Pound it Out

Exercise to the Beat of Your Own Drum

Music and workouts go hand in hand. Whether it’s pumping techno bass in the gym or Katy Perry playing on an iPod, nothing helps fuel the last few reps like a good song. A new exercise trend, POUND, took that idea and made the music more integral – so while most exercise classes have music in the background, POUND is about making music.

Give Me a Beat

Started by two drummers, POUND is a cardio workout that incorporates strength training, Pilates and making music. Using light weights in the form of drumsticks called Ripstix™, people use the beat of the music to pound on the floor around them like they’re rocking out on the drums. 

The weight of the sticks and the constant up and down movement of the different combinations activates stabilizer muscles in your core to tighten the tummy muscles,  creating a leaner midsection. Keeping the rhythm drives the fat-burning cardio workout, and the fast-paced, Pilates-type movements burn 400-900 calories in a 45-minute class.

“I love how much fun people have – it is intense and crazy and high-energy,” said Julie Wilkes, owner of Seven Studios, one of the few places in Central Ohio to offer the classes. “You can do this workout barefoot or with shoes. It can be done anywhere. The only thing I don’t like is when class is over – I want to keep rockin’ it out!”

It’s that fun rock-n-roll vibe that she wanted to bring to her customers.

“In my travels across the country, I’ve heard about [it] in NYC and LA and wanted to bring it to Columbus,” said Wilkes. “POUND allows us to add another cardio component to our mix. Since POUND is a fun format that allows people to rock out, laugh, let go and get an amazing workout in, we thought it was the perfect fit for the energy at Seven Studios!”

Drum Roll Please

Classes are often like a rock concert with total audience participation. Hardwood floors echo the rat-a-tats, while mats provide the deeper bass thuds. Sweaty people sway to the music. A hype man in front gets the class going. The main difference is that the music playing in the background keeps everyone in the same groove, which is easy to follow if one has ever clapped to a beat.

“People love it! They have fun, sweat, rock out and then tell me the next day how much [they] feel muscles they haven’t felt before. All POUND classes have sold out that we’ve offered so far,” said Wilkes.

Instructors must be certified to teach the aerobic portion, although they do not have to be drummers. In fact the creators of the new trend, Kirsten Potenza and Cristina Peerenboom, modified their musical stylings so that it’s easy for all levels of coordination. Plus, there’s no pressure to keep the beat for a song; it’s the song that’s keeping the beat for the workout. 

Now who wants to modify air guitar to make that into a workout?