Fitness Fusion Fails

Don't water down your workouts.

By , Columnist
Over the past decade the number of fitness fusion classes has skyrocketed. Just offhand I can name half a dozen: Piloxing, Piyoga, Yogilates, Walkilates, Poolates, and Exhale Spa's Core Fusion. Now, in the best of all possible worlds (yes, I taught philosophy) any fusion workout should offer the best of both while still respecting the separate disciplines. However, as often happens, in practice the fusion classes tend to offer at best a watered-down version of each discipline that doesn't do justice to either.

Let's take Piloxing as an example. According to their website,

"PILOXING uniquely mixes Pilates and boxing moves into a fat torching, muscle sculpting, core-centric interval workout, guaranteed to whip you into shape, using a class format that's both fun and challenging."

So far so good, except that Pilates is itself a full-blown full body exercise system that incorporates both mat and specific apparatus, and boxing also has a body of training. Neither is just a series of "moves."

"PILOXING is the brainchild of Swedish dancer and celebrity trainer Viveca Jensen and the culmination of her mission to physically and mentally empower women through fitness. At the core of PILOXING is the principle that feminine is powerful and it aims for women to attain a sleek, sexy and powerful self-image."

Pilates was invented by a German man, Joseph Pilates, during the turn of the twentieth century while he was interned by the British as an enemy alien during WWI. His original exercises were geared towards men who needed to stay in shape in cramped quarters, and while his clientele later expanded to include ballerinas and other performers, Pilates is not a women-centric exercise method. For that matter, neither is boxing.

"PILOXING blends the power, speed and agility of boxing with the beautiful sculpting and flexibility of Pilates. Add to that the fun and sexy dance moves that reflect Viveca's personality."

Wait, where do the "fun and sexy dance moves" come from? Not in Pilates or in boxing, as far as I know.

"In addition to Pilates and boxing movements, the exercise incorporates the use of weighted gloves which add to the workout by toning the arms and maximizing cardiovascular health."

Weighted gloves do not appear in any Pilates exercises, although we do use arm weights and springs as well as body weight to increase strength and tone in the arms. The weighted gloves do not "maximize cardiovascular health." Doing high intensity cardiovascular exercise accomplishes that.

Is the workout effective? Will you tone up, sweat, increase cardiovascular fitness and muscle strength? Probably, but you could also attain that walking, running, biking, or doing boxing and Pilates separately. Look, if you need motivation to exercise and a fun, new fusion gets you moving, that's great. But do not expect to go from Piloxing to a straight Pilates or boxing workout and have them mesh.

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NYC resident Lynda Lippin is a world-renowned Pilates, Fitness, and Reiki instructor with nearly 25 years of experience. She is also an accomplished writer and a former Philosophy professor. In her Featured Column, Lynda will lead you on a path towards Fitness Sanity. Got Questions? Want Lynda to checkā€¦

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