POUND Workout Tips for First-Timers
You're actually toning your lower body more intensely than your arms, what with all the squats. In the moment, you might not think that's possible, since you're flinging the neon-green drumsticks in a frenzy to keep up with the frenetic beat of the music. But you'll feel it tomorrow—you'll probably be sore all over, but your legs will really feel it—the day after you've completed your first POUND workout.
This was one of several discoveries our editor, Mae, made when she completed a POUND fitness class—a workout that sees participants drumming, squatting, lunging, and sweating to a high-energy beat—for the first time. Afterward, she talked with Dre Nichols-Everett and Jemila Bello, POUND fitness trainers at D3: Dre's Diesel Dome in Chicago.
Find their compiled tips for POUND newbies, as well as Mae's observations, below the banner, which links to "POUND classes near me."
Don't be scared—POUND fitness is just a bunch of simple moves.
During my first POUND class, I felt like there were tons of different techniques. Sometimes, I had to squat and clack my Ripstix over my head. Other times, I had to squat and drum on the ground. Occasionally, I didn't have to squat at all.
It might sound like anarchy, but it's actually a combination of a finite number of moves. POUND exercise choreography consists of lunges, squats, and yoga-style bridges paired with drumstick work, all of which syncs up with the workout music. There's usually a short, repetitive routine for the verse, another for the chorus, and often a third for the bridge. (See the moves in action in this video.) The takeaway here is that you can master POUND with practice, and perfection isn't key.
"We tell people to keep moving, even if you don't get all the moves right," Jemila said.
Pay attention to your squat form.
I told Dre and Jemila that I had some trouble moving my arms and my legs at the same time. For beginners in the same boat as me, Dre said, "the positioning is the most important. ... If you don't have the foundation, what's the point of doing the [arm] movements? Get your squat down first."
Getting your squat down means getting your knees at close-to-right angles and keeping your back straight and chest lifted, even when you drum on the ground. "A lot of people like to bend over," Jemila noted, but that can hurt your back.
"For some people, it's really hard [to drum on the ground while squatting]," Dre said. "But the good thing is, we modify. So sometimes, instead of hitting the ground with the Ripstix, you just hit the air if you can't get low enough."
You might feel like a celebrity drummer.
"You feel like you're a drummer in a band!" Dre said. "It takes you away from that workout and puts you on the stage, pretending that you're a rock star."
When I asked Dre and Jemila if POUND could enhance my drumming skills, they said "no," firmly and in unison.
"This is the most fun fitness class I've ever been to! And I'm not a 'fitness person' by any means." — Lindsay W. in Evanston, IL
Look to the workout music for motivation.
The founders curate the POUND playlists, and their taste does not disappoint. My favorite track was "Talk Dirty" by Jason DeRulo. It's such a workout jam, it could probably propel me up Mount Everest.
I asked Jemila and Dre for their favorite POUND songs, too. Jemila's is Jay Z's "99 Problems," and Dre likes Bruno Mars's "Locked Out of Heaven."
"It's a very relaxed atmosphere with people of all shapes and sizes. It's upbeat, positive and stress free."—E.H. in Hillsboro, OR
Do not wear running shorts.
When you're choosing your workout clothes, wear spandex shorts or long pants with plenty of give and coverage for the lunges. Trust me.
Warning: You might be sore the next day.
Dre and Jemila's students usually report soreness in their glutes and quads. I was sore there and everywhere else—but I also felt like the class legitimately lifted my butt. So, pros and cons.
This article has been updated by Groupon Editors. It was previously published and originally written by Groupon staff writer Mae Rice.
Photo by Andrew Nawrocki, Groupon