Gym, Boot Camp, or Core Fusion?

I still can't decide whether my money is better spent at the gym within my office building (how convenient!) or at the Boot Camp near my apartment (how fun!). So I added a third option this morning: Core Fusion. Don't ask me how I managed to drag my ass out of bed at 6 a.m. this morning, especially since I was up past midnight watching I Love New York. Maybe it's because my long Thanksgiving break in the country brought me back to New York City feeling energized and motivated. Or because I used the Thanksgiving road trip as an excuse to eat a McDonald's Happy Meal and the guilt is weighing me down. More likely, though, I got up because I had added my name to the class list, the founder of Core Fusion herself was expecting me, and my introductory class was free. Either way, I got there.

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Core Fusion is taught at a spa called Exhale ExhaleSpa.com, which promotes wellness of the body and mind, emphasizes the connection between the breath and human existence, and focuses on strengthening the core. I tend to enjoy fast-paced, high-energy classes that make me sweat, and I'm often bored with classes that focus too much on clearing the mind with stretching, breathing, and chanting. Needless to say, I was worried that the class would put me to sleep, rather than kick-start my Tuesday.

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I wasn't even 10 minutes into the class when I switched my four-pound dumbbells to three-pounders. The repetition of tiny, controlled movements had me trembling. I wasn't dripping sweat, but I was shaking uncontrollably. I wasn't breathing heavily, but I had to take breaks when I felt my knees might buckle from the weight of my own body. It took all of my strength to maintain positions that didn't feel entirely natural to me, and a lot of control to maintain facial expressions that didn't scream "Orgasm!"

Sixty minutes later I was tired, sore, and completely convinced of the benefits of a core-building workout. If it had been a bunch of chanting yogis, I might have felt cheated out of a great workout. But with dumbbells, a belt, and a mat, I got an unexpected, challenging total-body workout that left me wanting more.

So the question still remains: Gym, Boot Camp, or ... Core Fusion?

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