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Postcard from LA: The new fitness formulas

May 24th 2013 / Kinvara Balfour


Kinvara Balfour reveals the hottest new fitness classes from across the pond that are probably coming to a gym near you...

Forget Zumba®, barrecore, yogalates, hoolalates, pole dancing, spinning and whatever else you thought was a groovy way to keep fit: in the USA, they’ve been there and done that. It’s all change in gymworld: this year’s must-do exercises hit where it hurts.

Bang on trend

The latest, hottest new regime currently taking the USA by storm is Pound™. Founded by two young women, Kirsten Potenza and Cristina Peerenboom – both recreational drummers and fitness enthusiasts – this full-body cardio regimen’s motto is ‘Rockout. Workout.’ In a Pound™ class, pupils are invited to rock their body to a suitably rocksome ‘Poundtrack’ using – wait for it - Ripstix™, unique, never-seen-before weighted drumsticks designed to transform drumming into a ‘kick-ass, fat burning, full body interval workout’.


There’s an online service for those who want to rock out at home; you sign up for ‘a backstage pass’, get an online video subscription and a pair of Ripstix™ delivered to your door. It’s only rock ‘n’ roll, but I like it. A lot. So popular is the concept that Ripstix™ are being pounded in classes all over USA as well as Mexico, Australia and Canada. It’s only a matter of time before they hit the UK.

MORE GLOSS: Zumba's Great Calorie Drive

Roll with it

That’s rock – and this is roll: meet the The Grid™, a new piece of equipment that’s currently landing in countless gyms which combines self-massage to release tight muscles with a hardcore workout to strengthen the core. And then there’s ViPR™ which stands for vitality, performance and reconditioning. It’s the name of a class, and of the object used in that class – a cylindrical kind of a rubber tube that you lift up and down, drag and throw around, getting tighter abs and banishing bingo wings in the process.

No limits

Those wanting a really rock hard physique are queuing up for Jillian Michaels’ Bodyshred™, a new regime from the presenter of the TV show ‘The Biggest Loser’ (in which lots of really sweaty, overweight people are pushed to their physical limits and shouted at a lot, in order to shed the pounds). This utilises Jillian’s ‘3-2-1’ interval approach (3 minutes of strength, 2 minutes of cardio, 1 minute of abs); it’s bootcamp-esque, but sexier.

MORE GLOSS: Bikram yoga and weight loss

Dirty dancing

As is the new fat-burning, joy-giving LaBlast™, in which everyone is invited to channel their inner dirty dancer in one jolly room, without shame. Created by Louis Van Amstel, a hot dancer from ‘Dancing with the Stars’, LaBlast™ combines various ballroom dance styles and music genres (cha cha cha, disco, jive, merengue, salsa, samba) set to everything from pop and rock to hip-hop and country music. Bright, tight, sequin-tastic all-in-ones are optional. (I jest).


Serious rockers might prefer to channel their inner Beyonce/ Rihanna/Nicki Minaj/PSY with BUTI® which fuses yoga and dance with circuits of plyometric and conditioning. Dance moves are taken from various styles that focus on an intense shaking of the hips, including Miami Booty Dance, Funk, Hip Hop, Crunk and African Tribal.

This lot gives a whole new meaning to ‘hitting’ the gym. It’s all seriously rocking. And it’s rocking all over the world.

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