WATER BREAK| I tried Piloxing and I’m ready to fight Pacquiao

HOLIDAY Gym Davao has been offering Piloxing in one of its group classes in the past months now but I never really got to try it because I just wasn’t interested. I love Pilates (and Pilates-inspired bodyweight exercises that require no props) but I just don’t see how it can sit well with boxing. It seem a little too tacky. April, my friend who agreed to workout with me that night, was game for any workout. I told her about Piloxing and she seemed interested. I wasn’t.

“Mangaon na lang ta (Let’s just eat instead),” I joked. She was unfazed by my invitation—her dedication is admirable. She wanted a workout and there’s no turning back.

Fritz Freire, whose fantastic yoga and Pilates classes I’ve attended, led Piloxing that night. I never doubt his instruction—he communicates to students well (“look at my hips,” “great form,” “this is your last sprint,”) and creates a fun workout environment.

Piloxing had its way of immediately turning my switch on from “I’m not interested,” to “wow, this seems fun.”

His workout playlist was upbeat and set the mood for some high energy sets. There were lots of heart thumping bass beats and, to me, that’s all that matters for dance-based workouts.

I didn’t think we were going to be working on our legs (because I was promised that the workout is going to be centered around boxing) but then I forgot that Piloxing is Pilates, too.

Ballet movements are also incorporated into Piloxing because the founder of the workout, Viveca Jensen, is a dancer.

We did plies, arabesques, and battements, holding these while making arm movements that were big and small. The same movements progressed to other workout sets that involved the upper body: bicep curls, tricep extensions, and scapular retractions.

The workout wouldn’t make sense without Fritz telling us to engage our core. Doing this makes the explosive arm workouts seem better.

He introduced the punching movements by making us do it slow first. “Don’t punch, just reach—fists clenched like you’re holding an ice cream cone,” he said when the class was starting. We picked up pace and eventually did jabs, upper cuts and Shoryukens. (Just kidding. There were no Street Fighter-like Shoryukens, although that would have been fun.)

I would also like to share that I’ve never punched anyone in my entire life. Punching is not a natural movement for me. Strangling is.

I tried boxing before but I didn’t find it super fun. Piloxing empowered me to take on life challenges—not! But it made me think I could take on opponents. You know, like the air.

Fritz also squeezed in other dancing movements as we recovered in between sprints.

Piloxing is also heavy on cardio and it’s challenging especially if you do every set in the right form.

Halfway through the class, I heard Fritz say something about elevating the heart rate. I paused and hand an OMG moment: I had no sense of time and couldn’t tell whether 10 or 40 minutes have elapsed. Surely my heart rate should have already been up? I was already panting and trying to catch my breath.

April would occasionally glance at me and say we should have just eaten instead of working out. We laugh it off.

Before the class ended, we went on all fours to do bird-dog sets as additional arms and core workouts. We continued the floor work to hit our glutes with rear leg extensions and our abdominals with crunches and planks.

Did I enjoy the class? Yes! Will I do it again? Yes. Do I like the portmanteau “Piloxing”? No (it’s has good recall but takes some time to get used to). Is it a great workout? Yes—Piloxing strikes a good bodyweight cardio exercise that peppers strength sets along the way.

I have tried Piloxing in Fitness Squad Davao (Facebook.com/fitnesssquaddavao) and in Holiday Gym Davao (Facebook.com/holidaygymdavao).

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