Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
LAers Cristina Peerenboom, 26, and Kirsten Potenza, 27, are the founders of what is shaping up to be a major global fitness craze. Called POUND, the idea for their workout came from the full-body soreness Cristina felt after an intense session of drumming without a stool to sit on. Both women are musicians, and both realized that the twisting, squatting and slamming motions of drumming could be translated into a class-based workout.
After months and months of planning, testing and fine-tuning (as well as developing and patenting their quarter-pound, neon green plastic Ripstix), the duo approached Crunch to pilot the program. "After incessant pestering we walked in the door and said, 'Please can we talk to whoever it is that takes in classes?'" said Kirsten. "And they were like, 'No.' We kept coming back. Finally, we were hosting a friends-and-family class and the group fitness manager from Crunch walked in." Long story short, he liked what he saw so much that he decided to test the program.
That was March 7th, 2011—and over the past year or so, POUND classes have cropped up in New York, San Fran, Miami, Portland and Chicago as well as at gyms in Canada and Mexico. The POUND ladies are also hard at work developing an online subscription so users can drum away in the privacy of their homes. Racked tried out a POUND class last night at Crunch in West Hollywood (next-day verdit: major leg and back soreness); afterward, we sat down with its founders for a quick Q&A.
POUND is all about the music. How do you select songs?
Cristina: "It's called the POUND track. It's 12 songs and it's probably the most laborious feat. We funnel in hundreds and hundreds of songs, whether they're suggestions from our website or Facebook or Twitter or our own personal favorites. We archive them and test them out. Then we structure them according to verse, chorus, count all the eight counts out, figure out which moves will work, calculate the BPMs. If it can pass the structural test we're on to testing it in the gym. And then we're on to testing it in our Monday night class. Then we launch it to all our instructors."
Kirsten: "We found in a lot of classes we were taking before that there'd be one type of music throughout the class. We enjoy lots of different genres and we wanted to create an experience where somebody who wouldn't necessarily listen to Rage Against the Machine goes from a deep-moving Dubstep song to an angry track and because they get to be a part of the music they're like, I love this song."
What are your favorite bands?
Cristina: "[For POUND], I really love anything with Pharrel, N.E.R.D—the syncopations like that work really well—and old Timbaland. I love Rage Against the Machine."
Kirsten: "I probably listen to indie rock and classic rock the most outside of POUND."
What's your big-picture plan?
Kirsten: "To be in every gym we can possibly be in and to certify as many instructors as possible. And aside from our growth, we want to create a brand and experience that is all about balance. It's not ego-centric, it's not body-centric, it's all about having an exhilarating time. Getting into shape is simply [a by-product]."
Cristina: "Kirsten and I have felt a difference in our own bodies and how we feel about ourselves. At first we just loved what we were doing and thought it was fun but once we saw those changes and saw that it was very attainable...Replicating that and handing it over has really been what's fueling us. In any way we can do it, whether it's soon with our online subscription or if it's certifying more people or creating other types of POUND, like Power POUND or POUND for Kids."
Kirsten: "I really think that POUND could bring the youth back to fitness. We created something that would appeal to young kids, that's a no brainer to teenagers. We live in a country where obesity is a huge problem and getting worse by the day. We recently did a Twilight event and these 12-year-old kids came up to us and said, 'That was awesome!' When do kids ever think fitness is cool?"
You can find POUND classes at Crunch in Burbank and WeHo; for other areas, go to poundfit.com.
· Pound [Official Site]
· LA Trainers Star in New Epic Equinox Pilates Promo Video [Racked]
· 15 LA Shops To Get Properly Outfitted for Any Workout [Racked]
· Katie Johnson of Physique 57 is LA's Hottest Trainer 2012 [Racked]