POUND fitness, a cardio based, drumming workout that has grown increasingly popular over the last couple years. I became a certified Pound Pro about a year and a half ago, but I fell in love with it long before that…
Bringing POUND to the YMCA I currently instruct at always seemed like an impossible feat. “No one would be interested in that”, “We don’t have the right demographic for it”, “Members here get stuck in their ways and are not always willing to try new things.” Thought after thought, yet the desire to try it only increased. I started following the stories of both Kirsten Potenza and Cristina Peerenboom (Co-Founders of PoundFit), and the obsession only became worse. I fell in love with their message, their passion, their drive, and their diversity. It was something I had never seen before, SOMETHING DIFFERENT.
Who are we? POUND speaks up…
“As a community, we believe that we have the ability to inspire a nation, to turn the fitness world on its head, and to truly find alternative ways to ROCK. We aspire to change minds before bodies and use beat and alternative movement to launch people to new heights of self worth, happiness and human connection, AKA, release their INNER ROCKSTARS. POUND was created in 2011 by two women who were both recreational drummers and former college athletes. They relied heavily on stability-based exercises like pilates to keep their bodies aligned, symmetrical and lean, but were bored with routine and longed to reignite the fun in exercise. It wasn’t until they were forced to drum without a stool and squat over the drum kit that they realized drumming and exercise could be one and the same. Led by co-creator and CEO, Kirsten Potenza, POUND is currently taught by over 17,000 instructors in 70+ countries to hundreds of thousands of participants a week, making an active, supportive and passionate community.”
So what is POUND, exactly?
Technically, Pound is a full body workout combining cardio, conditioning, and strength training with yoga and pilates-inspired movements (and what else? FUN). You use Ripstix, which are lightly weighted drumsticks engineered specifically for exercising, weighing about a fourth of a pound and proving to be insanely durable. This workout transforms drumming into an incredibly effective way of working out. It is designed for ALL fitness levels (contrary to your belief), and is EASILY modifiable.
Okay, I know what POUND is – what can I expect from a class?
Well, for starters – you can expect to sweat, A LOT. You can also expect some super awesome music (ranging from rock classics to pop hits). And of course, a super awesome instructor! But in all seriousness, what you can expect is a serious workout. Even better? It’s a workout that doesn’t feel like a workout. You don’t realize all the muscles you are working, all the balance you are focusing on – until you’re done. A huge part of the class is performed in a squat position; constant up and down drumming targets your inner and outer thighs, butt, and core. You might not feel sore right away… but you’ll definitely feel sore tomorrow! POUND class will focus on a series of isometric and plyometric movements including squats, lunges, jumps, twists, forward bends and stretches, all the while drumming along with your Ripstix and MAKING NOISE. Generally, it will be either a 30 or 45 minute class, with minimal, short breaks between songs. POUND will help you with agility, coordination, and strength. It’s a deceptive cardio workout; although you don’t cover much ground, your whole body is moving and working (and dripping sweat).
What will we focus on?
Strike Timing: Sticking on time with the beat
Strike Amplitude: Loudness
Strike Symmetry: Balance between left and right sides of the body
Strike Distance: Span of movement
Strike Quality: Strike sharpness, ability to strike consistently
Strike Lead: Dominant versus non-dominant hand
Mind: Rhythm increases focus and enhances decision-making skills by altering brainwave frequency and improving brain blood flow. A rapid beat boosts pain tolerance while decreasing anxiety and fatigue. Drumming and exercise both release feel-good endorphins. Combine the two and you’ve got a powerful and fun experience.
Body: POUND’s design enhances brain-body connection through audio-physio reinforcement. This means you can hear (and assess) every movement. Each beat demands core engagement, improves and enhances balance.
Inner Rockstar: Communal drumming has been proven to build community and increase group happiness. As a POUND community, we believe that we have the ability to inspire a nation, to turn the fitness world on its head, and truly find alternative ways to ROCK – in life, in our careers, and as humans! We believe in releasing the permission to rock and creating environments that elicit confidence, enhance unity, and ultimately, inspires our posse to inspire others.
Who should go to POUND class?
YOU. YOUR FRIENDS. YOUR FAMILY. BEGINNERS. PROS. MODIFIERS. YOUNG ADULTS. ADULTS. FEMALES. MALES. ROCKSTARS. EVERYONE.
You might think I’m exaggerating, but I’m not. POUND is truly for EVERYONE. Beginners are ABSOLUTELY welcome. Your instructor will give you plenty of options for modifications, and you may take a break whenever needed. Not sure that you’re coordinated enough? I tell people it’s just like trying kickboxing for the first time – it’s crazy and semi-frustrating the first couple times, but once you get the hang of it, it’s only going to get better. When in doubt? MAKE NOISE. I always tell my students, just keep moving! Truthfully, the choreography is just a bunch of simple moves. It consists of lunges, squats, and yoga-style bridges paired with drumstick work, all syncing up with the music. Generally, there is a short, repetitive routine for the verse, another for the chorus, and a third for the bridge. You master POUND with practice, perfection isn’t key.
Why do I teach this crazy class?
First and foremost… after a long day, few things are more exhilarating than grabbing my pair of Ripstix and pounding out my stress. I sweat, I laugh, I smile, and, yes, I struggle sometimes! I grew up a dancer, I’ve been dancing since I was 5 years old. Being able to put choreography to music again, perform, and teach – it’s all incredibly nostalgic for me. The pure joy and inspiration I get from instructing ANY class, is a specific kind of high you can’t explain. I get this amazing opportunity to inspire and motivate and ignite people, bringing out their inner rockstar and simultaneously giving them a killer workout. Another thing I’ve always loved and admired about POUND is the incredible community. I have never met a group of people more supportive, encouraging, helpful, and loving than my POUND posse and fellow POUND pros. Our CEO, Kirsten, is involved in everything (she even consistently likes my Instagram posts regarding fitness). She is easily one of the most inspiring, kind, and brave women I have “met”. Basically I just want to be her.
For me, there’s no workout quite like POUND. It’s something completely different than everything else out there – it’s something not everyone is willing to teach, or even try. It’s a passion that sets my soul on fire. It’s something that INSPIRES me, MOTIVATES me, IGNITES me. POUND is a passion, for me, that I want to share with you. So this is me, telling you, GIVE IT A TRY!