A fast-paced class mixes the power and speed of boxing with the core sculpting of Pilates. Rose Apodaca tries on the gloves. Also, read the reviews of Ballet Beautiful and Grace Somatomorphic Technique.
Since the August birth of my daughter, the inevitable nesting triggered my foodie husband to cook an endless feast, each morsel too scrummy to deny. I soon realized that cute as they were on the baby, pudgy rolls weren’t working for me. I can’t blame pregnancy: We adopted. Daily stroller tours in our hilly ‘hood induced gasping that underscored that I’m a 42-year-old mom. Not even the project I was working on with the sensationally fit Dita Von Teese could get me off my duff. I didn’t want to feel over the hill, let alone look it, what with pencil skirts back and so many in my closet. What to do? My less-than-eager attendance at yoga, Pilates, and Spinning wasn’t cutting it. So would something called Piloxing?
DAY 1: Viveca Jensen, the creator of Piloxing, is just as she looks on her Web site: sunny, sparkly, and very Swedish. “Feminine is powerful!” she tells me in her Barbie-pink studio, surrounded by Piloxing-branded workout wear. A former music-video and stage dancer, Viveca embraced Pilates after tearing a ligament in her leg. She became a certified instructor and, a decade later, began merging her best burning moves with another favorite, boxing, and Piloxing was born. (She began “boxing for fun” in Sweden 18 years ago. Joseph Pilates boxed too, so this isn’t an entirely cuckoo concept.) After our meet and greet, Viveca’s first lieutenant gives me a primer of the basic steps so that I am ready for the first class. The moves call to mind ballet, jazz, and scenes from Rocky. Think Bob Fosse meets Muhammad Ali. No wonder a new wave of starlets—Vanessa Hudgens, Alexis Bledel, and Hilary Duff—have pledged allegiance to Piloxing in its three short years. Before leaving, I ask Viveca about diet guidelines while she tucks into a quinoa salad. She is clear: “Eat fresh and not overly processed food and it will benefit your brain and your body. Those powder cleanses? I don’t believe in them. How are those better than real food?”
WEEK TWO: Sore from Saturday class, I lug myself back on Monday expecting fewer students. Instead, I find 40 people crammed into the room. On my right is Kirsten Dunst. She is as unversed as I am in the amped-up choreography. I’ve always fancied myself a good dancer, but all this hopping here and there is causing some graceless, goofy moments. Viveca’s relentlessly happy “It’s not that serious!” declarations keep me energized. Just as I think I can’t do another step, kick, or bounce, she uncannily switches to another series of pumped steps. As we reach for mats for sit-ups à la Viveca, I see a hunched Kirsten, black Chanel bag under her arm, dragging herself to the door. A mood of triumph rushes over me that I’ve bested a 28-year-old, famous or not.
WEEKEND TWO: Each class ends with Viveca’s feminist mantra and corresponding steps: “Sleek! Sexy! Powerful!” I cringe. But Piloxing has grown on me. I’m carving time into my crazy schedule to make it to class. I’m limiting the wine to a single weekend night and replacing my daily cheese snack with almonds. My biceps are awakening, and I’ve put myself on the waiting list for the coveted eight-ounce Piloxing gloves.
WEEK THREE: I have a party to go to after class. I wonder about Viveca’s take on booze. Good news: She is all for a glass of pinot noir with a good meal and says, “It has health bene?ts.” But keep it to once or twice a week, she admonishes. Later, at the Chateau Marmont, I hit the bar. The autumn heat wave notwithstanding, I’m feeling kind of hot, having once again slipped right into a Karl Lagerfeld pencil skirt. While he might have opted for one of the Diet Cokes lined up before me, I go for a chilled glass of vino. Hey, as Viveca says, it’s heart healthier.
Known as a fat-scorching and muscle-sculpting interval workout, this method is for those who like to work up a serious sweat in a group setting. Beginners are welcome.
Plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables with minimal processed food. “And keep alcohol to once or twice a week,” admonishes Viveca.
4129 Cahuenga Blvd., Toluca Lake, CA; 818-762-8855. Check out piloxing.com for information on locations and schedules of classes nationwide and in Europe.