Elisabeth and her husband, Fred DeVito, have been working together as a training team since 1984. Their core fusion® pure abs & arms DVD provides a fabulous workout. You get great variety, excellent explanations and a fantastic workout and burn while working your core, the most important aspect of your body.
Amy Steele [AS]: How did you design the program for the DVD?
Elisabeth Halfpapp [EH]: As far as design, I worked with my husband, Fred DeVito, and co-creator of Core Fusion®. We took the disciple of the Lotte Berk method background, pilates, yoga and body sculpting and took the best of those principles and put them in the DVD.
AS: What are the best and the worst parts of working with your husband?
EH: How long do you have? We’ve been working together since 1984. We were with Lotte Berk for 22 years. 90% we enjoy working together because we understand the dedication this type of work involves: the dedication of our guests and ourselves to make our program evolve. But also our responsibility to the teachers that we train because we have a 270 hour teacher training program. So we really understand the whole component of what this type of position entails because we’re not only nationwide at our classes and training but we’re programming. So we’re the instructors and we’re traveling and we have sort of the right and the left side of the brain working in tandem. Actually it really benefits us because it’s like having one person we can split in half sometimes to travel or to handle certain situations. We have more arms to reach out for quality control.
AS: I really need to get Chad (at Acacia) to send me thighs & glutes…
EH: Which one do you have Amy?
AS: I have the Abs & Arms and it’s working I can feel it. My girlfriend Miriam has been coming over and we’ve been doing Shiva Rea’s yoga and then doing the two abs parts and the upper body part. And I definitely can feel the abs the next day.
EH: It really works in combination. The resistance of abs and arms. We tried to get one more element in there to work the upper body and the resistance band is great for strengthening and lengthening the muscles at the same time.
AS: Are there certain parts that you feel you are each stronger at or was it just arbitrary that you broke it down that way on the DVD to teach each part?
EH: Well it was part arbitrary and part “I like that part, I want to teach that.” And we both have certain areas we like to work on and we do like to split it up evenly between us so it’s good to see a man do some of the leg work or the gluteal work because we feel our techniques are gender neutral as well.
AS: I just have the hardest time relaxing my neck. I listen to everything you are saying I just can’t do it without putting a hand behind my neck. And I know it’s working up to it and everything else but do you have any tips to make it easier to relax your neck when you’re doing abs.
EH: I think you should hold a little higher in the position, don’t go all the way back to the waist and stop and start a little more. And pace yourself until you get to the maximum of what we’re doing on the DVD. Remember our neck and shoulders are one of the biggest areas that hold tension. So they’re tight muscles and in a lot of ways you’re stretching them as well. So it’s going to be a little painful to try to stretch those tight muscles. But I recommend just stopping and starting and work a little higher. Well work up a little higher, Amy, and pull in and tuck up on the hips.
AS: What is the most important part to focus on with your core and what should you be thinking about?
EH: The most important part is keeping the abs tilted and engaged in a brace to support the local back. Steer the abdominal wall into the back. Pull the abdominals into the walls. Embrace the abdominals into the wall. Think about the abdominals supporting the back. A lot of back problems come out of weak abdominal muscles. And the back muscles need to be stretched which is why we do those positions too.
AS: What is your favorite part about teaching exercise and working with people and helping people be fit?
EH: I think mainly giving them the gift of health and giving them empowerment to say “yeah, I can do this. I can stay in this curl position.” “I can do one more repetition.” Students get very empowered by that. And seeing people change and reshape their bodies who thought they’d never reshape them is very very humbling to see that. That’s the biggest joy of what we do. Because we both created the Core Fusion® program for Exhale® and co-created all these exercises and it we get thanks every day and see amazing things happen.