POUND It Out at the Student Recreation Center

By Alexandra Clark, Staff Writer

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POUND
The new workout class POUND at the Student Recreation Center revolves around music and percussion as a way to stay fit.
Photo Credit: Alexandra Clark

This semester, a new exercise class called POUND has been added to the weekly schedule of Group X classes held at the Student Recreation Center. While still fairly new, POUND is a full-body workout that combines exceptional music with a great exercise routine, all with the help of some drumsticks called Ripstix. Their slogan says it all: “POUND. Rock out. Work out.”
Before making its way to campus, POUND was founded by Kirsten Potenza and Cristina Peerenboom. Both women are drummers themselves as well as fitness experts and music lovers who bonded over their own personal struggles. Through creating POUND, they were able to find self-realization and create something truly inspiring. POUND goes far beyond just a way to work out. The founders have created a groundbreaking philosophy.Life can’t be fully enjoyed without balance and nurturing and if you give up on self-improvement at any time, you give up on yourself.
Two juniors, Katie Fierro and Brittany Tierney, were inspired by POUND when they attended a demo class over the summer. Both students are long-time dancers themselves as well as certified fitness instructors at the Student Recreation Center who teach Zumba and POUND classes.
“I found POUND through another instructor,” says Tierney, an Exercise Science major. “The moment I picked up the drumsticks and she instructed us to ‘pound’ the floor, I was in love with the workout.”
“[Tierney] and I went to a demo class at Retro Fitness…and we absolutely fell in love with it,” says Fierro, a Television and Digital Media major with a concentration in Electronic Journalism. “We immediately emailed our supervisor and were like, ‘We want to bring POUND to MSU’ and they hooked us up with the certification and now it’s here. POUND is a full body, 360-degree workout with drumsticks, but you are having so much fun that you don’t even realize you are doing so much work,” said Fierro. “It’s for everybody; there are all these different levels and modifications for everything. When I did it, I was having so much fun I thought, ‘I want to bring this to other people.’” Additionally, Tierney described POUND as “a great new fusion of cardio, toning and even some plyometric movements like squat and lateral jumps.”
Studies also back-up this exercise and why it works so well. Drumming has the ability to alleviate stress as well as boost your immune system, lower blood pressure and decrease anxiety and fatigue. The rhythm accompanied with drumming improves focus and higher level thinking. You can burn 400-900 calories per hour, which is the length of a standard POUND class.
The energy in a POUND class is electric. What makes this exercise class so different is the use of drumsticks to rhythmically pound to the beat of the song, which fuels a person’s drive and ambition. It’s similar to stomping your feet at a concert or banging your hand against the wheel when you drive. Keeping a beat allows you to become completely invested in the song and let it take over.
“The drumsticks are 1/4 of a pound each, which may not seem like a lot. But after pounding on the floor for a whole class you will feel the burn in your arms,” Tierney says. The drumsticks are also a vibrant, neon green color which is one of the most detectable and easily processed colors. The bright color helps the brain detect motion during your workout, which is very important, neurologically.
Although still a new class, POUND has garnered positive reviews from students who see it as a refreshing, new workout routine. “It was awesome,” said Chantel Simon, a junior Marketing Major, after attending her first POUND class. “At first I was like, ‘what’s POUND?’ It’s crazy that you can mix beats and music. I would definitely come back!”
Another first time POUND participant, junior Television and Digital Media junior, Shea Ceresnik, said, “It’s very different…I like the music a lot.”
Even in this short period of time, there are returning students like Sarah Nutile who loved it enough to come back. “It’s easier the second time around. The instructor knew what she was doing and I loved the routines. I’m probably going to come back to every class!”
After a class, there’s a palpable sense of accomplishment and joy in the air that even Fierro can detect. “People have been really into it. I hear them talking about it as they walk out saying, ‘Wow that was really cool! We have to come next week!’ Once we get the word out it’s going to be a big thing.”
In an attempt to sway students to give POUND a try, Fierro says, “You can work out on the machine, but it’s a lot more fun to rock out. It’s fun and it’s different. It works a lot of different areas that you normally wouldn’t when you are just running.”
Everyone should give POUND a try because you don’t need to be an expert drummer to enjoy the class. In every movement and drumstick striking the ground, you are releasing all of the stresses of life and allowing yourself the freedom to just rock out.
Pound classes are held three times a week at the Recreation Center.
For more information visit montclair.edu/student-development-campus-life/student-center/.

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