Thursday, September 6, 2012

JNL Fusion Review

Okay, this is starting to get obscene, but I recently traded for a new workout system to cure the reappearance of my exercise ADD.  What did I end up getting?  The mother of all systems meant for the exercise ADD crowd: JNL Fusion.

Believe me, that's actually a compliment.

 If you are like me, you have exercise ADD and in comes in two forms: 1.) getting bored in the middle of a workout and 2.) getting bored with your entire workout collection.  Is there a workout system to finally ease my poor attention span?

Yes, there is!

What is JNL Fusion, you ask?  It's an 8-week workout program created by fitness model Jennifer Nicole Lee--hey guys, she's Google-worthy! *wink, wink*  The program itself includes 12 workouts that alternate strength and cardio intervals, known as "Super Spiking."  According to the marketing tactics of this program (I'm in marketing, so color me cynical if you will), Super Spiking entails splitting the cardio and strength portions into 30-second intervals each, which revs up your metabolism and is more effective than traditional workouts.  While I cannot verify the science behind this, the actual structure of the workouts is what intrigues me.

Here is a breakdown of the Shoulder Shredder workout to give you an idea of how it is structured:

Circuit 1:
Strength: overhead shoulder press (30 sec)
Cardio: speed rope/jump rope (30 sec)
*Alternate between both exercises for a total of 3x each

Circuit 2:
Strength: side laterals(30 sec)
Cardio: snatch and grabs (30 sec)
*3x each

Circuit 3:
Strength: front laterals (30 sec)
Cardio: plyo plies (30 sec)

Circuit 4:
Strength: bent over rear delts (30 sec)
Cardio: power jacks (30 sec)

Circuit 5:
Strength: French press (30 sec)
Cardio: Fusion hot coals (30 sec)

Circuit 6:
Strength: tricep kickbacks (30 sec)
Cardio: Titanium tucks (30 sec)

Circuit 7:
Strength: tricep dips on the floor (30 sec)
Cardio: Fusion glides (30 sec)

If you think structured exercise is boring or mentally exhausting, this is the program for you.  Time really flies when you switch back and forth between a cardio and strength interval for 30 seconds each.  On top of that, the workouts average 30 minutes each, so this is extremely doable for someone short on time.

Courtesy of JNL Fusion
The other thing to note about this program is that even though workouts are structured similarly to split sessions (working only one or two body parts), your entire body is still getting a good workout.  The strength moves themselves tend to be very concentrated on individual body parts (triceps/shoulders, biceps/chest, legs, etc), but the cardio moves are very lower body and core-focused, leaving no body part out of the equation.  Although the cardio moves are very familiar--burpees, mountain climbers, high knees, etc--JNL Fusion does put a lot of new twists on these moves, so the cardio intervals are never monotonous. 

So what is the verdict?  Well, if you couldn't already tell, I am pretty much in love with this system!  The structure and amount of time are perfect, but I also love how I can actually work on my strength while increasing my cardio, simultaneously.

 See the thing is, I struggle back forth between choosing heavy weight training and circuit training with lighter weights.  I like the efficiency of combining cardio and cutting my exercise time down by doing circuit training, but yet I love the strength, endurance and stamina gains with heavy which to choose?  With JNL Fusion, I don't have to.  And while the exercisers in JNL Fusion tend to go faster with higher reps and lower weights, Jennifer does mention in the guide book that you can go at a slower pace with heavy weights/less reps if you want to.  Thirty seconds is plenty of time to crank out 6-10 reps with heavy weights, or 15-20 reps with lower weights.

One thing I have always preferred about heavy lifting over circuit training is the concentration or isolation of one muscle group, which makes it easier for me to work on form and use my strength, versus using momentum.  I understand the argument that compound moves are more efficient and burn more calories...but I just find them flat out awkward.  When squatting and lifting weights in an overhead movement, not only does my form suffer, but so does my strength since I have to decrease the weights to be able execute the move.  JNL addresses this perfectly for me, isolating body parts for the strength intervals, but doing my total body exercises in the cardio intervals.

The instructor herself, Ms. Jennifer Nicole Lee, has a great personality.  She's a sexy and confident woman, but she is also very engaging and sweet.  I love the fact that she opted to choose background exercisers with all body types.  There are the buff jocks, sure, but there are also the artsy kids, the theatre geeks, the math team...well, you get my drift.  She makes it clear that this program can be for anyone and everyone. 

At this point, my gushing over this program makes me sound like a paid shrill, so what are the negatives, you ask?  Well, for starters, some of the background exercisers mug the camera a little too much for my liking.  The feel of these workouts remind me a lot of Turbo Fire: bright, garish outfits, hair and makeup done up perfectly, whooping and mugging for the camera and just overall ridiculously smiley, happy people.  If you are absolutely against "party in a box" type of workouts, learn to use the mute button or maybe just avoid these altogether.  Personally, I enjoy Jennifer's upbeat attitude and her kitschy catchphrases like "kiss my abs" and "kick your trash"--though "glutes that salute" takes the cake here--but she might not be for everyone.

If I really had to be harsh, there were a few background exercisers who reeked of bad form.  I find this is a common problem when dealing with the class format: too many background exercisers=increasing the likelihood of someone having bad form.  The other issue I had was the lack of warm-up and cool down.  All the workouts do come with an issued warning that remind you to warm up ahead of time and many of the workouts do end with a brief cool down, but it just felt incomplete.  I have been exercising long enough to take charge on my own, but inexperienced exercisers might not know better.

But that doesn't stop me from loving this program.  Not since Turbo Fire have I been in love with an exercise program and looked forward to my next workout.   I have mentioned my struggles for the past year and a half and at it felt tedious at times to get back into the game.  But thanks to JNL Fusion, it doesn't anymore.



The Courageous Life said...

I stumbled onto this particular post when Googling "JNL Fusion reviews." I saw her informercial the other morning and, while her approach isn't terribly new (high intensity cardio and weights), her 30 second intervals do speak to the exercise-ADD-sufferer in me. Yes, I, too have this sickness. I'm a little upset because I talked my husband into buying me the Jillian Body Revolution DVDs, then discovered JNL online the day Jillian arrived! Crap! I really want to try this. Anyway, thanks for your review. It was very helpful.

Liz said...

I'm glad I could help! If you can afford them, I say get both. Maybe do a rotation of Jillian and reward yourself by buying JNL next. They are pretty awesome for different reasons, so you can't go wrong, either way.

Kristin said...

Is this program for a someone who is a beginner with exercise / circuit training and not in "bad" shape, yet not "great" shape either? The video is intimidating and makes me not want to try it! Thanks for your help!

Liz said...

Hi Kristin,

I would say that JNL Fusion would be good for intermediate exercisers looking to advance, as well as advanced exercisers looking for a more fun, "party in a box" type of workout. That being said, I think someone beginner could do it, keeping in mind that they will have to modify until they feel strong enough to progress. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

1.) Lots of high impact moves, I.e. jump squats, high knees, etc

2.) Lots of floor and plank-based cardio, I.e. mountain climbers, burpees, etc

3.) Although it is recommended to go at your own pace, it is hard not to notice at first how fast the exercisers go--they are cranking out 15-20 reps in some 30 second intervals. If you feel the need to keep up, I would recommend going at it with lighter weights.

4.) You have to do your own warm up and cool down

If you feel comfortable with everything mentioned above, I say give it a go. If you still feel unsure or not ready, I think some of Jillian Michaels workouts like 30 Day Shred and Ripped in 30 would help ease you in.

Hope that helps!


Anonymous said...

Hi, I thought I'd respond to the person about beginners. I'm a beginner who needs to lose a good 80 lbs. I am also extremely bottom heavy and smaller on top. I have been lazy and haven't exercised in a good 8 months. I started JNL Fusion 2 weeks ago and I LOVE IT! I do follow Unni who modifies (on the left of the screen) and usually have to modify even more than she does, and I'm ok with that. I can't do the burpees at all, so I do something else that I am able to do while they do that. However, I do try at least once every time I do the DVD because I know in time I will be able to do them. As a beginner, I think these DVDs are perfect because of the 30 seconds. Just when I think I'm about to die lol, it's time to switch. It makes it doable. Good luck!!

Liz said...

Thanks for sharing your experiences, Lindsey! Good luck with the rotation and please let us know how it went! :-)

Fitnesscrazedmom said...

JNL fusion is the bomb!! I have Exercise ADD also. I usually love a program for the first few weeks and then I'm bored to death. Even P90x I get bored. with JNLF, I don't get bored at all. I think part of the reason is you cycle through more than 10 dvd's before you are repeating any. Other programs have you doing the same cycle each week and maybe switching it up after 3-4 weeks.

For all you JNL fusion enthusiasts, have you heard about BodyFX? BodyFX is a company that is putting out a supplement line. Its also the company that creates alot of the info-commercials you see. BodyFX and JNL have joined forces to create an opportunity for us exercise enthusiasts. They are creating an at home business opportunity which is too good to turn down. during pre-launch, it is free to sing up as a rep of the company. Leads for commissions will come from JNL Fusion info-commercial which is being released by May. This is a great opportunity especially since you are getting in on the ground floor. You know how you see all those Beachbody peeps making all that money with that business, well that's because they got in on the ground floor or in the beginning.

please go to There is a short video and a reserve your spot button. Reserve Your spot. JNL is very involved and is on the weekly corporate calls alot. She backs this and will be present at BodyFX calls, functions, etc etc for its reps. that could be you. Become a rep today for free and work with JNL.

TokiDokiLover said...

I'm so glad I read this review, along with the comments. I literally just finished watching the infomercial and hopped on Google to try to find out what others have to say.

I broke my foot back in December, then re-broke it again in February, and during that time, I gained a substantial amount of weight, on top of the other substantial amount of weight I had gained during my last 4 years of lounging, snuggling, and gorging out with the love of my life.

I recently got the CoreBody Reformer because it was a good way to introduce my foot back into some form of exercise and let me tell you, I absolutely LOVE it, however, I am ready to amp it up and incorporate something more challenging, while continuing to use my CBR. I just happened to see JNL Fusion and was completely drawn to it. What I like most are the 30 second intervals. That's perfect for me. I have Turbo Fire and the intervals were so difficult for me, and to be honest, there was a bit too much hopping around for me. It started to become irritating, so I quit with that.

Well, thank you for the review and all the comments. I am going to hop on their website and order my copy right now. I can't wait to get started!!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you all for helping me to diagnose my workout issue I have excercise ADD.... I have researched JNL and have bought her online e books and have subscribed to her youtube channel. also on her email newsletter list and she is so inspirational... I have been going back on forth on whether I should purchase another DVD set and have decided that I am ordering JNL fusion based on the reviews of this blog which validated how I feel Jennifer is truly attempting to empower people to eat healthy release the weight and love themselves as God loves us...
TCC from DC

Anonymous said...

Can i ask what the difference is between JNL Fusion and Gillian Michaels Body Revolution? Torn between which to buy?

KareBare said...

I am into my second week of JNL Fusion and I'm in love with this program. I have successfully completed the PINK program, which produced a 30+ weight loss, but quickly became boring. I also love Jillian Michaels workout, but very quickly became bored with her Body Revolution series as there wasn't enough variety.

I am also ADD when it comes to programs and if there isn't the variety, I lose interest. JNL has so many DVDs in her program that you don't get bored - you don't revisit a DVD more than once every two weeks.

In the short time I've been doing this program, I have noticed significant muscle gain, a fat loss so far of 3%, and I look forward to her enthusiasm.

It's not an easy workout by any means, however can be modified to suit every fitness level, and this also allows you to ramp it up when a level gets easy.

I would recommend this program to everyone!

Nodisha said...

I absolutely love JNL Fusion. I've stopped and started a few times (due to my own lack of committment) and have not completed a cycle yet. But it is SOOOO doable. Short and a great blend of high energy and strength traning. It's a win for me.

I do have a question for you owners out there though. I recently moved and misplaced my calendar. Anyone know where i can download it or get picture copies of the calendar? I would greatly appreciate it. :)

Liz said...

Hope this helps!

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