by Carly James
Piloxing may sound like a celebrity fitness craze that started in LA. Well, actually, that’s exactly what it is. It does, however, have serious fitness credentials. Keep reading to find out what exactly it is and why you should care.
So what exactly is Piloxing?
Piloxing a blend of (standing) pilates and boxing, often with some dance moves thrown in for good measure. Some classes also include barre work and plyometrics and are structured as high-energy interval workouts.
No matter how fit you are, you will leave a good piloxing class dripping with sweat. This is how the likes of Alexis Bledel, Hilary Duff, Kirsten Dunst, and Ashley Tisdale all keep super-fit.
If, however, you’re new to piloxing, or even new to fitness, don’t worry. Piloxing classes are structured so that everyone works together but each person only pushes themselves as far as they’re safely able.
On the other hand, if you’re looking at piloxing because you’ve worked your way through other classes, then piloxing may be just the long-term challenge you need.
What equipment do you need to piloxing?
You don’t need any equipment for regular piloxing. In fact, you can even do classes in bare feet if you want to. Some classes recommend weighted gloves and/or resistance bands.
A standard dining chair will generally suffice if your agenda includes barre work. If you have any weights, try putting them on the seat to make sure that the chair stays put. If you’re doing plyometrics then you might be able to get away with using a stool or similar instead of a plyometrics box. That said, they’re fairly light on the budget, great for storage, and very useful.
How many calories does piloxing burn?
This is a question everyone asks, and the only honest answer is “it depends”. If you’re maxing out on the intensity, you can burn around 900-1200 calories per hour.
You also have to keep in mind that the average piloxing class is unlikely to have a full hour of actual piloxing. If the class itself lasts an hour, then the piloxing element will probably be about 40-45 minutes. The rest will be warm-up and cool-down. A lot of piloxing classes only last about 40-45 minutes in total so the piloxing element is even shorter.
Piloxing and weight loss
If you’re carrying excess body fat, cardio will burn it off. Please remember that your own body will decide what store of fat it wants to use when. As a rule of thumb, the places you put on fat most easily are the places you lose fat most easily.
Burning fat is all well and good. If, however, you want to get from good to great, then you need to work out your muscles. That means strength training. Basically, this is what gets you from just lean to lean and sculpted.
Working out your muscles increases their density. This means that they will weigh more, so that your weight loss from burning fat through cardio will be at least partially counterbalanced by your weight gain through building your muscle.
In short, therefore, piloxing might not make you lose as much weight as you’d hoped. It can, however, give you a superb overall physique. Frankly, both health-wise and looks-wise that’s far more important than simply burning fat.
Piloxing and strength
Strength isn’t just about training your muscles, so your abs look good. That’s just a nice bonus. Strength training builds muscle and improves bone density. In the short -term, that makes it easier for you to perform everyday tasks like carrying shopping. Over the medium -term, it helps to protect you from injury. Over the long -term, it helps to slow the aging process and makes you less vulnerable to age-related conditions like osteoporosis (brittle bones).
Ideally, you’d supplement piloxing with some form of weight training. This doesn’t have to mean working out slowly and methodically with barbells and/or dumbbells (although it can do). If you fancy a bit more fun, then a kettlebell workout might be more to your taste.
Piloxing and Flexibility
For most people, flexibility work is a natural partner to strength training. In fact, it needs to be. If you go all-out on the strength training, you lose flexibility and can leave you at risk of injury. Essentially, if your muscles become overly strong they can snap instead of bending. Flexibility training compensates for this.
Flexibility is also a meaningful fitness goal in its own right. In blunt terms, there’s a clear link between flexibility and mobility. Quite simply, if you want to be able to keep moving into your old age, then you should be building stretching work into your exercise plan right now.
Finding a piloxing class
If you live in a big city, then there’s a good chance that you’ll have at least one piloxing class in your area. That said, even if you do, you might still want to look at online classes in order to benefit from a far greater choice of times and specialties.
In case you’re wondering what “specialties” means, piloxing has now become so popular in the U.S. that it’s starting to develop sub-niches. For example, some of them are focusing on one particular type of dance moves. Ballet is very popular, hence the barre work. Others are focusing on core strength and body toning.
Piloxing isn’t hugely demanding of floor space and in itself, it’s fairly quiet. Wireless earphones will let you get the music and instructions into your ears without disturbing your neighbors. Soft flooring and/or a rubber mat will definitely help.
You can also get pre-recorded classes online. In fact, there are quite a few available for free on YouTube. Obviously, you won’t get the social element, but you can still get a great workout.
Carly James is a fitness instructor, nutritionist, and freelance writer for fitnessauthority.co.uk