The Firm: Hard Core Fusion

Hard Core Fusion is part of The Firm‘s CardioWeight System and it’s led by trainer Allie Del Rio. This workout is available on its own but when I got it, it came with 3 other workouts: Cardio Overdrive, Hi-Def Sculpt and Cardio Party. The CardioWeight System is a collection of workouts that came with a pretty cool dumbbells set. It had inter-changable/screw-on bells and weighted bars. I still use those weights but I keep them at 4 and 7 pound pairs.

I remember this was not my favorite Allie Del Rio workout. Not because it was a bad workout, but because I missed the step equipment (Fanny Lifter, TransFirmer, Firm Box). I felt like my lower body wasn’t getting worked as well. I also think I was doing these workouts using only the CardioWeights, which aren’t very heavy, so naturally I wasn’t getting as good of a workout (but I’m not sure… it was a long time ago). This morning I used appropriate dumbbell weights and I felt like I got a pretty good workout. I liked the workout a lot, too. Not the best Firm cardio + strength workout, but a solid one that hits every muscle. The cardio isn’t super intense but it it got my heart rate into the high cardio zone and was fun. Except Circuit 8, that is. That was one of Allie’s low intensity/low impact dancy cardio circuits. That was my least favorite in the entire workout. Another bonus to this workout is there is enough time between most (not all) exercises to swap out weights. Overall, I found this another great Firm total body cardio + strength workout.

This also has an Express premix that is 35:30 minutes and includes the warm up, circuits 1-4, circuit 9 and stretch.

Hard Core Fusion is 57 minutes; 1 minute intro, 5 minute warm up and 5 minute stretch (stretch includes the plank holds at the end of circuit 9–#9 & 10). Equipment: dumbbells. The weights listed below are what I used. Allie and crew used CardioWeights only. There is a beginner modifier.

Circuit 1:

  1. Squats (20# DBs)
  2. Back row; changes to alternating single arm rows (20# DBs)
  3. Wide plie squats; add raising one heel (20# DBs)
  4. Alternating reverse lunge (when in lunge position hold for 3 counts); add scooping both arms forward while in lunge then lowering and raising one arm while holding lunge, drop both arms when returning to standing; changes to alternating arms while holding lunge (8# DBs)
  5. Hold both DBs in one hand and do one arm hammer curls; separate DBs and do alternating hammer curls; combine both DBs in other hand and do one arm hammer curls (8# DBs)
  6. Alternating side lunges; add tricep kickbacks (8# DBs)

Circuit 2: step out then forward then back out and in, alternate legs; changes too hopping feet out then cross-jacking them in then hopping them back out; forward lunge w/ a torso twist; lunge forward then kick forward landing back in lunge then stand, alternate legs; balance tap (stand on one leg and lift and lower other leg straight behind you at a brisk pace); add alternating punches; alternating knee pulls; alternating front lunge; front lunge + cross country skiers, alternate legs

Circuit 3:

  1. Forward lunges; add a glute lift (15# DBs)
  2. Single arm back row (one 20# DB)
  3. Squats; add a bicep curl, tapping elbows to knees when squatting; add alternating knee raise when standing (10# DBs)
  4. French press (overhead tricep extension) (10# DBs)
  5. Repeat 1 & 2 on other side of body
  6. Wide plie squats; add bent arm side raise; add alternating heel lifts (8# DBs)

Circuit 4: alternating cross punches; alternating upper cuts; in wide static plie squat, twist torso side to side w/ arms in guard; it turns into a dancy type upper body move to the count of single-single-double; tap to one side + side kick w/ punch to the other side; kick front and back w/ front and back punches; side lunges reaching for foot w/ opposite hand; add knee-kick-knee at the top of lunge; stationary jump lunges

Circuit 5:

  1. Single arm overhead press; double arm overhead press; single arm overhead press, other arm (12# DBs)
  2. Two step squats to each side; hold isometrically every time you squat (15# DBs)
  3. Hinge forward (straight leg deadlift) + double arm back row + one arm rear delt fly (10# DBs)
  4. Side lunge; add wide bicep curls (10# DBs)
  5. Double arm tricep kickbacks; changes to alternating kickbacks (10# DBs)
  6. Repeat #4 on other side of body

Circuit 6: march forward and back; add a knee lift when marching forward; add a hop to the knee lift w/ bow & arrow arms; jump squats; double step touch then tap side, forward, side and knee raise with a hop; single, single, double hamstring curls; hamstring curl + front kick + hamstring curl

Circuit 7:

  1. Straight leg deadlifts (25# DBs)
  2. Push ups
  3. Pendulum lunges holding one DB in both hands in front of chest; add lowering DB to knee on front lunge and chopping DB to opposite hip during rear lunge (one 10# DB)
  4. Cross body bicep curl (one 10# DB)
  5. Repeat #3 & 4 on other side of body
  6. Alternating stationary side lunges w/ tricep kickbacks (9# DBs)

Circuit 8: “hip bump”;  step knee w/ hip twist; grapevine; step w/ a side tap; jogging heel digs (Allie calls it a heel shuffle)

Circuit 9:

  1. Holding a DB in each hand at sides, bend torso to one side (6# DBs)
  2. Lift one knee, holding both DBs together in front you while balancing; add pulsing knee up (6# DBs)
  3. Repeat #1 & 2 on other side of body
  4. Alternate side bends (6# DBs)
  5. Balance hold; then alternate knee raises while still holding DBs together in front of you (6# DBs)
  6. Still holding DBs together in front of you, squat and knee raise, twisting torso and DBs toward knee, alternate sides; remove the squat, just keep twisting side to side w/ knee raises (6# DBs)
  7. Lay on back, knees bent and feet on floor, do pullovers; hold arms overhead (DBs on floor) and do reverse crunches (9# DBs)
  8. 2 skull crushers then crunch up and pulse 3x (9# DBs)
  9. Elbow plank hold
  10. Side plank hold

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