POUND Fitness: How Auditory Feedback Boosts Motivation

POUND fitness founders

Kirsten Potenza and Cristina Peerenboom were just two friends living in L.A. Their idea to bring drumming and cardio into the fitness studio has transformed them into veritable fitness celebrities.

POUND Fitness classes are about empowering your body to move freely, to the rhythmic beats that feel natural and fun.

Since launching in California, POUND has spread to studios across the States, and earned its place in the Top Fitness Trends of the year.

Kirsten and Cristina tell us how the idea was born and how drumming is an ancient secret to getting (and staying) fit for life.

Was POUND a light bulb moment, or more of an evolution? Can you talk about how the idea started?

POUND Fitness was an unexpected fusion of a lightbulb moment and a lifetime of athletics and entrepreneurial creativity. We are both recreational drummers, and one day, when we were squatting over a drumkit without a stool, realized that the constant arm movement while holding a squat (or any pose for that matter) is just like Pilates.

That was the light bulb moment.

We have been athletes our whole lives, and from our experience in functional and athletic conditioning, realized that melding exercise, music and drumming as one would be the perfect fusion to create a long-lasting, exhilarating, effective methodology.

It has now evolved into a career, a lifestyle, and a philosophy that exists all over the world.

What do music and fitness have in common?

In POUND, you are the music.

Rather than just moving along to the beat, you actually make noise and can hear how your body is moving. We call it being a “movement musician.” How loud you are represents how hard you’re working.

In this way, music and fitness are one.


Why is drumming so cathartic?

POUND-stix-factor-75Drumming is one of the oldest human rituals, and that’s because it is one of the the only activities that synchronizes brain hemispheres and creates an alpha state in the brain.

It’s stuck around this long because the unique stress-relieving, euphoric effects of drumming are unrivaled.

Connecting to a beat is something deeply engrained in us, biologically and cross-culturally, and when we drum, it reinforces what we’re naturally designed to do.

Teaming that philosophy with fitness makes exercise feel more natural, intuitive and freeing, rather than obligatory and stale.

What are your feelings on functional fitness? How does POUND fit this category? 

Functional fitness training is an absolute must. Preparing for the challenges and obstacles of daily life makes for a resilient, healthy, happy body.

POUND is functional fitness to the max. It teams the best exercises with a brilliantly effective auditory feedback loop. This pumps up proprioceptive learning and “teaches” the brain how the body is moving in all positions based on what you see, feel, and hear.

[Tweet “Stop “working out to be fit,” instead “be fit to kick ass at life” -POUND”]

Did you struggle with making fitness fun in your own lives? What did you want to change with the POUND approach?

Fitness was always fun for us…because we never viewed it as fitness. We viewed it as “Heck yes, it’s time for soccer practice!” and “One more point and we win!”

Working out in team environments with the goal of performance and team work gave us purpose. It was when we no longer had sports teams after college to support us that we were confronted with true fitness, which seemed a bit more difficult, a tad more vain, and lacked the purpose and motivation of team training.

We were acutely aware of this shift between team-life and real-life, and when creating POUND, strove to re-create the mentality of fitness that did more than just make us look good.

By giving ourselves and our whole POUND Posse permission to make noise, be empowered, and work together, we’ve created a “band” that sweats together, succeeds together, and redefines fitness together.


I loved Cristina’s story of overcoming compulsion to calorie-obsess and over-exercise. What was that journey like? And how can POUND help others let go of that unhealthy food/fitness obsession?

Where do we really learn what it is to be fit? Unfortunately, it’s from what we see around us.

There is so much information that leads us in the direction of fixation and self-obsession. Tracking calories, focusing on problem areas, and chasing the latest diet fad are how we’re told fitness happens.

And while these modalities do create an outwardly “fit” body, they leave the mind in a state of perpetual unrest and self-criticism.

The journey from “working out to be fit” to “being fit to kick ass at life” was a quick one. Once POUND Fitness came into the picture and shifted the focus away from working out as a means to look a certain way, being fit took on new meaning. All it took was a catalyst to show us that there is another option.

Fun and results can work in harmony.

POUND’s Tour to Summer is currently underway and it’s not too late to join the 60 day challenge at poundtour.com

Related Articles


5 Reasons All Athletes Should Do Yoga

Lifestyle, Nutrition

9 Simple Dairy-Free Diet Swaps


6 Reasons You Should Be Strength Training


How Omega-3s Can Boost Your Heart Health