Posts tagged Workout
Karen and Sean's Fuse Fitness Success Story!

Hi Fusers!

This month's Member Spotlight is shining down on Karen and Sean, an awesome couple who has been working out with us at Fuse since August 2012. They had been regular, hard-working 6am-ers up until early Feb. 2015 for Karen and late March 2015 for Sean, when they took a hiatus after having their first of two beautiful babies. Fast forward to June 2017, when they re-emerged.....they went from being a family of 2 to now being an absolutely adorable family of 4! 

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They started back up at Fuse doing personal training together, usually bringing in their two sweet kiddos--a smart, fun-loving toddler and a new, super cute baby boy. No complaints from the trainers at Fuse, any time we can get a baby fix we're thrilled!

Both Karen and Sean are in fantastic shape and are doing such an amazing job being positive, healthy role models for their children. Karen's core strength has improved significantly since having both of her children and her body has become very toned, with much more muscle mass. Sean's muscular endurance and core strength have really improved--gotta love TRX training! We love it that the kids get to see their parents working out and living a healthy life! And we are so happy to have Karen and Sean back working out with us!

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Here are a few words from Karen and Sean about their fitness journey and experience here at Fuse:

1) What was your reason for joining Fuse and what were your goals?

We first started going to Fuse years ago, when we were looking for challenging and exciting workouts to add to our weekly routine. For a time, we were both regulars at the 6 a.m. monkey ninja class. Sean thought he was generally fit before he started going to these classes.  He quickly realized that he was not.  He could not get through a class without taking at least one break.  And he thought, on multiple occasions, that he was going to throw up.  Karen kicked his a** every day. 

Despite the hard knocks, we kept it up even after Karen got pregnant and continued into her third trimester. But then we had the baby, and then we had another. While babies are bundles of joy, they don’t exactly make it easy to fit in some workout time.  We felt so busy during that stretch of time, and so exhausted, that going to the gym was just not a priority. We remained active, but we weren’t doing much to build and maintain strength. Our workouts tended to be more haphazard than planned. Karen, especially, felt like she had lost a lot of the strength that she had before kids. And she missed the energy and sense of accomplishment that she used to derive from exercise.

About three months after having our second child, we made an effort to build fitness back into both of our lives. As a Mother’s Day gift, Sean bought Karen a three-month personal training package, with the idea that we would do the sessions together whenever possible and that otherwise Karen would go by herself. Before you say it, Sean knows what you’re thinking.  And the answer is, “Yes, I really bought personal training sessions for my wife as a gift.”  He really thought that was a key part of what she needed to get back to feeling like her complete self.  Sean’s goals for himself include becoming a world champion CrossFit athlete or American Ninja Warrior.  He has not yet obtained either goal.  Karen’s goals were, by comparison, pretty modest. She hoped that we would get stronger and improve our fitness, but mostly was looking for a commitment device – something to ensure that we would work out, that we would work out hard, and that we would enjoy ourselves in the process. 

2)         What have been the challenges you have encountered?

Sean’s half-joking half-serious answer: “handstands.”

Karen’s answer: the physical challenges that come with having two kids in less than two years. Some parts of me feel stretched out, others feel too tight. When I’m busy chasing after kids, it’s easy to avoid thinking about those changes. Working out has made me reckon with them, and it can sometimes feel demoralizing.

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An answer that both of us agree on is that getting to the workouts, on time and ready to go, has been a big challenge. With two very young kids and no family around to help, we often ended up bringing at least one child with us to our sessions. Sometimes this worked out perfectly. The baby would sleep the whole time, oblivious to the sounds of music and slamming medicine balls! Other times, we found ourselves (with the help of our trainers who have been great!) simultaneously corralling an energetic toddler and comforting a crying baby, all while trying to get through a tough circuit of exercises.  Who knew that two-year-olds could have so much fun with TRX suspension trainers?  While that’s a rhetorical question, it turns out that Pascha and Kristin knew. 

3)         What have been your strengths/successes and what are you most proud of?

We are proud that we showed up to every session, even when the childcare piece was complicated. We also are proud of the results we’ve seen after three months – not necessarily in our appearances or weight, because we haven’t been tracking that, but in the way we feel day-to-day. We both feel stronger and more capable. We think we’re now less prone to injury and more able to keep up with our kids.  Sean can complete a class without feeling like he’s going to throw up.  And, ever the optimist, he thinks he’s well on the way to becoming a champion. 

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4)         Anything else you’d like to add…..

We think that doing personal training sessions together has been good for us as a couple, too. Right now, we still don’t do a regular date night, so working out together has been a way for us to share an experience (other than childcare) and to connect. 

 

Karen and Sean, thank you so much for sharing! We love having you guys here, we think your kids are awesome, and Sean, we definitely see becoming a champion in the near future ;)

Yours in health,

Fuse Fitness team

Why is good flexibility important?

Hi Fusers! This November, we will be focusing on flexibility at Fuse Fitness. While seemingly not everyone's favorite part of their workout, it's mighty important and many of you could really benefit from ramping it up in this department. Too many of you are frequently complaining about how tight you are and how it hurts to get up from bed in the morning.

This, my friends, is not acceptable. Get to class a little early so you don't skip out on the foam rolling. Definitely at least get to class on time so you don't miss the dynamic movements and mobility work in the warmup. And if you have to leave early, then stop a few minutes before you have to go and do your stretches!! And while you're at it, commit to going once a week to Kelly's amazing Gentle Yoga class on Monday evenings at 7:20pm, I promise, this is an absolutely wonderful way to end your day! Here's a bit more about the what and why of flexibility....

What is flexibility? In simple terms, it means the ability to bend without breaking. However, in regards to fitness and exercise, the definition isn’t quite so simple. Most of us can bend without breaking, however this does not necessarily qualify as being flexible.

7'4" semi gun Ricky Carroll surfboard with "Crystal Lip" print, #1/10

According to the Dictionary of Sport and Exercise Science and Medicine, flexibility in regards to fitness is the range of movement/motion around a joint. This range of motion is dependent upon a number of factors, including the size and shape of the bones, the ability of tendons to stretch, the condition of the ligaments, normal joint mechanics, soft tissue mobility and extensibility of the muscles.

Let me break this down so it’s easier to understand. Range of motion (ROM) is simply the distance and direction your joints can move. The more flexible you are, the better ROM you have, and thus the greater mobility you have. Good mobility is the body’s ability to move with little to no restrictions.

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Why is this a good thing? Because moving without restriction means moving without pain. And for those of us who have suffered through pain caused by tightness, poor mobility and/or decreased ROM, we now know the extreme value in working on our flexibility. Because pain is just not fun.

We’ve all noticed the ease and freedom that babies and children move with. Their little bodies are so pliable, bendy and free from restriction. How many times have we watched our kids move, and wished for the same ability to move freely? To get up and down without any strain, pain or tightness? We all have, and the older we get, the more we wish for this.

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That is because naturally, we lose flexibility as we age. Coupled with the fact that flexibility training is the most overlooked aspect of most people’s fitness routines, we're looking at some pretty tight, often painful, bodies. I get it--when you’ve only got 30 to 45 minutes to work out, who wants spend any of that precious time sitting around stretching? Afterall, isn’t the reason why we’re at the gym to combat sitting around too much? Everyone’s just trying to get the most bang for their buck with the limited time they have to exercise.

However, these things combine to create the perfect storm. Not implementing a plan to work on the decreased flexibility that naturally occurs from aging will quickly lead to pain, strains and restricted movement. Thus, it must not be skipped. So many injuries can be prevented with proper mobility and flexibility training. Some of the other benefits of flexibility training are improved posture, reduced lower back pain and increased blood flow to the soft tissues.

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Our fitness programs always include plenty of mobility and flexibility training. We have all clients foam roll prior to beginning their workout, then we take everyone through a proper warm-up of all the joints. The beginning portion of all workouts is a combination of dynamic moments and mobility exercises designed to properly loosen up the body for the programmed workout. And we finish up the workout by taking the time to stretch out everything that was used. We also encourage our clients to take our awesome weekly Gentle Yoga class with Kelly, on Monday evenings at 7:20m.

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So fellow Fusers, let's work together toward increasing our flexibility! Less strains and pulled muscles, more fluid movement that feels good. Sound good?

As always, follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Yours in health,

Kristin

Power Month!!

Hi Fusers! Last month we focused on speed, and you all did a great job! Lots of shuttle sprints, staggered sprints, fast feet, agility ladder work and a couple of track workouts thrown in for good measure--whew, you guys are getting fast!! Congrats, and keep up the great work!

This month we will be shifting our focus to power. The definition of power, simply put, is power=force and velocity. What this translates to is that power is the maximal amount of force in the shortest amount of time. Think explosive movements, such as wall ball, box jumps, and tuck jumps. Here's a quick power video we made.

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In most sports, power is extremely important. Think of a sprinter jumping off his/her block as soon as the gun shoots to go. Without power (aka extreme force in a very short time frame), it would be impossible to get moving fast and get a good start on the race. Another example is a baseball/softball player swinging his/her bat. The pitch is coming hard and fast, and the player needs to react extremely quickly and generate a lot of power in order to make contact with the ball to get a solid hit. Without explosive power, the player would never come close to hitting the ball.

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How does this relate to us, you might be wondering. Some of us may still be competing or playing sports, but many of us just have enough time to workout a few times a week. The main benefit of power training for the general population is that it teaches our nervous systems to recruit muscles quickly--think reaction speed. In the real world, reaction time and strength can be what makes or breaks you. Think about it this way, imagine you were standing, and someone comes running by and knocks into you. Your ability to generate strength quickly could be the difference between getting bumped or getting knocked down and out.

POWER TRAINING EXERCISE

If power movements are a part of your fitness program, as they should (however, power should only be trained as the client has progressed to do this safely; there needs to be a baseline of sufficient strength and balance before progressing to power moves), you are training your nervous system to be able to react quickly. Thus if you were to lose your balance for any reason, your body has a much greater chance of being able to recruit the correct muscles quickly, leading to regaining balance quickly and reducing your chance of injury.

Some fun ways to train power involve jumping, which we're going to celebrate with a Fuse field trip this month! If you haven't already signed up, we're heading to Sky High (an indoor trampoline place) Saturday, March 19 from 1:30-2:30pm--kiddos are welcome too!

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Hope to see you at Sky High for a fun afternoon of jumping!

Yours in Health,

Kristin at Fuse Fitness

"Power and Speed Be Hands and Feet"
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Good Morning Fusers and Happy Presidents Week! Last month we focused on interval training and you all did an amazing job! By the end of the month I’m sure you have noticed improvements in your strength and cardiovascular endurance.  We loved watching the progress all of you have made, so Bravo to putting in the work.

This month we have been putting you through the ringer with speed drills and sprints during classes. You have been sprinting the hill, doing staggered sprints, high skips, backwards run, lateral side shuffles, shuttle sprints, traveling high knees, fast feet, jump rope, ladder drills, boxing drills for speed and various conditioning intervals. Whoo! sounds exhausting just writing it all out.

So, why do we feel “the need for speed”?  Working on speed drills are beneficial for everyone not just runners and athletes. Depending on what your goal is speed training is great for metabolic training and increasing your ability to run or move faster and more efficiently.

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Metabolic training as you learned from our last blog is a fantastic calorie burner, creating a shock to our bodies making us more fit and strong because of the lack of oxygen and rest periods. For example, when doing stagger sprints, you have to be able to run quickly, but stop with ease to touch the line, pivot and then sprint again to the next line and back. At that moment your heart rate has increased without a rest period before sprinting to the next line, while still trying to keep up your speed and efficiency.

Moving or running quickly with efficiency is very challenging. You have to pay close attention to how your arms, legs and feet are moving, how you are breathing- and how your body’s imbalances.  There is just so much to think about. But in order to create a powerful and efficient stride that builds strength and endurance, you have to focus on these things.

Sometimes I get so tired that I feel my arms and legs flailing about like a fish out of water. In a recent running workshop I attended, we worked with an awesome speed and testing coach Nick Winkelman.  He explained to us that you should be able to run faster with less energy and feel light when you run. The trick is to zip up your core and stand in an upright position, and pretend your are sliding the heels of your feet against a wall behind you, while striking the balls of your feet downward and driving your knees forward. That’s a lot to take in and coordinate. He also said “running should look like you are taking off like a jet plane running through hot coals from a cheetah”. Get the picture?

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So for this month, I challenge you to set a specific goal for yourself, are you working on metabolic training, efficiency or both? Decide now and work on it during class or in your training sessions.  And if you are traveling, you have no excuses because I have put together a quick speed workout for you below. Don’t forget to join us for our next outdoor track workout on Saturday, February 27th at 10:45am. I expect to see many of you getting chased through hot coals by cheetahs!

Speed workout-Interval 40/10 seconds - 4 rounds

  1. Fast feet
  2. Traveling high skips
  3. Shuttle sprints
  4. Speed skaters

 

Best of luck!

Yours in Health,

Pascha at The Fuse Fitness

Fitness, fun and pets!

Hey everyone! Happy Wednesday! Mine got off to a great start with an awesome TRX Power class--way to go Beverly, Kristy, Scott, Rebecca, Susan and Pascha!

While I wasn't able to get in a video of today's class, I was busy sweating away, here's a clip from last week's same class with a few different people. Last Wednesday I was taking a rest day....I somehow have a few ribs out of alignment (wtf?!)....so I've been trying to take a bit more rest here and there. You're probably wondering the same thing I have been....how does one go about knocking multiple ribs out of alignment without falling off a roof....I'm still working on the answer to that one :)

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If you've been following my blog, you've probably started to realize that I'm a huge advocate for letting loose and having fun....all the hard work and dedication of training hard and eating healthy has to have its rewards. For me, it's about enjoying the pleasures of life while maintaining my level of fitness. However, sometimes I get carried away....this past weekend was no exception. I ended up going out to eat 4(!) nights in a row....not normal for me AT ALL. I celebrated my best friend's birthday on Friday night....here's a photo of how it went down.

Many, many margaritas :) The following 3 nights my parents were having a mini-vacation and staying in SF...and invited us to dinner 3 nights in a row. Wow, I'm one lucky girl. My parents are so much fun and we had a great weekend. Lots of food, lots of wine, lots of laughs :)

And last, I have to recap on my chronicles with my clients' pets. Here's a video of Kit....if you read my blog then you know she is having a love affair with my gym bag.

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And here is a photo of Rudy, another client's pet.

....isn't he handsome? He's so sweet and despite his size vs. my size, he always tries to sit in my lap. He's definitely not a "lap dog." I'm usually covered in dog fur by the time I leave their house...and doggy kisses :)

Hope to see you all in class soon! Please feel free to leave me a comment ;)

Yours in Health,

Kristin @ The Fuse Fitness, www.thefusefitnessstudio.com

Super Awesome Sidekicks ;)

Hi everyone :) Hope your day has been good. I wanted to share this awesome clip from my Monkey Ninja Bootcamp with you guys:

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What I love most about this video is my super awesome little sidekick, Anai. By little I mean 5 years old. By awesome I mean she had already completed Slow Flow Yoga earlier that morning, and after bootcamp went to Kung Fu. And by super I mean she's one of the funniest little girls I know. We're BFF's....we pinky swore....many times :)

While I'm in video-sharing mode here, I also have to share this amazing video. This little girl, 6 years old, has got Nicki Minaj's Super Bass down.

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Um yeah. Pretty freakin' awesome. Love her bad-ass little attitude. And her little sidekick. Who by the way is lovely, but nowhere near as super awesome as Anai. Just sayin'. ;)

So back to The Fuse Fitness....classes have been rockin' here these past couple weeks! We're so proud of all the hard work you guys have been dedicating to yourselves and to us. Nothing makes us happier than to see all your sweaty faces in class :)

And a quick reminder--we are hosting Cynthea Denise's "Jumping In Feet First" workshop this Sunday, Oct. 16th, 1:30-3:30pm. It will be a very engaging, interactive and informative workshop focusing on how the feet play a pivotal role in most things going on with the lower extremities. Cynthea will be teaching everyone various stretches, strengthening exercises, and reflexology tips to help take care of your feet. And really, we do kinda abuse our poor little feet. So come on over to our studio, The Fuse Fitness in Kensington, 377 Colusa Avenue, and learn how and why to take better care of your feet.

Yours in Health,

Kristin @ The Fuse Fitness

Yay!! The weekend is almost here!

Hi friends :) Happy very almost weekend! Isn't it funny come Monday morning it seems as though the weekend will never rear its head again....and then before you know it, it's Friday afternoon! I love hearing about everyone's plans for the weekend and love to know how you spend your down time.

As I mentioned in my last post, I'm heading out to the parents' Saturday afternoon. They only live 45 minutes away, however it seems a world of difference....at least in terms of my relaxing abilities :) My Saturdays always start with a 9am client (let's me sleep in a little bit!) and then teaching my Monkey Ninja Bootcamp over at my studio, The Fuse Fitness in Kensington. I love teaching my Saturday class! Most of the people who take it have been taking it for a long time, so I can really.kick.their.asses! Love it! And for some weird reason, they keep coming back for more :) Tomorrow's workout is already planned, and it's no joke. The kind of workout that will leave everyone laying in a sweaty puddle at the end of the hour, unable to move. And even though I am up front and honest about what kind of workout we'll be doing (HARD!!) they show up anyway! Like I said, weird, huh?

After class I clean the studio from top to bottom, getting it ready for the beginning of a new week. We close down Sundays so we can all get a bit of rest. And then I'm heading to the parents', where I will get to chill (so looking forward to that, it seems like it's been a while), maybe even by the pool (we strangely get our summer weather in September and October), take a nap, *try* to cuddle with our cat (mainly chase her around and most likely get bitten by her), and go out to dinner with my parents and husband to one of our favorite restaurants, Town. I think that name is so cute...going out for a night on the Town. Anyway, they have great cocktails(!), awesome food and the atmosphere is fun and lively. And the company is wonderful :) Sunday I will get to really sleep in (woo hoo! it's been forever) but I'll probably wake up early anyway....at least I don't have to wake up to an alarm, that always makes for a great day. And if the weather is nice and warm, which it's supposed to be, I'll head out to my parents' pool with my book and probably fall asleep in the sun :) In case you couldn't tell, Sundays are my rest days and I plan on resting to the max this Sunday!

Anyway, just wanted to wish everyone a great weekend and see what you guys have planned. Partying, working, resting, exercising? Please share!

Yours in Health,

Kristin @ The Fuse Fitness www.thefusefitnessstudio.com

One workshop down, another coming up...

Hi there! Hope your week is off to a good start. I know mine is....it's amazing what great weather can do for keeping your spirits flying high :)

We had our first workshop this past Sunday....and it was a success! Jamie Dougherty from Jamie Living (check out her website, www.jamieliving.com) put on "Eating Healthy On The Go" over here at our studio, The Fuse Fitness in Kensington. She spoke about the difference between yin (expansive) and yang (contractive) foods and the need for balance in what we eat for the best digestion. Her 6 simple steps for eating healthy on the go are to reduce caffeine, drink lots of water, eat dark leafy green veggies, increase your sweet veggies, chew your food thoroughly, and make sure to breathe. Jamie also spoke about the need to eliminate all processed foods from our diets...including dry cereals! This really shocked a lot of people....Jamie says that even healthy dry cereals, such as Kashi, are processed and should be avoided. She'd like to see everyone sticking to oatmeal (and not the pre-packaged, sugared up kind :) ) for cereal. Jamie stressed the importance of eating organic when it comes to meats and dairy--you don't want animal products that come from animals that have been pumped with hormones and antibiotics! All in all, it was quite informative and everyone enjoyed it! We'll definitely be having her back for another workshop soon!

Our next workshop, "Jumping in Feet First," is coming up Sunday October 16th, 1:30-3:30pm with the lovely Cynthea Denise! She is one of our amazing yoga instructors and you can check her out on her website, www.shaktimoon.com. Here's the info on the workshop and what it entails:

"In the Iyengar tradition of Yoga much attention is paid to the feet as the foundational support to healthy, strong and fluid standing postures.  Reflexology reveals that all of the organ systems can be effected by working with the feet.

In our day to day life we cover our feet with shoes and go about our day without paying attention to our feet unless they hurt.  In this workshop we will take a look at the anatomy and function of our lower extremities and how simple daily attention can improve the function of the feet and how this will effect the rest of our body."
You can sign up for this amazing, informative workshop on our website, www.thefusefitnessstudio.com.
Hope you enjoy the rest of your day!
Yours in Health,
The Fuse Fitness
Work Hard, Play Hard ;)

Hey everyone :) Hope you're all having a great week so far! I'm definitely enjoying this beautiful weather :) And, as of Sunday, our beloved SF Giants are on a 7 game winning streak! They're playing the Dodgers tonight, let's keep that streak up boys!

I wanted to congratulate 2 of our awesome instructors, Jennifer Lynch and Leanne Dow, for completing the totally crazy awesome Tough Mudder this past weekend! From the words of the Tough Mudder website, this race is "probably the toughest event on the planet! Tough Mudder is not your average lame-ass mud run or spirit-crushing ‘endurance’ road race. Our 10-12 mile obstacle courses are designed by British Special Forces to test all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie. Forget finish times. Simply completing a Tough Mudder is a badge of honor."  Yeah, we don't mess around over here. Way to go ladies!!!

Also, a special shout out to my friend Toné Chin, who trained his butt off to prepare for a boxing match last Sunday. The fight was part of a charitable event and the proceeds went to Alcazar Scholarship Fund, By Any Dreams Necessary, and Rocha Scholarship Fund. It was his first fight and he did awesome! And I witnessed it, he really did train hard :)

While everyone else was working their booties off last weekend, Pascha and I were on the opposite end of the spectrum. She was in Miami with all of her girlfriends, partying the nights away, and I was visiting my family (3 brothers, my nephew and my parents) in NY. We celebrated my oldest brother's birthday, and I think I can honestly say we ate and drank our ways through NY. It was a blast :)

While we are big promoters of tough workouts and training hard here at The Fuse Fitness, we do like to kick back, relax and have a great time. It's important to balance work and play ;)

What are your favorite ways to relax and have a good time? Please share!

Yours in Health,

The Fuse Fitness, www.thefusefitnessstudio.com :)

Goblet Squat, Drop it Like its Hot

Hi again! Mondays are always exciting. Of course unless you have a case of the Mondays--can't help you there :) Mondays are when we choose our food of the week and our exercise challenge of the week. Something to get you guys thinking, eating and moving healthy all week long.

This week's exercise is the Kettlebell Goblet Squat with Forward Extension, the challenge is to add 3 sets of 15 reps to your workout, 4-5 times this week. Now I have to admit, this is one of my current favorites. My clients and students can probably attest to this, as we've been working on it consistently over the last couple months or so. It's an awesome, powerful full-body movement that targets the glutes (and who doesn't want strong, toned glutes--didn't you hear, butts are all the rage these days?), legs, core and shoulders.

In case you're not sure what this exercise is, check out this brief instructional video below:

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(Hmmm....for some reason I cannot get this video to upload so it's vertical. My technological shortcomings are quickly becoming visible to the rest of the world....Anyway, you can also check this video out on our Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Fuse-Fitness/154316971264544.)

Hope you enjoy this challenge! Let us know how it goes!

Yours in Health,

The Fuse Fitness