JNL Fusion: Crazy Circuit Cardio

Jennifer Nicole Lee
Year Released: 2012

Categories: Abs/Core , Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance

This DVD is part of the JNL Fusion set, a set of (12?) DVDs which all focus on 30 seconds on/10 seconds off interval style work. Like all the DVDs in this set, Crazy Circuit Cardio (CCC) does not have a warm up or cool down, which is unfortunate especially as it is not a cheap set-it retails for about $120. Jennifer leads a group of 10 or so women and men in a dark gym-style setting (most similar to X-Factor workouts or the SWAT set-black and red themed). The production quality is high. The music is so-so and mostly just background noise. Jennifer did provide a low-impact modifier. There was a countdown timer which showed the total workout time ticking down, and a red bar which showed each 30-second interval drawing down, both of which I thought were motivating.

CCC clocks in at 31 minutes (keep in mind this is for the workout only and does not include wu/cd) and alternates standing weighted ab work with high intensity cardio work. She repeats each circuit (30 sec standing ab/30 sec cardio) three times before moving to the next circuit. Some of the ab work included standing knee crunches with weights, a sort of around the world move to engage abs, twisting with a towel (I used a dowel), punching side to side with weights, punching overhead with weights. The cardio was pretty much all high impact and included jump rope (using the cordless rope; I used my 3# weights), criss-cross jacks, mountain climbers, plyo jump to squat touching floor, plyo jump back and forth touching floor.

The cardio intervals REALLY got and kept my heart rate up there, and I believe were designed to also keep the core engaged, and the ab work was fairly mild in comparison. You can use heavier or lighter weights (everyone goes at their own pace); I chose lighter weights 4-5-6# so I could keep it cardio focused. Considering how demanding the cardio was (super fun I’m not complaining!) I thought the ab work could have been more challenging, with windmills, woodchops, plank exercises and that sort of thing, but by the end they did serve as a breather between cardio sets. If the core work had been all advanced, I would be in LOVE with this workout. As it is, it was a pretty good cardio workout with an ab toning emphasis.

Again, I think it was somewhat unbalanced between very hard cardio sets (which are definitely low advanced depending on how much energy you put into it) and comparatively easy ab strength work (low intermediate) so it is difficult to easily rate the workout. Done as is (following the majority of the group that did everything high impact), I suppose it would be on the whole an intermediate-high intermediate workout. I am not following a JNL rotation, but am trying to get in 2-3 of these per week as I do believe (upon preview, this is the first one I’ve done) they will be good calorie burners. This workout can be used as a standalone workout just fine (versatile), and I will pick it up occasionally. Overall grade B.

Instructor Comments:
Jennifer seems like a very sweet girl, and really showcased each of her backgrounders (calling each one to the front at various times during the workout and listing their accomplishments). However, she spent WAY too much time chatting between the 30 second sets while you were just standing there (finally I just continued with one exercise until she switched) and which allowed the heart rate to drop. She also said a lot of hokey things like “kiss my abs” “earn your shower” and “take/pass the sweat test” which was all sort of annoying. One of the backgrounders (one of the men) mouthed “OH MY GOD” to the camera at one point. So it’s got that kind of over the top enthusiasm/dramatic energy.

Emily B.