By Su Reid-St. John
Piloxing is a new workout that blends Pilates and boxing, with a little dance thrown in, created by Swedish-born Pilates instructor, dancer, boxer, and personal trainer Viveca Jensen. The popular workout is taught at Jensen's V Pilates studio in Toluca Lake, California, and a DVD based on the class was recently released. Always up for a new fitness challenge, I gave it a try.
Before I jumped into the DVD workout, I watched a helpful segment in which Jensen demonstrates some of the boxing moves. What she doesn’t explain, unfortunately, is how to put on the 1-pound gloves (which look like little black-and-pink turtles) you’re supposed to wear during the workout. I’m usually a pretty smart cookie when it comes to figuring out stuff like this, but these were a little tricky. (I realized later on that I had them on upside down.) Oh well, on to the workout.
The setup took me by surprise. Most workout DVDs supplement their star with a few backup people to add some enthusiasm and make you feel (I’m guessing) like you’re actually taking part in a class. Well, Jensen was backed up by no less than seven people, all crammed into a pretty small space. I’m guessing the intention was that I, the viewer, would see how effortlessly and enthusiastically all these people followed Jensen—but it was actually quite distracting. I couldn’t figure out how they avoided knocking into each other. And, with all those moving body parts, it was tough at times to actually see the correct way to do the moves.
Fortunately, Jensen has a really likeable presence. She obviously loves what she’s doing, and there’s much to be said for that. The workout switched back and forth between boxing and Pilates, with the Pilates also serving as much-needed recovery time. Jensen’s cueing on the Pilates parts was usually pretty easy to follow, but she quickly lost me during the boxing stretches. Some close-up, here’s-what-your-form-should-look-like shots would’ve been really helpful, but the camera stayed back for the most part, showing the big (crowded) picture. When it did zoom in, it was often—both inexplicably and unhelpfully—on the feet of one of the backup people.
It didn’t help, either, that my “workout space” at home is a carpeted area in the den. The foot-twisting boxing moves would’ve been much easier to do on a smooth surface.
Problems aside, I did end up getting a really good cardio-and-strength-combo workout. And even though 1 pound might not seem like much, my arms were definitely feeling it by the time the credits rolled. Bottom line? This DVD will make you sweat—but it’s no knockout.
Product: Piloxing DVD and Gloves
- Pros: Challenging cardio-and-strength workout that really makes you sweat. Plus, the trainer is likeable and enthusiastic.
Cons: Boxing segments were hard to follow, and the large number of backup people was distracting. Gloves can be tricky at first.
Cost: $19.95 for the DVD and $26 for the gloves at VPilates.com
Extra tip: Don’t attempt on carpet.