SINCE THE TURN OF THE YEAR, HERE! FITNESS GURU WARRICK EL-MAHASSANI HAS LOOKED AT SOME OF THE MYRIAD EXERCISE REGIMES IN THE CITY, TAKING US THROUGH ZUMBA AND AERIAL YOGA, THROUGH TO CROSSFIT AND TRX, THIS MONTH IN THE FINAL INSTALLMENT OF HIS SERIES, HE TAKES A PEEK INTO THE WORLDS OF SPINNING AND PILOXING
Indoor cycling, or ‘Spinning’ as it’s more commonly known is hugely popular throughout the world. As the Spinning enthusiasts over at spinning.com put it, “It has become a global exercise and wellness phenomenon.” Essentially it is an organized activity and form of exercise with classes focusing on endurance, strength, intervals, high intensity, recovery, and involves using a special stationary exercise bicycle with a weighted flywheel in a classroom setting. The instructor chooses music to go along with each phase of the class.
There’s a bike for each person in the class. They usually face the same direction, either toward the instructor or a mirror.
• You can do it whether rains, hail or shine: it’s indoors, so weather doesn’t play a factor
• Safe: because it is indoors you don’t have to worry about cars, trees, potholes, dogs or popping a tire.
• It works a variety of muscles: including calves, hamstrings, hips and quadriceps.
• Non-impact: thus it minimizes stress and strain on the joints.
• You can control the level of intensity: to suit your ability or fitness level but still remain as a group together.
• Sexy legs: who doesn’t love those
• Lower body focus: very few upper body muscles get used.
• Soundtrack: the music is not to everybody’s liking, which may take away from your enjoyment of the class.
• Effectiveness: you burn more calories running on a treadmill for the same amount of time.
• Boredom: Some users feel bored because the scenery the does not change.
Fitness fanatic Crystal Hong works as a personal trainer at Complete Fitness and practices spinning at Tiger Gym and is a self-confessed avid spinner. She says she loves it because “the music, the rhythm and the feeling of everyone being in there together to achieve their goals.” She uses Spin Class as a supplement to her regular regimen of strength training and jogging, and encourages beginners to take it up “Don’t stress out, just try your best and enjoy the music,” she says. Spin has also acted as a gateway exercise for her, “I don’t think that I will stop doing spin, but nowadays I prefer outdoor cycling more than indoor spin class.”
Created by Swedish dancer and celebrity trainer Viveca Jensen, Piloxing is a fusion of boxing, dancing and standing pilates. Weighted gloves are worn to create extra resistance and, much like Zumba, all the moves are performed to a pumping music track.
A typical class would be split into 11 blocks, plus floor work (focusing on your abs and bum). In between, a participant switches from boxing to pilates to dancing. This is done to elevate the heart rate and then slow it down, and then speed it up again.
• The music – it keeps people interested as they perform the routine. Piloxing also incorporates interval training.
• One must also be a certified Piloxing trainer before they are able to call themselves true trainers. If in doubt, ask your Piloxing trainer where and when he/she got certified.
• Interval training focus. The way a class is structured makes it a great fat burning workout.
• The gloves provide some resistance to help build muscle.
• Low impact exercise for those with fragile bodies.
• There is the “fun factor” that Zumba also has.
• Pilates for Piloxing focuses on your core and your balance.
• The resistance provided by the gloves is quite limited, so do not expect to look like Big Arnie through Piloxing.
• While a class may cater to men who feel uncomfortable dancing, by changing the dancing part to different movements that are fun, there is that stigma that Piloxing is something women would do and not men.
Sandrine Barblan has an extensive dance background. She has been dance tutoring in China for the last three years and is one of the founders of Around the World Dance Studio in Dynatown. She is also a certified Zumba, Piloxing and AFAA instructor. “I’ve done a lot of things, but I found, at the beginning, Piloxing was quite tough.” Her previous dancing and fitness background made it easier to get certified. Sandrine was first attracted to Piloxing while she was back home in Switzerland, and she noticed Piloxing clothing being sold. She did some research on what Piloxing was, “I quickly looked at the website and there was a certification course that month, so I went and did it. I thought it was interesting; it looked nice, the boxing and pilates together.”