Fitness & Health: CXWORX gets to the core of the problem
Les Mills fitness classes – you just can’t escape them.
Having already battered, beaten and buffed myself up in various menacingly named hits by the brand, such as Body Attack and Body Pump, when I got invited over to The Aviation Club to try the new thirty-minute core training programme CXWORX™, I threw my hands up and thought one of those things you just never should: What’s the worst that could happen?
As opposed to the other classes, the name doesn’t describe the damage, so what is it?
CXWORX™ is aimed at really honing in on core and strength training, as well as functional fitness, so expect to put midriffs and the sling muscles that connect your upper and lower body to the test.
Apparently a lot of scientific research has gone into this class, and it features only the most efficient exercises for maximum effectiveness.
Benefits include improved functional strength for balance, mobility and injury prevention, and a better understanding of how the core works and its importance to your physical health (yes, these instructors do like to lecture too).
You’ll burn roughly 230 calories per session too. The best part though? Les Mills is absolutely confident that thirty minutes practicing these moves to a bit of tailored grooves is all you need to reap the same (or even better) rewards as your average hour-long workouts.
In a typical session you will first do a mat warm-up to gradually activate the muscles, things like crunches to work upper abs and leg raisers that work the lower abs too.
Then, focusing even more on the abs, as well as glutes and sling muscles, you’ll move on to some crazy versions of leg extensions and holding the plank, naming a few.
Think of some of the most basic but painfully effective exercises, then add something like interchanging arm and leg extensions or squats on the end.
I think our instructor for the day, Georgina – an energetically growling and grinning wiry woman wearing nothing but muscle – was throwing in anything extra to get a reaction out of our bodies, really, just to make sure they weren’t asleep.
And, continuously falling to our mats, we took it all in, probably because the track list was so perfect, not to mention it’s some sort of a Les Mills rule that you can’t stop your repetitions until the music stops and changes.
What was most painful, however, was my first encounter with resistance tubes, which dominated a great bit of the middle of the workout.
For newbies, this is an elastic training aid with handle straps that we trapped underfoot and pulled on to do various stretches, side lunges and leg raisers.
The more you twist or pull on the handles, the tougher the resistance. Needless to say, all I could picture throughout that section were my sore and quaking calves two days later.
Following some pretty decorated side planks and side plank dips, we rounded off the session with a bit of back strengthening exercises, for example, lying on our stomachs and slightly hovering our upper bodies over the mat with our arms outstretched (kind of like flying, except probably not as fun).
Finally, after a long, lovely Child Pose to settle our throbbing bodies, it was suddenly all over before it even started!
The Verdict: While it gave me a good hard yet enjoyable push, I still felt that I could go on for a full hour. But maybe I’m talking too soon. I’ll let my body be the judge after a couple days. All in all, this is a short, sharp workout that will shake you to the core…in a good way, I promise.
Where: The Aviation Club
When: Session timings change each season. For Fall 2011, CXWORX™ classes are running at least once a day at the club from Saturdays to Thursdays. It’s best to call ahead before attending.
Price: Dh50 a session at thirty minutes each. In addition, various monthly packages incorporating all of the fitness classes offered at the club are available.
Contact: 04 283 3071 or 04 282 4122