Fit For You: POUND

Dec 28, 2016

If you enjoy blaring your music while you workout but have yet to step into a group class session, there may just be a new fitness format for you.

POUND utilizes elements of music and drumming into a full-body workout that combines cardio, conditioning and strength training with low impact movements. Created by recreational drummers and former athletes, this new format has grown from its first class in a Los Angeles basement into a global network.

"You might be doing things like squats or lunges or a seated position where you're really engaging your abs, but the beauty of it is you don't really realize you're doing that because you're drumming and you're engaged in this great music with this loud drumbeat. So you really forget that you're working out entirely," says local fitness instructor and POUND Pro Erica Lewandowski.

With only a yoga mat and custom drumsticks, a 45-minute POUND class works your "mind, body and inner rock star," according to Lewandowski.

Erica Lewandowski (stage center) leads a POUND class at the Wherehouse in Milwaukee.
Credit Courtesy of Erica Lewandowski

The structure of the class switches between four positions - a standing position called "set," a lunge, a seated position called "kit" and a supine position on the floor for bridge exercises. As these positions work your entire body, the added equipment of Ripstix creates more resistance training to tone your upper body, Lewandowski explains.

"They're twice the weight of an average drumstick and a little bit fatter, but just about the same length," she says. "So you really do get the feeling as though you're an actual drummer throughout the workout."

Lewandowski also notes that POUND positions can be modified to suit any fitness level or physical capabilities. "Simply by holding something that's heavier and extending your arm length, you're working that much harder to move your arms through the air and keep your body stabilized through the movement," she explains. "So you will still see the workout without actually hitting the ground."

Outside of the physical benefits such as cardiovascular health and strength training, Lewandowski says that one of the best components to POUND is not only the fun people have, but the confidence they gain.

"We know that they're getting a great workout and getting all of those health benefits...but what you see that's so unique with POUND is they come away from classes really empowered," she says.

For many, POUND can also be mental therapy. "It's them and the music and whatever challenges they want to present to themselves or however they want to relax in the music - it's totally up to them so that they can come away and get exactly what they need from the class," notes Lewandowski.

She also believes that POUND engages so many different people because the format is so accessible. And for anyone who still feels hesitant to try POUND, Lewandowski encourages having an open mind.

"It's just rock and roll, it's not that serious," she says. "The workout comes, the fun is there, so just come give it a try. I guarantee you will have fun, and if I'm doing my job right at some point in the class you're going to feel like a rock star."