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As a life-long bodybuilding fan, an IFBB Figure Pro, and the Sr. Web Editor of FLEX Magazine, I am always up for trying a new piece of training equipment. I was in the market for something that would provide a full-body workout, while still fitting into the relatively small space that I could dedicate to it. I heard about the CorePump machine, and it sounded like it would fit my requirements, so I decided to give it a try.
My CorePump was delivered via FedEx in one large box. The box was a little heavy, but not so much so that I couldn’t get it inside by myself. The box had some damage done by Fed Ex during the shipping/delivery process, including a hole about 1” x 8” along the underneath edge. I opened the box and spread out the parts (just 4 pieces along with a small bag of hardware) and compared what I had with what was listed on the documentation. Fortunately, the CorePump components and accompanying hardware were packaged so well, that none had fallen out of the hole in the box, and there was zero damage done to the equipment.
I proceeded with putting it together right away, utilizing a YouTube video from the CorePump creator, Samuel Colby. The complete assembly only took about 5 minutes from start to finish, which was a very pleasant surprise! The only (slightly) negative comment that I have regarding the assembly, is that there are three different Allen wrenches (also known as hex keys) required, which did not come with the hardware. Fortunately I have an extensive tool collection so I had the wrenches that I needed on hand, but some people may need to run out to the hardware store to purchase them before they can complete the assembly. My advice would be for CorePump to include the 3 Allen wrenches that are required with the hardware, or to do a slight re-design that requires only one size Allen wrench and to include that with the hardware. Sam does acknowledge this in the video, and it sounds like the latter option is in the works, which is great! That one, small Allen wrench issue aside, the assembly was very quick and easy.
When I finished the CorePump assembly, I found that it only took up 2’ X 2’ of floor space (the dimensions of the base), which is an incredibly small footprint for a piece of full-body exercise equipment. I initially put it against a wall, but after going through the instructional videos, I found that there were some exercises and stretches that would require me to extend my leg(s) out in front of the machine, so I ended up moving it back about 2’ from the wall. Even though the machine is quite sturdy, it was still easy to slide across the carpet, so it’s not a problem for me to push it back against the wall if I temporarily need more space. When all was said and done, I found that I need less than 4’ X 4’ feet of floor space dedicated to the CorePump to be able to comfortably use it for every possible stretch and exercise. Keep in mind that I’m only 5’ tall, so a taller person may require just a little more room.
Once I had the CorePump machine put together, I stood there looking at it, wondering how this small, minimalist machine was going to give me an effective, full-body workout. From what I had read, I knew that the adjustable handles offered over 70 different hand positions, the adjustable platform offered several different heights, and the dial offered 6 different variations of smart (isokinetic) resistance – all of which were supposed to result in a machine that would replace weightlifting, cardio, core, and stretching equipment. I was definitely a little skeptical, especially since I am a huge fan of free weights and cables, and have never been much of an “exercise machine person”. Remember, I’m only 5’ tall and most machines just aren’t adjustable enough for me to be able to comfortably and effectively use them.
Because the CorePump machine is different than anything that I’ve used in the gym, I wasn’t quite sure how to get started with an actual workout. It came with a pamphlet and USB drive, demonstrating seven different exercises (which can be combined to create CorePump’s signature, 7 minute workout), as well as numerous stretches that can be done on the machine. As I started following along with the first exercise in the demo, I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it. The main hydraulic (smart resistance) component of the machine required me to go more slowly than what I am used to, and I quickly found myself wondering how I would ever work up a sweat or get a great pump at that pace. This machine was supposed to alleviate the need for cardio equipment as well, and initially, I just didn’t see how that was possible. Well, I have no problem admitting when I’m wrong. It didn’t take long before I broke out in a heavy sweat, mainly because the smart resistance requires both a push and a pull in every exercise, so there is no “rest” or “easy” part of a movement, resulting in a very effective workout in a short amount of time. There is an easy-to-use adjustment dial on the hydraulic cylinder, which allows you to change the tension for each exercise, depending on your strength and desired tempo, with just one click. With all of the various CorePump adjustment options, “fitting” on this piece of exercise equipment was definitely not a problem. I finished the 7-minute workout sweating, pumped, and wanting more.
I still didn’t know enough about the numerous CorePump exercise options to create my own workouts just yet, but fortunately, Sam Colby teaches CorePump-based classes in a studio and has videoed and shared a number of them on the CorePump YouTube channel. It turned out that there are dozens more exercise options than just the seven that are demonstrated in the 7-minute workout video. I spent a couple of weeks following along with the online workouts (which average about 45-50 min each) and they were extremely helpful in learning how to effectively use the various exercises and stretches to put together a seemingly endless variety of workouts. After about two weeks, I no longer used the videos, as I had become quite comfortable designing my own CorePump workouts from what I learned in the “classes”. I found that I was able to effectively train and stretch every muscle group, while cutting back on cardio…and I think we can all agree that doing less cardio is always a plus!
In conclusion, I have to say that although I went into my CorePump trial as a skeptic, I came out of it a fan and I plan to continue to use the CorePump as part of my regular workout regimen. If you are a hardcore bodybuilder, does the CorePump replace an entire gym full of equipment? Probably not – however, it is a great piece of home equipment to supplement and balance your hardcore gym workouts. And if you’re a fitness enthusiast or someone just looking to get in better shape, then the CorePump machine can absolutely stand strong as your main piece of home gym equipment. I enthusiastically give the CorePump machine two thumbs up and highly recommend stepping outside of your comfort zone and giving this unique piece of equipment a try. You won’t regret it.