cardio Core: I love that this class is only 45 minutes! Class begins with 30 minutes of bikini boot camp and wraps up with 15 minutes of abs. Gliders usually make a guest appearance but the class I recently took with Katie M. used only hand weights and body weight. Because the class is short, expect to go “all out” for the entire class. If you’re a cardio junkie like me, you’ll dig it.
Restorative Yoga: I’m super biased because Paige is one of my very bests. I’ve known her since high school and adore that she’s following her passion and sharing her practice. Restorative yoga uses various props to allow you to stay in poses for a long time without any discomfort, stress or strain. Compared to most yoga practices, restorative is slow and requires more attention and receptiveness. Restorative compliments an active lifestyle and helps one reach optimal alignment. It regenerates both the body and mind. It is great for an “off day” to help you recharge, work on your sore muscles and flexibility. It can even help prevent injury. Paige’s class is super relaxing and totally worth adding to your schedule.
WTF tips: 1. Plan ahead, classes get full quickly 2. If you can get on the wait list it usually works out 3. If you have the first class of the day, get there plenty early to save your spot. If you’re after a class, 5-10 minutes before is perfect. 4. BYOM – bring your own mat 5. You’ll sweat in all the places – bring a towel! Your towel also comes in handy to cover your step, which can scuff up your hands. 6. It isn’t your imagination, it gets quite toasty during class 7. Your ponytail will get caught in that green band, opt for the top bun. 8. Check their Facebook page for events and promo codes 9. If you can’t leave the house, shock your body on demand. 10. Stay tuned for my feature on Fusion Fly…