|Posted on November 30, 2016 at 8:55 AM|
There's a new kid on the exercise block and its name is PiYo.
As it's name suggests, it's pilates/yoga combo class which brings togther the mind/body practices of yoga with the conditioning, stretching and dynamic movement principles of pilates.
The added benefit is that it's very athletic and will bump-up your heart rate, ensuring you also get a cardio workout.
What's not to like!?
So, with that thought in mind I went along to my first class this week and did an hour of it - which I have to tell you was enough - not because I didn't like it, but because it's pretty tough, Far tougher than Pilates or yoga individually.
For the record, although I understand - and often promote - the benefits of Pilates and yoga, I am not massively into them myself. Where fitness is concerned I'm big on HIIT, lifting weights, strength work, jumping up and down, and moving around as fast as possible. If I'm not sweating and my heart rate isn't pushing 180 bpm I don't feel as if I'm in the zone.
So, I'm not going to lie, I was a little sceptical before I began my PiYo workout.
I needn't have been. Within 10 minutes it was pretty full-on. The reason for this is that the entire hour is spent in continuous movement. One exercise flows into the other. And while you're told that you should stop and take a rest if you need to, the idea is to refrain from doing so if you can help it.
The class is choreographed and accompanied by music, which helps with motivation, focus and enjoyment and the instructor demonstates exercises as you try them with her/him. The reason for this is that many of the moves are new - even to a seasoned exerciser like me. Yes, there are aspects of well known exercises in most of them, but they come with a special PiYo adaptation. An example of this is burpees. Instead of doing them hard, fast and with an explosive jump or a press up as an add on, you do them slowly, hold a high plank position in the middle and on coming up to standing, you do a slow squat with a hold at the bottom. After five of them, your quads, hamstrings and glutes are burning and you're out of breath.
If you've done either Pilates or yoga before, you should be able to do the actual exercises. Your strength and stamina will determine whether you can continue them for the required amount of time.
If you've never done Pilates or yoga before, I think the exercises will take a bit of getting used to, some of them are quite complex.
One of the things that appealed to me (apart from getting a cardio workout while doing pilates and yoga) was the amount of core work that came into it. I would say the majority of exercises engaged the core in one way or another.
So, if you want a stronger, more sculpted body (not to mention the possibility of a little fat/weight loss) and you fancy a class with a difference, why not give PiYo a go? I did and I will do it again.
If you live in the Blackheath/Greenwich/Lee area, there's a class near you at Colfe's School Leisure Centre in Horn Park Lane, Lee SE12 8AW on a Wednesday night at 8pm. Best to book in advance on 020 82979110. For non-members it costs £6.00