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Originally published Friday, October 18, 2013 at 11:14 AM

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Fitness with a real beat: The Pound workout

Dipping to smack the floor with drumsticks and then hitting them overhead while doing leg lifts, then doing it double time, is, in fact, quite challenging.

Special to The Seattle Times


Elite Performance Center

413 Fairview Ave. N., Seattle


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YOUR INNER DRUMMER will light up as soon as you’re handed a pair of neon green drumsticks. Resist hitting every available surface at Elite Performance Center as you wait for the Pound Rockout Workout class to begin.

Once class starts, you are free to unleash your drumming talents. And if there is no talent, the music is loud and no one will be the wiser.

At first, I thought the Pound workout looked a little over-the-top. Working out with drumsticks? What will people dream up next? Can’t we all just find something active that we like and call it a day?

Then the class started. There was something immediately gratifying about hitting the floor with drumsticks and clapping them sharply together overhead.

Adding drumsticks to typical fitness-class moves isn’t nearly as straightforward as it might seem. Dipping to smack the floor with drumsticks and then hitting them overhead while doing leg lifts, then doing it double time, is, in fact, quite challenging. And the constant floor-to-overhead motion requires balance to stay upright. Shoes are optional; I did the workout barefoot.

Using drumsticks helps you work your body evenly; you can hear when you don’t hit the floor on both sides, for example, said Amanda McVey, a master trainer for the workout. McVey said there are about 15,000 strikes in a workout; I think I heard every single one I missed.

Some of the more challenging moves include holding squats and hitting the floor in front and behind your feet. Another included holding a lunge while hitting the floor on the right and left sides.

Even sitting on the floor, leaning back and swiveling side to side hitting the ground with drumsticks is an effective way to work your core.

The Pound workout probably works your core and glutes the most, especially with all the leg lifts, bending and rising back up. Cardio is at play, too, when you go into double time. Luckily, none of the songs lasted long enough to make me feel like I couldn’t make it through.

The drumming itself also is simple. We didn’t learn any complicated patterns, which made me feel far more impressed with my drumming skills than I probably should have been. Coordinating the drumming with leg crunches was a different matter.

The class also was impressively in sync with the music, pounding the drumsticks in time together throughout class.

Pound may not be a workout you want to do every day. But it is super fun, and a challenging and balanced way to work your whole body. Let your inner drummer have a 60-minute heyday, then make sure you return your drumsticks.

Nicole Tsong teaches yoga at studios around Seattle. Read her blog at Email: Benjamin Benschneider is a Pacific NW magazine staff photographer.

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