Getting fit and staying in shape can be done in so many ways. The path to the perfect body now has so many routes, there is something to suit everyone and the choice of sport and fitness regimes continues to grow.
Piloxing is a new invigorating workout that combines elements of boxing, pilates and dance in a high intensity, cardio workout that tones and leans the body.
Just three years old, it is a relatively new trend, created in California by Celebrity trainer Viceca Jensen.
It began deep in the heart of the rich and famous; Los Angeles and now there are 6,000 instructors teaching across 30 countries.
Swedish born Viveca is a Pilates Instructor who also used to do boxing training. Viveca was inspired to combine the two when her Pilate’s class asked her about high cardio workouts.
Viveca also has a background in Ballet and this, along with hip and dance moves were incorporated into the discipline.
“At the start people thought it was the strange. The name and the combination of the two disciplines, a lot of people didn’t get it.
“After doing a class however, people realised they could knock out their cardio and resistance training in the one hour,” Viveca says.
Vivea uses Piloxing in her personal training sessions to celebrities such as Hilary Duff, Tia Mowery and Kelly Osbourne.
Sarah Mundy, 37, is a fitness instructor who has been living and working in Galway for the past 14 years.
Originally from Nebraska, Sarah teaches a range of classes at Galway’s city gym, Ocean Fitness and last February she went to the UK to take part in a Piloxing instruction course so she could teach it in Galway.
“Someone at the gym had been talking about it and I thought I would give it a try.
“I was surprised by how much I liked it. It is low impact, which is good for the joints, but it is also a great way to get the heart rate up.”
Weighted gloves of half a pound are worn during the workout that uses ballet style moves such as leg lifts and plié, as well as boxing moves, Pilate postures and other dance influences.
Sarah says the reaction in Galway to the new class was overwhelming.
“People really took to it and seemed to enjoy it.”
Sarah says it is a great exercise for the more mature athlete, as it does not put as much pressure on the joints.
“I found I had to change the type of exercise I was doing as I get older as it was starting to cause me pain.
“I love pilates and Piloxing combines that with a cardio class to createva relaxing and enjoyable fat burning class.
Sarah says the varied moves of the regime are simple and quick to learn and also keep you interested.
“The moves are easy to pick up. In a matter of weeks you have it and people improve so much over time.
“You are on your toes the whole time, five minutes boxing, then Pilates, then doing ballet, you don’t have time to get bored.”
Piloxing is a rare breed of exercise that works every muscle in the body, and has very noticeable toning and definition results.
It also does great work on your core.
Sarah says, as an instructor, she has been teaching classes for years but after just a few weeks of Piloxing a number of people commented on her new physique.
“It is fantastic for toning because everything is high impact. My arms have never looked better, I lost five pounds and while still putting on muscle.
“I just looked a lot leaner, sleeker and my posture improved as well. I didn’t realise I slouched until I started doing the class, The moves make you open your chest, align your pelvis and throw back your shoulders, making you more aware of how you hold yourself.”
Sarah says the improved posture also has a positive impact on back problems. “A couple of the ladies doing the class said their lower back issues were improved.”
Although the fitness fad has been embraced by the male gender in the USA, Sarah says she has yet to have a man participate in her Galway classes.
“I don’t think Irish men are ready for it yet,” Sarah says, “also I think the women might like the fact that they are guaranteed a class of just women, it is nice.”
Meet a Piloxer
Galway Girl Liz Cazabon, 51, has been attending the Piloxing classes at Ocean Fitness since they started and it is her favourite class.
“It was something new. I had seen write ups about it before it was in the gym and I thought it looked a bit different and fun.
“I have always preferred classes to the gym. I don’t push myself enough, when I am training by myself. I think it is much easier in classes when there is someone there to push you.”
The mother of five says the classes really changed her body shape. “It has given me a good overall fitness, great definition and toning, I was surprised at the results. My waist and arms in particular saw a big change.”
Liz says, unlike other classes, there is no falling into a zombie routine or going through the motions.
“The classes are an hour and there is no time to be taking a break or slowing down, you don’t feel the time going.
“There is a lot of variety, the workout changes so much and you are always thinking of the next move.
The techniques are so smooth, the class gives you confidence and you feel proud of yourself. There is a rhythm attached to it as well it is not just a routine, you have to be paying attention.”
“It is a feel good class,” Liz says, “I always feel great after a class. It’s invigorating. I would recommend it to anyone.”
A number of classes have started up across Ireland, particularly Dublin, in the last few months and information on where your nearest instructor is can be found on piloxing.com/locations.