In Test Ride, TZR staff reviews the popular fitness workouts, equipment, and trends making waves in the wellness industry to see what all the buzz is about. Ahead, beauty and wellness staff writer Taylor Stephan chronicles her experience with trampoline workout, The Ness.
As a certified pilates instructor and fitness class enthusiast, I’m always game to try a challenging new workout — especially one you can do at home. Usually, I prefer slow, low-impact movements (like Pilates and yoga) and almost always skip high intensity exercises (like weight-lifting and HIIT classes) that burn a ton of calories but tend to take a toll on the body over time. Another non-negotiable: My workouts have to be enjoyable. It's all about a good playlist, getting lost in the groove of the music, and letting the hour fly by. If it's dragging, I’m not into it.
So when I heard about The Ness (or rather, when I saw Eva Longoria caption a clip of her rebounder workout to the soundtrack of “hit it hit it, get it get it”) I knew I had to check it out. I anticipated that it was going to be a sweaty class, but it seemed like a blast (a trait I find to be seriously lacking in some of the more hardcore workouts these days).
“It’s one of very few workouts that’s high intensity while also being low impact,” shares Giampolo. Translation: Since it’s easy on the joints you can do it as often as you want and it’s appropriate for all fitness levels. You can also dial the cardio up or down, depending on the level. Major benefits, she explains, include lymphatic drainage, gaining pelvic floor strength, and cardiovascular endurance.
In fact, a recent study published in the International Journal of Sports Science showed that rebounding exercise is twice as effective at improving aerobic fitness and 50% more efficient at burning fat than running. “In just 10 minutes on a trampoline you can burn the same amount of calories and build the same amount of cardiovascular endurance as you would in 30 minutes of running,” adds Giampolo.
One note for the less coordinated: The workout is heavy on rhythm. Giampolo so fondly refers to it as “beat-based method,” which made me nervous since that’s never really been a strength of mine. (I was always strategically placed in the back for cheer routines in high school.) “All of our classes work on engaging the body and mind by building combinations, helping to improve memory, and sensory awareness, and coordination” she explains. Still, I was curious to see if I had magically become more limber with age.
Unless you're in NYC and can pop into an IRL class, the digital studio is your move. The trampoline-required signature ‘bounce’ class is the most popular and comes in beginner, intermediate, and advanced formats. The company also offers ‘Bounce HIIT’ and ‘Bounce Stability,’ which are both designed to be less choreography heavy. Then you have the option of a slower pace ‘sculpt’ class that doesn’t require the apparatus. “Our sculpt classes are designed to be full body with an emphasis on core strength and alignment to pair perfectly with our trampoline cardio classes,” explains Giampolo.
The online portal houses over 400 on-demand videos available in 10, 20, 30, and 45-minute lengths. “New content is dropped every Monday morning and added to the existing library, so you always have a fresh workout to explore,” explains the pro. Long story short — whether you want a chill flow or to go hard, there’s an option for everyone.
In getting started, I chose to stick to the basics: A 30-minute beginner bounce class to get a real feel for the signature workout.
I went into my first session expecting to get drenched (Giampolo says you can burn anywhere from 300 to 600 calories, depending on the class). It was going to be more cardio than I’ve done in years, so keeping this first session short and sweet with minimal moves to memorize was key.
All I needed was myself and the trampoline. Right away we started sinking into some stretches with the instructor spouting off some encouraging words about staying present. The movements were fluid. We started with lunges on the floor, layering in little bounces from side to side — following the rhythm of the music. It wasn't long until we stepped it up on the trampoline. We picked up the pace, moving into squats, and building heat by holding and pulsing. Easy enough; I was keeping up. The instructor kept the flow going by counting down then jumping right into the next move — no breaks, no time to think or second guess myself.
Finally, two minutes in was the part I was waiting for — the bouncing. Right away she was throwing helpful cues like “power through the heels” and “arms are free — imagine you're flicking water off those fingertips!” We steadily layered in new moves and towards the end of class I was instructed to “four bounce down, double jack for two, single single double right, single single double left.” It sounds wild, but at that point I actually knew what she was talking about. I didn't have a mirror in front of me (probably a good thing), but I was impressed at my ability to stick with the routine and keep moving.
For the final few minutes, right on cue, the music changed to a more soothing beat as we stepped off the rebounder for some active stretching. Lateral side stretches and rollups through the center felt so restorative.
After my first class I was dead (yes, I'm aware it was only 30 minutes of my life). High impact exercises tend to have me feeling drained and depleted, but this surprisingly left me with a boosted mood and heightened energy. I have progressed to longer class formats (which are essentially the same), but with new, more complex coordination patterns and longer hold times. As for intermediate and advanced levels — let’s just say I haven’t gotten that far yet.
If you’re someone that has a lot of pent up energy, or if you thrive on the endorphins of a cardio high, this workout is it. It requires extreme focus because there is so much choreography — you have to bring all your attention to the present moment in order to keep up. It’s certainly one of the more athletic workouts I’ve done and I can see why celebrities (who basically workout for a living) are loyal fans.
If you’re on the fence, know that the pricing is extremely reasonable (once you pull the trigger on the $500 trampoline, that is). The digital studio is available internationally for only $39.99 a month (and that’s after a seven-day free trial). Whether you want to do a 50-minute long cardio session six days a week or just pop on for 10 minutes here and there, you can’t beat the price.
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