STORY & PHOTOS BY JD DOTSON
Always up for new challenges in my workout,a friend of mine from the YMCA asked if I had ever heard of a POUND class. “It’s working out with drumsticks,” she explained, “set to pop music.”
My interest was piqued, though I forgot the fact that I have no actual musical rhythm in my body.
The YMCA partnered with the YUM! Center for Fit Tuesday, a series of free classes every Tuesday in the summer. Zumba, Yoga, Insanity, Turbokick, Boot Camp and POUND are a few of the offerings running through the end of August.
Intrigued about POUND, I grabbed my friend Sarah and we biked to the YUM! Center. We had a vague idea but went with little knowledge of the class. We were ready to workout and be surprised.
POUND was created in 2011 by two recreational drummers and college athletes. One day, while drumming without stools, the women realized what a great workout they were getting. Wanting to put fun and energy back into their workouts, POUND was born and is now available in more than 40 countries with thousands of participants worldwide. POUND’s philosophy, as stated on their website reads:
WE BELIEVE in the power of music and the freedom of rocking out.
WE SUPPORT unleashing aggression, discovering new talents, and awaking new senses.
WE ENCOURAGE sampling new forms of movement, uncovering new rhythms, and tapping into new ways of listening.
WE PROMOTE camaraderie, friendship and bonding.
WE BELIEVE in loving our bodies while improving them.
WE BELIEVE in handing you the permission to Rock!
POUND’s website also claims, “POUND is the world’s first cardio jam session inspired by the infection, energizing, and sweat dripping fun of playing the drums.”
I am no Ringo Starr but I felt pumped to try this class. Sarah and I were ready to rock!
We were handed a loaner pair of POUND drumsticks called Ripstix, a neon green pair of hard and slightly-weighted plastic sticks, and joined the crowd around the instructor, Laura.
Spread out to give everyone room to move, the music started and we all followed Laura’s lead, cracking the drumsticks overhead to the beat.
Unlike my workout buddy Sarah, I was musically challenged, from clapping to the beat, to moving my body. Dancing is not my thing, either. I learned pretty quickly that POUND is all of my physical weaknesses rolled into one loud, rock ’n‘ roll package.
I am of the age that I care less and less about looking like a fool in public, so I was ready for 45 minutes of sustained foolishness. The moves started out fairly simple, cracking the sticks above our head then on the ground to each side. I could keep up with this rhythm for sure.
But as soon as I got in the groove, there was a switch up and a leg raise, and chest pump and drumming in the middle on the ground. The routine changed with the music, offering some fairly intense leg lunging, fast-paced drumming and sweating.
I admit there were moments I couldn’t find the beat, stood frozen trying to catch it, or beat my sticks out of time with the rest of the class, but I hung in there like a champ.
There also were some moments of technical difficulty and the sound cut out on the music (not my fault). Still, Laura, the instructor, kept us moving and the sound of 30 pairs of drumsticks beating the ground in sync (almost) was spectacular.
Once the music resumed, we were back, moving our bodies and POUNDing the pavement.
I was surprised at how much I worked my legs and back while drumming. I was prepared for an arm and shoulder workout based on the nature of the class, so the full-body soreness that was starting to set in was an unexpected perk.
Twenty-five strangers coming together to make music and workout on a hot summer day was pretty magical. Were we ready to take our act on the road, drumming our way into the hearts of percussion lovers everywhere? Not quite, but I did feel like a bit of a rockstar for making it though the class unscathed.
As for the workout, POUND hit all the areas (no pun intended). I felt it from the shoulders down to my calves, all with the addition of cardio. Sarah and I have plans to revisit POUND at the YUM again in August.
Nothing is needed to participate in the Fit Tuesday classes at the YUM Center. Arrive a few minutes early to sign a participation waiver. All supplies are included, but it would be a good idea to bring a water bottle, a face towel and a yoga or workout mat.
Learn more at www.kfcyumcenter.com/events/ detail/fit-tuesday