Workouts are hard and they feel like one. But there is a new one called Pound and it makes you forget that you are working your muscles. I recently enrolled for a class to get a first hand feel of this trending new workout.
Humans are creatures of habit. We find comfort in consistency, which isn’t completely terrible, but sometimes it gets us stuck in a rut. I was caught in an extremely habitual exercise routine and was looking for something that will continue to challenge my body. I needed a break from the regular routine to refresh my body and mind and reignite my excitement for fitness.
That’s when I heard of Pound the new workout sensation that is creating waves in the US. A quick Google search led me to Priti Panchmatia, the first trainer to bring Pound to India. She got her certification from Connecticut, USA for the same. What began as one class in Los Angeles in 2011 has now reached international acclaim with a network of over 7,000 instructors in 35 countries.
After a brief talk with Priti about Pound, I join a small batch of Pound enthusiasts for a trial class in Juhu, Mumbai. We start with a routine warm up and are then handed a set of neon green sticks called Ripsticks.
We start with the basics – legs wide apart in the squat position and move the sticks to either sides. To up the difficulty level we hit the sticks on the floor. You can add a hop if you are really in to it. This is where the cardio kicks in. Next we start pounding the floor with the Ripsticks. It’s a lot of fun. I love our instructor, Priti’s zany energy and also like watching everyone in the class really let loose and shake their inhibitions.
Pound feels like a cardio workout where you pretend to drum and pound the mat in front of you all the way listening to some great high-energy music and having a blast. The full body workout also infuses pilates.
The lunges, squats and abdominal twists are all very intense and after the initial 15 minutes I am sweating significantly. But I am still not tired. Even during the specified arms song, the slightly-weighted sticks don’t fatigue my arms.
Pound helps agility, coordination and strength, considering we do much more than a few squats and lunges. It’s also a deceptive cardio workout. While you won’t cover much ground, your whole body is moving and dripping sweat. You don’t hold an uncomfortable pose for an extended period of time; the class is always moving, always changing, and always pushing the body to its limits.
While my regular gym sessions tend to target particular areas of the body, Pound is a full-body workout and targets common trouble spots like abs, arms, butt and thighs. A huge part of the class is performed in a squat position. The constant up-and-down drumming targets your inner and outer thighs, butt and core. During a typical 45-minute routine, Priti estimates that we strike the ground 15,000 times. Wow!
After around 30 minutes my muscles begin to feel the burn. The Ripsticks themselves weigh approximately 150 gms each and provide light resistance and intensify the workout. Every time I move them I could feel it in my core, shoulders, biceps, triceps, forearms and back. I especially loved the ab workout where we sit on the mat and hit the floor on either sides with our sticks. It surely gets my heart rate up. Apart from aerobics and Pilates I also notice some yoga inspired movements.
Anyone can do Pound and it’s evident from the mix of students – right from teenagers to a 54 year old. It can be modified to fit any level of fitness, suggests Priti. However people with lower back problems may not be very comfortable with Pound, she stresses.
The stress-relieving effects of drumming is further enhanced by the music. The lively, heart-pumping movements and upbeat tunes keep the workout feeling fresh. The Pound music track is a combination of Rock, rap, dubstep, pop and old school hits. I am told it is hand-selected by music enthusiasts, drummers and Pound founders Kirsten Potenza and Cristina Peerenboom.
The choreography gets progressively more complex. And just when I feel like I was getting the hang of it when it was time to cool down. The 45 minutes just flew by. It’s easy to get into a groove and lose track of time especially when the whole class is really in sync with the drumming.
After all the jumping, squatting and lunging for 45 minutes I am curious to know how many calories I may have burnt. “Each Pound session helps you burn 900 plus calories. Apart from the calories burnt Pound also strengthens and sculpts infrequently used muscles,” stresses Priti who is now gearing up for another batch of Pound enthusiasts who are eager to drum their way to a leaner, slimmer physique. Trying a new exercise doesn’t mean you have to commit to it forever. The point is to experiment, explore and most importantly, have fun.
I step out of the class soaked in sweat but realize that Pound is perfect for letting loose, getting energized, toning up and rocking out!
If you’re ready to try out POUND for yourself, head to
Pound classes by Priti Panchmatia
The Space, Juhu, Mumbai
Fridays: 6:30 pm
Cosmic Fusion, Santacruz, Mumbai
Wednesday- 9:30 am
Cost: Rs 3200 for eight sessions a month.
Call: +91 9820302276
Pound Classess by Jignya Johri
Studio 23, Nariman Point, Mumbai
Tuesday and Thursday: 8 am
Zumassa Studio, Kemps Corner, Mumbai
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday: 9 am
Cost: Rs 3600 a month (twice a week)
Call: + 91 9820869668
Those outside of Mumbai can try the POUND workout at home. Log on to http://www.poundfit.com