These Combo Workouts Will Have You Burning Calories In No Time

What do ‘Brangelina’, ‘Yogalates’, and ‘cankles’ all have in common? They’re all portmanteau words, the concept of combining two different words to make one new one.

Fitness has seen its fair share of portmanteau concepts, all promising faster results, a more effective workout, or less time required in the gym. Here, we reveal the latest portmanteau fitness terms and how to incorporate them into your training…

    • Sweating + networking = sweatworking “Busy schedules can make it difficult to fit in exercise and meetings so sweatworking provides the perfect opportunity to kill two birds with one stone,” explains Rob Beale, head of sports, health and fitness at David Lloyd Leisure. Not every type of training lends itself to a productive sweatworking session though. A dark studio with pounding music isn’t the best place to talk over crucial business decisions, while a hushed yoga studio isn’t conducive to metting and greeting new clients. “Small group workouts such as kettlebells, ViPR or TRX are ideal,” explains Beale. “They are interesting and accommodate those of all fitness levels.”

    • Gym + influence = gymfluence Gymfluence describes the influence the gym has in your daily life. To stay motivated in the long term you need to enjoy exercise and the feeling it brings. These feelings need to exert sufficient influence to keep you training. It’s important to follow a plan or programme, and vary your training to keep making progress. If you train in a gym it helps if you enjoy the surroundings, as it increases the likelihood of you sticking to your programme. Be warned though, if the gym and training exerts too strong an influence you risk overtraining; a plateau of results and increased risk of injury, or even becoming addicted to exercise.

    • Boxing + kwaito = bokwa This new class is billed as an effective total body workout, combining South African dance steps and boxing. The instructor explains the sequences using letters and numbers and as with any dance-inspired class, it may take a little time to master the steps. Don’t be disheartened if you don’t pick them up straight away, it shouldn’t affect your enjoyment of the class. The music adds to the infectious nature of the class, as well as spurring you on to work harder. You can try Bokwa at Nuffield Health, Fitness and Wellbeing Centres (nuffieldhealth.com).

    • Running + lunch = runch According to a study commissioned by Helly Hansen, as many as two million British workers use their lunch breaks to go for a run, up to three times a week. A hectic lifestyle or feeling too worn out at the end of the day leaves incorporating exercise into the day as your only option. Aside from being the most convenient option, running in your lunch break can make you more productive when you return to your desk. “Plan your route beforehand and give yourself enough time to cool down, shower and eat,” says Ryan O’Gorman, fitness manager at Freedom Leisure (freedomleisure. co.uk). “If time is limited, up the intensity by doing intervals or Fartlek training, incorporating hills and stairs,” he adds.

    • Funky + functional training = funktional training Functional training prepares you for the demands of sport and everyday life. Exercises challenge lots of different muscles, as well as balance and stability. Funktional training takes a more dynamic approach and is based around the latest equipment such as the TRX, ViPR and battling ropes. The high-intensity moves mean that funktional training is a short but effective workout that develops CV fitness, strength as well as reducing risk of injury. Funktional training can be incorporated into any workout and isn’t limited to the gym.

    • Yoga + pilates = yogalates This is the concept credited with starting the trend of combining one or more elements of fitness. From a fitness perspective, the combination works. Blending the core strengthening benefits of Pilates with the flexibility and strength benefits of yoga makes for a really balanced workout. Yogalates develops the aspects of fitness not addressed by cardio or toning exercises, complimenting these forms of training. It’s a great option for those who don’t have the time to do a separate yoga and Pilates class, or just want a change from their regular session.

    • Cardiovascular training + pilates = cardiolates The most effective workouts involve a range of different elements to challenge the body in a variety of ways. Cardiolates from TenPilates (tenpilates.com) certainly fits the bill by combining spinning and reformer Pilates. The first half of the class involves an interval training session on a spinning bike to improve CV fitness and burn calories. The second half of the class uses reformer beds to perform a dynamic series of exercises that work the core and the major muscle groups to tone these areas. The class finishes with stretching on a foam roller to give a deep tissue massage.

    • Stress + rest = strest This concept sees you pairing exercises, moving straight from one to the next. Doing another exercise in the time you would otherwise be resting between sets or intervals is a great time saver. By spending a greater proportion of your time exercising you increase the intensity too, which can make for a more effective workout. “This concept works best when you combine two exercises that work different parts of the body. For example, holding the plank between sets of step-ups works your core but still gives your legs a chance to recover before the next set,” explains O’Gorman.

    • Prevention + rehabilitation = prehab Rather than waiting to get injured then doing lots of balance and joint-strengthening exercises, why not include them into your programme and spend less time on the sidelines? Prehab takes a preventative approach to injury management and can reduce your risk of injury, or speed recovery should the worst happen. Incorporating a few prehab exercises in your programme is easy and shouldn’t mean doubling your workout time. Try doing squats on a BOSU to increase your ankle stability – doing this lessens the likelihood of an ankle sprain. You could also include exercises for the shoulder stabiliser muscles as part of your warm-up.

    • Pilates + boxing = piloxing This workout promises to deliver a more toned physique by combining the power, speed and agility of boxing with the sculpting and flexibility of Pilates. Created by Swedish dancer and trainer Viveca Jensen, Piloxing has many celebrity fans including Glee star Heather Morris. Participants wear weighted gloves throughout the class, which consists of boxing, standing Pilates and dance. Check out piloxing.com to locate your nearest class or to buy a workout DVD.

  • Exercising + video gaming = exergaming Combining exercise and video games creates a more immersive experience, which ultimately seems much less like exercise. Consoles such as the Nintendo Wii and Xbox Kinect allow you to take part in a range of different on-screen sports or activities, even offering feedback on technique and workout advice. More specialist kit is available too, such as the Trixter Xdream, which sees you cycling on a stationary bike, controlling a virtual cyclist on a screen in front of you. “It’s a totally enjoyable experience and creates a buzz in the gym that most fitness kit can’t manage,” says Beale. While some would argue it’s no replacement for the real thing, exergaming can be a great way to add some variety to your training, or to engage those who otherwise wouldn’t exercise.


Kristoph Thompson