There is a somewhat long story behind me getting this workout and I will try to keep it brief so as not to bore readers. I have been intrigued with this workout for a very long time. But I held off purchasing it for a host of reasons–it is not cheap ($22.49 on Amazon), I couldn’t seem to gauge the level/intensity, I had a long list of other workouts I wanted to get first and I’m not a huge fan of pilates (though I do know it is a good practice that has lots of benefits)–but I am a fan of boxing/kickboxing. So it sat on my wishlist for a very long time. Then the stars aligned a month ago. I got lots of Amazon gift cards for Christmas and my birthday (a week apart). I had already accumulated the majority of the inexpensive workouts on my wishlist–and Self put out a special DVD that contained the original Piloxing workout (the one I wanted) + her second Express Toning workout–all on one DVD for only $4.24! Btw–as of this review it is still offered on Amazon for this price, so go check it out if this review entices you to buy it: Plioxing. Purchased separately these workouts are $22.39 + $19.90–so $4.24 for both is quite a bargain.
Piloxing was created by Vivica Jensen. What is piloxing? The description of it is a fusion between pilates and boxing; however, having done it, it is more of a fusion between boxing and ballet. I don’t have tons of experience with pilates (though I have done pilates); however I didn’t see any “pilates” in the standing portion of the original piloxing workout, which is the bulk of the workout. There was a lot of cardio boxing and fast paced ballet moves + some dance, like salsas. But until you get to the ab portion at the end, I didn’t see pilates. But that doesn’t mean she didn’t talk about it! And talk she did! She frequently stated how some move that was done standing was a pilates-type of move. In fact, I think that is one of the biggest drawbacks of this workout, how irritating the trainer was. She babbled non-stop, sometimes nonsensically and she had irritating verbal tics that she used ad nauseum like “uh huh” or just noises like “uh.” She also talked about “sexy” moves and other “sexy” things. She seemed to think her workout is sexy and would make you feel sexy. It wasn’t and it didn’t.
Outside of the irritating trainer, what did I think of the actual workout? Since I read very mixed reviews about this workout, I did it on a recovery week in case I didn’t get an adequate burn from it. It is actually a pretty decent workout. Not high intensity or anything, but I was sweating, it got my heart rate up and I felt the burn in many places! BTW–I wore 2 pound weighted gloves. Vivica and her crew all wore one pound weighted gloves. The gloves are essential for getting a decent workout, in my opinion. In fact, the worst burn I got was in my upper body and it had a lot to do with the fact I was wearing gloves. She keeps your arms always moving and with weighted gloves on, it starts to hurt! That was another thing she babbled about; how the workout toned you up without bulking you up. This really irritated me because it only further perpetuates the myth that strength training “bulks” women up. It doesn’t.
For a recovery week workout, it did the job. I would never include it as part of my normal rotation, but when I want to take things down a notch, it works. The moves were creative and easy to do, but still got your heart rate up. I liked how she alternated between the fast paced ballet moves and the cardio boxing (which she refers to as power moves). It’s definitely not an advanced workout. Decent intermidiate if you are wearing weighted gloves. And it could have possibly been fun if there had been no irritation factor. I don’t know if I will do it again. Before I did Express Toning (the bonus on this DVD), I didn’t think I would ever do Piloxing again, but Vivica was less irritating in the bonus workout and made me reconsider. We’ll see.
Piloxing is 62 minutes; 4 minute warm up, 46 minutes of piloxing, the lower body and ab work is 8 minutes and the stretch is 4 minutes. The structure of this workout is cardio boxing (done Tae Bo style) alternated with fast-paced ballet type moves. The workout ends with some lower body work on the floor, ab work and then a stretch. The set is pink and black with a boxing ring behind the exercisers. I’m not going to break this workout down as I usually do but I’ll list some of the different moves to give an idea of what this workout contains. For the “pilates” type moves you do a lot of one leg ballet moves, starting in ballet feet/stance positions, lifting the legs forward, to the side, to the back. There are some plie squats. You also do plies where you raise your heels. There was also some Tae Bo-style standing core work, where you will be doing side crunches, lifting knee to elbow at various speeds. For the cardio boxing, it is all of the different kinds of punches at one time or another with lower body cardio moves such as cross jacks, scissors and hot feet. For the floor work you will get on all fours and do all kinds of leg lifts while raising and lowering upper body in a modified push up. And the ab work is the only thing that actually resembles pilates.
Piloxing Express Toning is 56 minutes total. It is actually 3 “express” toning workouts, but they play straight through, one right after the other, so you will have to skip ahead if you don’t want to do them all. The Arm workout is 17 minutes (3 of those are the stretch at the end), the Legs workout is 22 minutes (4 of those are the stretch at the end) and the Abs workout is 17 minutes (3 of those are the stretch at the end). There is no “piloxing” in this workout collection. And with the exception of the arm section, Vivica was much less irritating. However, in the Arm workout she was just as irritating as she was in the original.
Lets start with the Arm workout. As mentioned above it is 17 minutes long and 3 of those are the stretch at the end. All of the express workouts are in a different setting than the Piloxing workout. This is just a room with some dark sheet hanging along the wall. Vivica has two exercisers with her. Vivica and one of the crew members are wearing weighted gloves; the other has no gloves–she is just barehanded. I found this workout kind of odd. I lift a lot of weights. So, an arm workout with nothing but weighted gloves that isn’t body weight focused (as in push ups, tricep dips, pull ups) seems… ineffective. But what do I know? I will not lie–my arms were burning during this workout. I wore 2 pound weighted gloves and she does a lot of reps. A lot. And early on there are few breaks. I would not do this workout w/out weighted gloves. She does different variations of bicep curls, tricep extensions, arm circles, some wrist work and I guess a chest fly… with no weights. Weird. It ends with some body weight work–side tricep push ups and walking planks. Vivica is very annoying in this workout, just like in the Piloxing workout. She babbles and makes a lot of non-sensical noises–“uhs” that were irritating. I will probably never do this workout again.
Legs–this workout is another story altogether. First, Vivica was far less irritating and wow–this one HURT. My lower body felt weak for hours afterward. Very good floor workout. This workout is 22 minutes with the last 4 being a much needed stretch. The majority of this workout is done in “tripod” position–on one forearm and one hand. It is lots of kicks–hydrants, pizza presses, leg lifts among other forms of torture. And, as in Arms, she does a lot of reps. For the last part of the workout you will lay on your back and do a lot of bridge variations and man, they hurt, too! Very effect lower body workout. I will definitely use this one as an add on to hit my legs and butt hard!
Abs is the final workout and it is another painful and challenging workout. I really liked this one, too. Again, Vivica is not very irritating in this workout, which makes it much more enjoyable. Abs is 17 minutes long and the last 3 minutes are a stretch. This one has all sorts of abdominal work, both of the pilates and the traditional variety. She starts in modified V sit and does the arm pumps and some other moves, including punches (is this our piloxing?), then moves to full V sit moves, there are scissor legs, bicycle scissor legs, plank moves and more. It is excellent and tough and I will probably also use it as an add on ab workout.
I also used Express Toning as a recovery week workout. In the end, the $4.24 (gift cards + free shipping, so I didn’t actually spend 1 cent) was not wasted–if for no other reason then the Legs workout! I will probably give the Piloxing one more go round before I made a final decision.