There are blondes, and then there is Kelly Ripa. While some might see the overtly cute and bubbly blonde stereotype as a cliche, Ripa–along with her talent–built an empire. So when my blonde-haired, girl-boss soulmate went on her show Live with Kelly and spotlighted the hottest new workout trend, which also happens to be my newest staple workout, I knew I had to share!
When I first signed up for a class called “Pound” at my favorite Costa Mesa studio, Meraki Barre, I was more than skeptical at a workout that centered around drum sticks…and even more skeptical when I found out there were no drums involved. But as a person who is intrigued by new, uncommon experiences, I just had to try it out. With my neon green drumsticks in hand, I entered the dance studio, not yet knowing how this class would revolutionize my preconceptions about studio workouts and how fun getting sexy and toned can be!
As the class began, the room was flooded with the tune of Jet’s “Are You Gonna Be My Girl.” We sat on individual mats and our vivacious instructor gave us a pep talk on throwing our bodies and energy into our drumming. As we channeled those first few beats–connecting stick to floor for the first time–the room became charged with a shimmer of electricity–our beats (mostly) pounding in unison. And when I missed a beat it didn’t seem to matter–it was the passion and effort that did. Before I knew it, I had mastered a basic drumming combination and was incorporating it into lunge jumps–whoever invented the name for the “ugly cry” needs to invent something for the “ugly sweat” because, though I was grinning from ear to ear, I was drenched! And in the last minutes, with my legs raised parallel to the floor in a bicycle crunch, twisting and pounding from side to side, I vigorously mouthed the expletives from Rage Against the Machine’s “Killing in the Name Of,” coming out of the speakers until all that was left was my sweat, silence, and a room full of women in yoga type workout clothes feeling elated.
Why the hype?
Besides the fact that one class can burn up to 900 calories–which, in my opinion, is the sole reason why I do a workout–following the Pound rhythms increase dexterity and concentration. While you’re swooping, lunging, and beating your sticks to David Guetta, your brain is getting a workout memorizing and multitasking. The pounding of the sticks also improves mood, releasing tension and aggression while clearing your mind. Finally, I CANNOT drive home how much I love the music–the music is LEGIT! And it’s loud. If you’ve ever gone out to a club on a Friday night to dance and thought, “Why can’t I just lose weight doing this?”–guess what? YOU CAN! My apologies that there’s no bar included.
So where in the world did pound come from?
Former drummers and athletes, turned girl bosses, Kirsten Potenza and Cristina Peerenboom were tired of spending their time counting reps, focusing on breathing, and watching the clock tick until their workout was over. Why couldn’t they enjoy exercising as much as they enjoyed playing music?
And from there Pound, the workout–no, the rockout–was born.
Pound utilizes modified drumsticks–or Ripsticks–that you use in combinations of beating the ground and the air, all while timing yourself to the larger-than-life beats. For instance, my classes typically end with Rage Against the Machine. It’s WILD!
What if I’m not very coordinated or good at dancing?
Neither being coordinated or a good dancer is necessary for Pound. There is a girl who’s come to class a few times and somehow she pounds all of the sequences backwards and slightly out of time. Even most people who’ve taken a host of Pound classes get off beat and out of sync from time to time. That’s not only okay–its expected. Again, Pound is about the force and the passion you put into your workout. Jim Parsons, from the show The Big Bang Theory, joined Kelly Ripa live on national television to take a Pound class for the first time and his response really was the best example of what a first-timer taking Pound will look like. For that full video, and so you can see what it might look like when you take Pound, click here.
I’ve taken alternative workout, music-based classes like Zumba, but never felt the intensity I get from HIIT classes, why should I try Pound?
Because of the combined force of pounding the Ripsticks and cardio, you’re taking your routine to a new level. Imagine doing Zumba while having weights attached to your hands and ankles and then you’ll have a better idea of what kind of hurt–always the good kind–that you’re in for!
I really need a change in my routine – where can I find these Pound classes?
Whether you have little ones and find working out at home easier, or are a “studio rat” like me–Pound is wherever you want it to be. With the Ripsticks available on the Pound website, the availability of the at-home Pound DVDs, and the Pound classes that are sprouting out in almost every major metropolitan area–Pound is perfect for you. Yes, even you who lives with neighbors, just put a foam mat down to mask the sound.
Are you ready to join Kelly Ripa and me in the most all-over, mind-to-body workout EVER?! Let’s do it! Find your nearest class on the Pound website, here!
Have you sweated it out to Pound?
Also by Missy: These 3 Vegan Hair Dyes Are Drop Dead Gorge–And Way Better For You
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Photo: Live with Kelly, Meraki Barre, Pound