Thursday, March 14, 2013

A revisionist review of JNL Fusion

If you are curious, I am in the middle of week 3 and still going strong with the JNL Fusion rotation.  While I still love this program, I do think the rose-colored goggles are coming off and I am seeing this program in a more objective light.


When I wrote my first review for JNL Fusion, it was positively glowing.  You would think I was a paid shrill the way I gushed and fawned over the product.  Truthfully, it is a great program and I will never backtrack my opinion on that; however, the more I do the program, the more I can address the cons for those of you still on the fence about this program.

Again, I still consider JNL Fusion one of the best programs I own in my collection, but with the honeymoon phase fading, I do want to add a more balanced perspective to this program for perspective buyers.  See the thing is, if you Google "JNL Fusion reviews", my blog pops up on the first page of search results.  In such a short time, my review has become the most viewed post on this blog -- it even surpassed my reviews of Metamorphosis and Body Revolution.  While that is great and all, I suddenly realized that my blog can't always be about my adventures in snark -- I need to also create a space for quality, impartial consumer reviews.

So here is a list of complaints or cons that one should consider before purchasing JNL Fusion:

1.) Lack of warm-up and cool-down: I did briefly mention this in my first review, but having completed nearly 3 weeks of the 8-week rotation, I do start to see this as an issue.  Now, all the workouts do use a disclaimer before they start, reminding everyone to warm up for at least 2 minutes before starting.  I personally like to warm up 3-5 minutes as I find that amount of time sufficient for my body, but everyone is different.  I can definitely tell a difference when I don't warm up my muscles before exercising -- I get downright nauseous.   While this doesn't put a dent in the quality of these workouts, I do HIGHLY recommend that anyone who purchases this program to get acquainted with warming up and dynamic stretching as it does help ease into intense exercise better. And though most people love to skip cool-downs (short on time or don't care), at least try to incorporate some stretching into your daily routine. 

2.) Bad form and exercisers move too fast: I also mentioned this in my first review.  One of my biggest qualms with the class format is it increases the likelihood of someone having bad form...and there are some guilty-as-charged background exercisers in JNL Fusion.  Along with bad form, since most of the exercisers are using light weights (5 lbs for women and 10 lbs for men), they fling the weights so effortlessly to the point of annoyance.  Now I did say that this was a go-at-your-own pace workout, so please be advised to do so, but I can imagine that some people who can't keep up might find this demotivating.  My best advice would be to count your reps and challenge yourself against your own progress. If you really feel you need to keep up with them, try to find a weight that will create muscle failure for you at 15-20 reps. Some days I choose to keep up with them, but on other days I look away from the screen and go much heavier, failing at a lower rep count. 

3.) Too many breaks in between intervals: Program creator Jennifer Nicole Lee -- that is what JNL stand for if you haven't figured that out yet -- seems like she'd make an awesome friend...because she needs to introduce you to every single exerciser while transitioning between intervals.  Every. Single. One. That is totally great, but it also creates a bigger gap of time between the intervals.  When I did my own circuits, I maybe waited 5-10 seconds in between intervals, giving myself enough time to get in position from point A to point B; however, Jennifer is very chatty and spends lots of time acquainting you with everyone in the video.  That leaves a gap of time of 20-30 seconds in between intervals.  Building in breaks after completing an entire circuit is understandable, but I find 20-30 seconds is too long of a break in-between an interval, especially since I like to keep my heart rate elevated for as long as possible. 

4.) Jennifer is very chatty...very, very chatty: I find her cute and endearing, but if you just don't gravitate towards bigger, bolder personality types, you won't click with her -- you'll find her to be windbag!  She's no stranger to talking and besides spending all that time introducing you to everyone (see #3), she's got these catchphrases -- "Glutes that Salute!" and "Kiss My Abs!" -- that will either make you chuckle or make you hurl something at the TV.  I truthfully don't mean to knock Jennifer as I find her inspiring, but let's just say that if you prefer the more down-to-business personality types of Cathe Friedrich or Jari Love over the extremely chatty Chalene Johnson and loudly brash Jillian Michaels, Jennifer is not for you. 

So before I wrap this up, make sure to check out my original JNL Fusion review and use it as a reminder that sometimes us fitness enthusiasts can get overly excited about a new product and that our hindsight is 20/20.  Remember liking a certain movie or food as a kid and coming back to it as an adult only to find out you hate it?  Okay, I don't hate JNL Fusion and I don't think I ever will, but I just want to remind anyone looking for reviews online that many are written out of excitement over the newness of a product.  I just want to make sure your read both posts to get a more balanced perspective.  Hope this post helps for anyone looking to purchase the program, which still gets a major thumbs up from me.

Cheers!


8 comments:

Fitmommaof4 said...

Such an informative post, I really appreciate you taking the time to write this! I'm trying to gather as much info as I can before buying, so this helps.

I'm just about to finish my first round of p90x and want to find a shorter yet still effective routine.

Looking forward to reading your further progress! :)

Thanks again!

Leticia

Liz said...

Hi Leticia,

P90x is a great program and is a hard act to follow for many other programs, but I think JNL Fusion has a certain "fun" factor to it -- if you enjoy that style -- that will be a nice change of pace. If you do end up going for JNL Fusion, with all the plyometrics and old school resistance training done in P90x, you'll be able to perform JNL Fusion workouts at the more advanced level.

Good luck!

Liz

P.S.

I will be making sure to share my progress as well. :-)

Bullgrit said...

I've been doing Fusion for 6 weeks, now, and I've thoroughly enjoyed the workouts. Although I don't have exercise ADD like you, I do switch programs when I reach a plateau after a few-several months. I like Fusion, but I agree with your revision here of your previous review. Good work on both the posts.

Liz said...

Thanks, Bullgrit! I try my best to remain impartial. BTW, good job with the rotation--almost there!

-Liz

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