When you do the same workouts week to week, things can get old very quickly.
Though part of finding your groove is about creating a routine, there is an art and
science to learning how and when to switch it up. In the fashion of many of today’s
popular songs, the fitness industry is integrating movements from distinct genres of physical activity into new workouts. In this way, the best of many worlds are wrapped into one.
Think Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” Girl Talk or most anything written by Daft Punk.
Juana Williams hosts Piloxing at her studio, BodybyJuana, near Polaris Fashion Place. Piloxing is a mashup – it combines core work from Pilates, cardio from boxing and choreography from dance.
“It’s a perfect combination [of strength training and cardio] — a perfect blend of the two,” Williams said. “So you’re going to get tone with your lean muscle, and you’re also going to burn fat because you’re doing the cardio piece of it.”
Angy Russell, a Piloxing instructor at BodybyJuana, said she typically burns 700 to 800 calories during a Piloxing session, with an additional 100 calories in the afterburn.
“You burn a lot of calories in a short time — and it’s not constant cardio,” Russell said. “I struggled with doing constant cardio. You get that cardio and then you slow it down and then you pick it back up again — and that constant up and down is really good for an effective workout.”
Williams and Russell stressed that this course can be for everyone.
“You don’t have to stress about the choreography,” Russell said. “You don’t have to stress about doing what everybody else in the class does. You take it at your own pace.”
“What we’ve been really successful at is building a sense of community here, so when people come here there is not that intimidation factor — there’s not that competition of, ‘I have to do better than the person next to me,’” Williams said.
As if it weren’t odd enough to combine boxing with an exercise centered on stretching, tough-as-nails CrossFitters are now looking to a more balanced routine to help improve their flexibility and focus, among many other benefits. CrossFit Future offers Synergy, a course that complements CrossFit regimens with yoga. Though the exercise isn’t the same intensity as its counterpart, participants will get a workout by improving their overall strength, stamina, flexibility, balance and coordination.
“A lot of what our members are getting out of it is like a balance and strength component that’s different than CrossFit,” said Mark Dankow, owner and instructor at CrossFit Future.
“CrossFit’s really good for functional movement, and the Synergy is more of a balance and strength detail — so it can actually bring guys and gals who are fairly strong when it comes to CrossFit to their knees because they can’t hold poses, and they can’t hold poses for a long time, at least initially.”
Dankow mentioned that CrossFitters tend to stick with the sport because the workouts don’t become repetitive and continue to stay challenging. In the same way, he said that Synergy provides a new challenge for many attending his gym.
“I think the best way to get better at fitness is to do different things,” Dankow said. “I think it’s one thing that CrossFit has taught the fitness community. Just being a marathon runner or a power lifter, they’re both great disciplines — they’re very good, but they’re not inclusive.”
Last but not least – water-bound workouts. They’re not new, but there’s a new take on what you can do in a pool. Aquaspinning has made national headlines, and several places offering partially submerged fitness are right in Columbus’ backyard.
Jeannine Davidson, aquatic director at Premier at Sawmill Athletic Club, explained that water-based workouts could have benefits for those seeking low-impact or high-impact exercises. The club offers a range of aquatic courses focusing on cardio, core work, High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and dance.
“People that can’t have that full impact off the bottom and they can’t do the land aerobics because they have bad knees or they have a bad back — the water supports them,” Davidson said.
For those looking for a new challenge, the water can also work the body harder.
“It builds muscle because the water creates that resistance,” Davidson added. “People don’t realize that it’s actually harder to work out in water than it is on land.”
Aqua Zumba is a low-impact alternative to its land-bound counterpart, Zumba — borrowing many of the popular dance fitness program’s movements. It can be a good option for someone recovering from an injury or an illness. DeNease Ray, an Aqua Zumba instructor at Victory Fitness, said she was drawn toward aquatic courses herself after having a lumbar fusion following a bout with breast cancer.
“It’s different because in the water you have to move a certain way … you’ve got to slow it down a little bit,” Ray said. “That water resistance really works against [you] because you’re twisting and you’re moving, so you really feel it.”
Performing Zumba in the water also puts people who might otherwise be self-conscious about their dance moves and coordination at ease, Ray said.
“I start popping and I tell them, ‘OK, you guys. I can’t see any of you guys. I can’t see your bottom half, so go ahead and get your freak on,’” Ray said.
Ray, 54, has encouraged many women in her age group to join in, but stressed that Aqua Zumba is for anyone who wants to try something new — and have fun during a good workout. Ray said that she really enjoys mashup or fusion workouts.
“I love it!” Ray exclaimed. “It keeps it from being boring.”
Be it on land or in water, knowing when and how to change it up is essential to jumpstarting your workouts. Create something new from old routines and make them better and more interesting. How will you blur the lines of your fitness? •