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Responding to Escalating Mental Health Crisis POUND Launches First Workout Designed for Mental Wellness

Responding to Escalating Mental Health Crisis POUND Launches First Workout Designed for Mental Wellness

The new 30-minute POUND Unplugged group classes are now available at Crunch Signature locations

POUND, the international fitness company best known for its drum-inspired cardio, has introduced POUND Unplugged, a 30-minute class dedicated to mental health

The wellness-inspired classes, which aim to connect mind, body, sound, and fitness, debuted on September 19 at Crunch Signature locations in the United States and will be available to partners globally in 2023.

The global POUND Unplugged Advisory board, which includes therapist Jess McKee, fitness veteran Santa Maria, and breathwork expert Michelle Opperman, added the mental and breathwork elements.


The Los Angeles-based POUND says that it recognized the escalating mental health crisis even before the pandemic. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in five US adults experience mental illness each year.

“The class is a deeply intentional rhythmic journey to promote the health and fitness of the whole person,” says Kirsten Potenza, POUND founder and CEO, who wanted to create an immersive workout in light of the mental health crisis. “Unplugged is a natural evolution for POUND since the cognitive benefits of music, drumming and exercise have always been at our core, as well as the company’s emphasis on community, mental wellness, and self-acceptance.” The New York native founded POUND at the age of 24.

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POUND’s rock and reset class includes 20 minutes of HIIT and a strength-focused mat workout, as well as ten minutes of rhythmic breathing, restorative stretching, mindfulness, and meditation. The use of POUND’s lightweight drumsticks, called Ripstix, allows for intensity, as well as the release and stimulation of neurochemicals before transitioning into a peaceful mode. 

“POUND Unplugged embodies the innovative, fun and empowering nature of Crunch’s group fitness class offerings,” says the National Vice President of Group Fitness for Crunch Signature, Marc Santa Maria. “It’s a great feeling to be able to offer a class designed specifically for mental health to our customers who value wellness and impactful workouts.”

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