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CoreBody Reformer: A Real Workout or Just Another As Seen On TV Product?

By (view all posts by Susan.Yoo-Lee)
at 8:55AM Thursday February 23, 2012
under Product Review

Are you looking to lose weight, and get leaner or stronger? Just recently, I couldn't fall asleep and I ended up coming across the CoreBody Reformer on a passing commercial/infomercial. I asked myself, "Can this really give me a good workout?" or "Is this just another fitness product that's going to end up on Craiglist?"

The last time I actually worked out was 5 years ago, before I had my first child. I know it sounds like a long time ago, but with 2 children and hardly anytime for myself, working out was not at the top of my to-do list (sometimes I feel lucky to even get to the restroom alone).

But this year, I wanted to start getting into the groove of things. I wanted to find something that I could do at home and enjoy doing it. Although I wasn't looking to lose weight because I'm on the thinner side, I wanted to build strength. I always heard that strength training is essential to good health and that it combats osteoporosis.

When I saw the CoreBody Reformer by Nautilus, I felt like it was a match made for me. Since I danced all my life and did gymnastics, the only workouts that I really enjoyed were my Pilates Reformer and Bikram Yoga classes which all have a "core" basis. Plus, my goal was to add lean muscle mass not bulk.

While I thought this was the product for me, I was still hesitant to believe that there was an in-home product that would give me in-studio results.  All I could think of were the many fitness products featured on QVC and HSN that ultimately ended up on my local Craigslist (and when the seller says I didn't have time to use it, I assume that it did nothing for them).
On the first day, I tried the 4 different workouts on the DVD (Total Body One,Total Body Express, Core Essentials and Stretch & Renew) and it kicked my butt. It's probably not like a P90X type of hardcore workout (never tried it, but I always hear everyone talking about it) but imagine doing strength training on a balance beam. Trying to keep your core centered and also simultaneously do strength training is no easy task (trust me, I was a balance beam specialist when I did gymnastics).

While I am not a fan of DVD based workouts, with the use of this equipment, it's essential to watch for correct posture and also to get a variation of difficulty levels for each area you are working on (once proficient, you can use the Go-Anywhere Fitness Flip Cards). Plus, I love that the host adds in cardio with the resistance bands, so it give you that total body workout.

The first 5 minutes of the DVD, I thought the workout would be too easy for me, but at ten minutes, you could hear me breathe a little harder and by the 15 minute mark, I was asking my daughter to bring me water. So yes, this was definitely a good workout and the next day, I was hurting. There's nothing like feeling those muscles that I haven't used in years. No pain, no gain.

While it's marketed towards the female demographic, I definitely feel that men could also benefit from this workout. My husband has had multiple workout related injuries, particularly his neck, and I always told him it was due to a lack of center and trying to compensate the extra weight by using his neck muscles. After trying the workout, my husband quickly realized that it's not as easy as it looks (it took him 10 seconds to find his balance).

I love that with the CoreBody Reformer, you have no choice but to keep your center and tune-in to each individual movement. By the middle of your sets, you definitely feel the burn which is a good sign, but not a pleasant feeling.  The CBR also comes in 3 different resistance levels and it's easy as a touch of a button.

For $249, you get 1 DVD with 4 exercises, the flip cards, weightloss plan, the workout poster, a carrying strap and the blue washable-cover (total value of $430).  I use to pay $25 per Pilates Reformer group class, so at this price, it would only give me about 10 classes.  For the workout I get in the comfort of my home, I definitely feel it's worth it.

(Disclosure: The product was provided free of charge for review purposes and does not affect my views or feedback of the product.  This review is based solely on my personal opinion and experience and results may vary person to person.)