March 1, 2017

Class Review: Pound Fitness

The last few Saturdays, I’ve been going to a trendy new workout class that’s a ton of fun: Pound Fitness.

I generally look slightly less cool and slightly more sweaty when I take the class, but here’s a stock image of the class.

I first heard about Pound Fitness several years ago, but never had a studio offering it near me… until now. Two months ago, I saw it on Classpass and immediately knew I wanted to check it out. I assumed it would be primarily a cardio class, so scheduled it after a 5K morning race – figuring it would be good to burn a few more calories but hopefully wouldn’t be too taxing. And I would say that was about 50% right.

In a Pound Fitness class, you’re given weighted drumsticks (very light – each one is 1/4 pound), and the class is a nonstop series of songs where you drum in different positions/rhythms. You put a yoga mat in front of you (to protect the floor and be your drum pad), and then do all kinds of bends and dips to get down to the floor for the drumming. Sometimes you’re in a sumo squat position, other times it’s lunges, and sometimes you get to sit right down on the mat… but don’t get too excited about that last option, because whenever you’re on the floor, you’re either in a pulsing glute bridge position or else you’re in a C-curve leaning back to work your abs as you drum. Honestly, the songs where you sit on the floor are my least favorite because my abs/hip flexors feel the burn so much!

During my first class, I spent most of the time having a lot of fun but not really feeling like I was getting a workout in. Then I checked my Fitbit at the end of class, and wow! Turns out that my version of “having fun but not working that hard” had given me an average heart rate of 118bpm and a calorie burn of 312 calories in 45 minutes – which is a pretty good workout. I quickly realized that this was actually a super effective workout while being a lot of fun rather than exhausting – the holy grail of cardio!

Here’s a screenshot of my heart rate data from my Fitbit after this week’s Pound class. Pretty good peaks!

If you’re not very coordinated and you embarrass easily, Pound may not be for you. Because you’re constantly hitting the drumsticks against each other or on the floor, it’s very obvious when you’re not on the same rhythm as the group. But as long as that doesn’t bother you, have at it! And remember that everyone in the class gets off the beat/rhythm at some point, particularly on some of the faster and more complicated sequences. The class that I’ve taken at Tease Fitness is generally small (no more than six people), and everyone is so friendly – we’ve all gotten off the beat at times, and no one’s ever so much as blinked, let alone stared and made someone feel bad.

Which brings me to the instructor. At Tease Studio in Denver, the Pound instructor is April Abbott – and she’s fantastic! April has a ton of energy, and is also incredibly sweet and welcoming. We’ve had a least one new person at each class that I’ve taken, and April always takes the first ten minutes to explain some of the more common rhythms/movements to newbies, as well as prep the veterans for any new songs in the lineup. Each class, there’s been at least one new song to check out, which helps to mix things up from week to week. April also told me that she’s going to start teaching at the Westminster Rec Center, if you’re a north Denver resident and want to check that class out.

With regard to the venue where I’ve been taking classes, Tease Studio, it’s quite an interesting place. Tease is “Colorado’s leading studio in flirty-style fitness,” which basically means they focus on pole dancing / cardio striptease / etc. Not quite my jam! Be prepared if you go to Tease that you’ll see some women in the front studio wearing very little clothing… but also doing some very impressive moves that I probably wouldn’t have the strength to do even if I had the nerve 🙂 I took my Grami Christine to Tease for a Pound class and felt just a wee bit awkward leading her through the front studio, even though she didn’t blink an eye and was totally impressed by the dancers.

Here’s a shot of the two of us with our drum sticks after class 🙂 We’re rockstars! (PS – notice that you can wear any kind of regular gym clothes to Pound, even if you take the class at Tease.)

Want to see what Pound is really like before you check out a class? Here’s a video I found on YouTube that includes an interview with the founders and demonstrations of the moves/routines you can expect to see in a class:

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post, and is my unbiased review of a class I paid to try and now take regularly. While I may be annoyed with Classpass for how they’re changing their model and eliminating the unlimited option (effective today!), I do like that it allows me to try out new-to-me classes and studios.


2 thoughts on “Class Review: Pound Fitness”

  1. I LOVE Pound– I’ve taken it at Crunch locations in NYC, and like how much lower-body work is involved. If you lift regularly, though, upper-body toning benefits are probably pretty minimal. But at the end of class I’ve always done a million squats and lunges without really noticing it all that much, which is great!

    1. I try to hit as hard as I can to up the ante with arms! But I totally agree with you that it’s fantastic for legs! So glad to find out someone else loves this workout as much as I do 🙂

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