Fitness Class Review: Pound at Balance Gym

Come prepared to rock out while working up a good sweat.

A typical Pound class involves 15,000 reps and 70 variations of exercises performed to the beat of the music. Photograph by Melissa Romero.

At concerts and shows I often find myself transfixed by the drummer toward the back of the stage. Forget the lead singer—the drummer is often the one rocking out like no other, sweat pouring down while bashing away. If anyone’s getting a workout onstage, it’s the drummer.

I’m not the only one drawn to percussion. Kirsten Potenza and Cristina Peerenboom combined their love of drumming and fitness to create Pound, a workout that involves a set of weighted drumsticks, a playlist with a good beat, and a desire to freely rock out while working up a sweat. Since its start in Los Angeles, Pound has spread to gyms all over the world, including multiple locations in the District.

After one of those typical draining Mondays at work, I found myself holding a pair of lime green, quarter-pound Ripstix at Balance Gym Thomas Circle, which recently added Pound to its class schedule. This was my chance to pound the crap out of the gym’s wooden floor for 45 minutes straight. Goodbye, beautiful hardwood floors; hello, stress relief.

The gym’s fitness director, Ash Allen, stood facing us at the front of the class and guided us through two- to four-minute songs while we squatted, jumped, lunged, and drummed along to the beat. A sequence went something like this: Hit sticks together above head, squat, pound the floor, all to the beat of Blink 182. Or jump lunge and pound the floor every time you land to the Foo Fighters. There were a few combinations that left those with two left feet (ahem, me) scratching their heads, but before long it was onto a new song, a new move, and more rocking out.

As the room of participants (all women, plus one guy) pummeled their way through song after song, I suspected that many of them, like me, were with each whack at the floor imagining every terrible date, ex-boyfriend, coworker, or boss they ever had.

As the last song played its final beat, my ears were ringing and my quads were burning. I was floored to find out I had performed 15,000 reps and 70 variations of exercises. Waking up the next day, feeling a deep burn in my legs and core, I realized Pound did more than allow me to channel my inner drummer—it actually proved to be a powerful workout, too.

Pound is offered at Balance Gym Thomas Circle, Vida Fitness at Verizon Center, and Crunch gyms.

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