On a Saturday morning, we’re at Kemps Corner’s Body Image Studio, looking slightly groggy-eyed, all thanks to Friday night’s binge drinking. There are just a handful of wannabe health freaks, us included, in the room and each one is handed a pair of Ripstix — neon-green sticks that are essentially Western clones of dandiya — by instructor Jignya Johri.
Instructor Jignya Johri leads fitness first timers through a Pound routine. Picss/Bipin Kokate
We’re here to try out the Pound, a fad which has taken America by storm. Conceptualised by Cristina Peerenboom and Kirsten Potenza, Los Angeles drummers and fitness pioneers, Pound is a high-intensity, full-body workout that combines interval training, squats, lunges, power yoga and pilates with drumming — and in ample quantities. Now, UACTIV, a Mumbai-based social networking platform for active living, has teamed up with Johri, and the duo will bring the workout to the city for the first time later this month. We decided to make the task easier for you — well, just a little bit — by giving it a go. And here’s our verdict:
Let’s get it started
Our grogginess vanishes the moment the music is turned on, and Johri’s yells of encouragement ensure you get into the groove from the word go. A large part of the class involves squats, and, unlike other workouts, which concentrate on specific body parts, this one ensures you feel every muscle in your body. In this process, it also targets the problem spots. Abdominal muscles and thighs are the first to yelp while Pounding.
Stick it out
Interestingly, the sticks aren’t just fancy accessory in this workout. They actually distract you while you’re doing the ab crunches and drumming and gasping — all at the same time. Also, the drumming makes it harder to cheat on the exercises because you have to tap the sticks to the floor with the beats and the flowing rhythm. The choreography, however, gets complex progressively. Although we are sweating profusely, doing the workout as a team ensures you don’t miss out on the fun.
Mix it up
Just when we feel our wobbly legs giving up while doing the constant ups and downs, Johri shows some mercy and switches to the next set. Fortunately, there’s no holding an uncomfortable pose for over two minutes. Johri feels the nature of the workout is such that pretty much anybody can pick it up. “Of course, we’ll tweak the intensity depending on the age group, but unlike cardio-intensive zumba or cross-training focused Pilates, Pound is a mix of everything. Hence, it’s very effective,” says Johri, who learnt the fitness form in Singapore.
Pound can be a deceptive workout — your whole body is moving and you’re constantly exhorted to push your body limits. In 40 minutes, we have seamlessly moved from warm-ups to high intensity workout, without keeping track of time. Needless to say, the next couple of days were spent nursing sore thighs and abs, but it’s the kind of pain that we will gladly tolerate if it means we are one toned muscle closer to our fitness goals.
WHERE: Garware Club, Wankhede Stadium, D Road, Churchgate
WHEN: Feb 25, 4 pm
ENTRY: Rs 1,000