It's been two weeks and I have to say that I'm absolutely loving POUND. I know I'm a fitness-crazed lunatic and that I love to move, but I haven't looked forward to my workout for ages. It's been so long since I've had one that flies by, and is so much fun that I can throw my full effort into it and feel like I've achieved nothing - until the next day.
My best example of this is the upper body workout. The DVDs are broken into 4 workouts - upper body, lower body, abs and cardio - and I wasn't really sure that the upper body in particular was going to be very effective. The Ripstix are weighted, but only around the weight of actual drumsticks, maybe a little heavier, I don't recall, but regardless, I had low expectations on upper body work with those things. Well, as far as biceps go, I was right, but at the same time biceps are probably the easiest upper body muscles to isolate and work, so adding in a few bicep curls with hand weights would do the job, if you felt the need. But what I've been super surprised by is just how much of a workout your upper back and triceps get in that section! Some of the harder muscles to work, I've noticed, and yet POUND nails it.
Core also didn't feel like much work, but there's a lot of rotations involved, pilates stance which works all the way down the front of your abs, and leg raises which are great for your lower abs, so in all honesty it does target everything without a single crunch, and while still drumming and keeping a beat.
Lower body is, surprisingly, the most effective. POUND is spent either striking your Ripstix together, or against the ground, but you rarely sit. If you're striking the ground, far more likely you're in a plié squat while doing it, or a lunge, or an alternating side lunge, a dynamic squat...yeah, it goes on.
And yet, despite the hard work you have to put in to actually strike the floor while maintaining form, you're having so much fun making noise and keeping the rhythm that you won't even notice it! Well, I lie, the lower body workout burns and you will notice it, but it's still amazing fun and you don't want to sit out and recover!
Each workout is 20 minutes long, plus about a 5 minute warm up and cool down, and is divided into four 5-minute sections that are separated really just by a change of track, but they do have different feels to them. Sometimes you'll be on the floor for 5 minutes, then back on your feet, or perhaps on your knees or your back. Each 20-minute workout progresses like that and, as always, that helps to let you know how far through you are - and you'd be surprised how quickly you reach the end.
This workout is very difficult to represent in pictures alone. It's easy enough with standard workouts, even dance, but what you miss from POUND is the noise. The sound of the sticks hitting the ground, or striking eachother - almost every movement in every workout makes noise, and that really gets a great rhythm in, both in keeping time with the reps, to just generally sounding amazing. It works with the backing tracks and gives the workout such a unique edge that makes you really want to keep going.
This is the third indie workout I've used. The first was Buti Yoga, which I hated, the second was Kukuwa, which I adore, and I'm really pleased to see that the pattern hasn't repeated with POUND. I absolutely love this one, too, and I'm really hoping that they release an 'Album 2'. Being in the UK it can be a bit difficult because a lot of indie workouts come from the US, which means shipping even just the DVDs are expensive, and if you need special kit like Ripstix (they came with Album 1, however) it can make it even worse, and while unique and independent workouts like these are more than worth such support, it can often be a lot of money to spend on something you're not sure about. I'm glad I wasn't put off after spending so much on Buti Yoga, because if I'd left it there I would never have found Kukuwa, easily my favourite cardio of all time, and I'd never have found this incredibly unique conditioning workout either. And while I admit I wanted to focus more on cardio from January to March this year because it's been almost nothing but strength all through 2015, and that I was disappointed that POUND wasn't as high impact in cardio as I had hoped, I have loved it so far and am more than happy to keep at it for another 3 weeks before switching up my workout. And so often I'll use a workout for a month and never touch it again, but this one, fortunately, is definitely going to be used frequently. I don't often have days when I can't be bothered to work out, but they do happen, and this is exactly the kind of thing I need on those days. Kukuwa has been my go-to in those cases, but now it seems that I have a choice!