I marvel at the physically challenging nature of drumming.
Phil Collins circa 1980's was my first drummer crush of many. (Just for reference, here's an epic 1982 video of him performing In The Air Tonight). And since then, drumming was always something I was dying to try, so I was thrilled to learn about the POUND workout, created by 2 drumming girls out of Los Angeles. Their names are Kirsten Potenza and Cristina Perenboom. It's because of them that this girl's dreams of drumming like a rock star came true.
Below you'll find my POUND review ('cause it's a fitness class offered at Crunch Gyms), you'll meet the POUND girls, and you'll see how a professional drummer (who's a dude) reacts to this musically inspired workout. His name is Pete Kaufman and he's not a groupie gym-girl but that's exactly why his opinion intrigued me!
POUND and the girls who masterminded it.
I got to speak to Kirsten Potenza and Cristina Perenboom just as they were heading off on a work trip to Australia. We bonded over music, fitness and female body images and they shared with me why they created POUND.
In college, Kirsten Potenza and Cristina Perenboom were motivated to tap into their fitness thanks to team sports. Kirsten was a gymnast and then a coxswain for the rowing team at UCLA. Cristina was a dancer in the University of Arizona hip hop team that performed during the halftime shows. When they left school they both independently learned how to drum and then met through a fellow drummer friend.
Even though they never needed cajoling to practice banging on their drums or listening to music, getting them pumped up to jump on the elliptical or hit up a group fitness class was a whole other story. One day in 2010 Cristina broke her drum stool but continued to squat and drum for another hour. The next morning she was sore and realized that playing drums without a stool was a challenging workout since you are squatting and activating your glutes and thighs while also firing up some major stability core work. Combining drumming with traditional Pilates and barre-method inspired moves, Cristina and Kirsten decided to turn it into a full-body cardio jam session workout for everyone.
Their goal was to make it a workout where you could actually have fun while burning calories where you tap into the exhilarating feeling of drumming. They invented the Ripstix--drum sticks specially designed for the class--and with that, the class officially called "POUND", was born.
According to Cristina and Kirsten you pound your Ripstix 15,000 times per class allowing the average participant to burn about 600 to 900 calories by the end of the workout. Here's a video of them demonstrating the workout on The View.
What's on the POUND playlist?
Cristina and Kirsten wanted to create a class where you can experience all different genres of music. With the 12 song playlist for every 45 minute class, you can expect to hear everything from a Rage Against the Machine song to the latest Calvin Harris collaboration in the POUND classes. Even if you have certain musical preferences, the energy and speed of class will move you. Paying attention in class is key...otherwise you're just pounding air. Pounding the floor is how you kickstart the burn!
Want to try it out at home?
If you don't live in a city that offers POUND classes in the US (or Canada, Mexico and Australia), consider pounding your Ripstix at home. Cristina and Kirsten recently launched the POUND VIP Backstage Pass. For an initial payment of $14.95 (with 1-month FREE and $9.99 every month after that) you get a pair of Ripstix and a new class every week to stream from your computer.
So what's the class like?
Bianca Jade (Miss MizzFIT herself!) and I went to Crunch Fitness on 38th Street in New York City to try out the class. First of all, it was a PACKED house. We could barely claim a spot to rock out. (It almost felt like a sold out house for a concert!) After cramming into the back of the room, we got to work pounding our Ripstix to the first song on the playlist, Locked Out of Heaven by Bruno Mars.
Looking around the room, you could tell that a lot of the attendees were regulars and some of them were clearly living out their own rock 'n roll fantasies in the midtown Manhattan Crunch studio space. There were a few moves that seemed a little stressful on your back but what I loved about the class was that it was a really fun workout. It felt like a (noisy) party was going off in the room. POUND is truly the perfect group fitness class for people who need extra motivation and fun at the gym. And even better for people with good rhythm.
Professional drummer, Pete Kaufman, reacts to POUND workout.
When I first told Pete Kaufman about POUND, he thought that it sounded like just another trend to help people lose weight and get into shape. After talking about it more with him, he did recognize how it seemed to work in terms of burning calories and getting your heart rate up. Pete mentioned that as a drummer (he currently tours with Amandla, a band fronted by Claude Coleman, Jr. of Ween and writes for Modern Drummer Magazine) he has trouble not seeing it as a skill since drum sticks are tools to create music. He shared that in terms of how many calories you might burn, it depends on the genre of music you perform:
Playing with a heavy metal or punk band will burn a hell of a lot more calories than a country gig, or playing a cocktail jazz gig with brushes. When I was touring with Amandla, I was probably burning at least 1200 or more calories per show- AND I was drinking whiskey after each show. One would think I would be gaining weight drinking a glass or two of whiskey night after night, right? But the exact opposite happens: I lose weight. By the time a tour is over, I’m around 10 pounds lighter and my body fat percentage drops.
FYI, Pete wanted me to let you know that he is not a big drinker normallly and barely drinks when home.
From drummer to lifestyle business...
I love how Pete, just like Cristina and Kirsten, has made it easier for us to live out the rock star lifestyle whether we are musicians or not! Pete has combined all the inspiring and exhilirating aspects of the rock star aesthetic and designed a lifestyle coaching company around it called Rockin' Lifestyle. The philosopy of his company in Pete's own words is:
Life is a one-shot deal, so I coach my clients on how to stay true to their passions, values and ideals and stay aligned with them on a daily basis. I help people create their very own Rockin' Lifestyle".
Pete has a playlist (because here at Musique we love playlists!)
So...I'm sure you're all craving a good drumming inspired workout mix after reading this story. I asked Pete for a cardio drumming inspired playlist. Check it out below or stream it on Spotify here.
This mix is really awesome and I can't stop moving to it. Pete loves working out to heavy metal, thrash metal, punk rock, old school hip hop and 80's (clearly music that is high energy or ANGRY). You'll notice that there are tons of 80's songs on this playlist because, like me, Pete came of age during that era and it makes him feel youthful giving him the extra energy to crush his workout! I'll convince him to add a Phil Collins song next time!
So Musique readers: If you've ever had rock and roll drumming fantasies or if you are just craving a fun workout, give POUND a try. If not, maybe we can sign you up with some real drumming or Rockin' Lifestyle lessons with Pete.
Check out POUND fitness classes HERE or connect to the Pound movement on Facebook.
Contact Pete Kaufman for drumming classes or life-coaching HERE. Connect with him on Facebook too.
Would you POUND?
Dig it? What other nonconventional workouts have you tried?