Starting this week at the Philadelphia Sports Club, members and non-members alike can put their survival skills to the test in a Hunger Games-inspired workout that mimics the popular book series in every way.
Named by New York Sports Club Trainer Eric Salvador, the “Train Like a Tribute” workout is a competition-style circuit that’s CrossFit in nature and gives participants the same intense, physically demanding experience the tributes felt in the arena. For one hour, participants become Panem tributes, fighting to complete the workout as fast as they can to emerge the winner.
During the class, tributes race from station to station utilizing equipment like plastic bows, free weights, mats and sheer grit. Could you survive it? I think I could. I have run a half marathon after all.
Salvador designed the moves to mock various skills tributes in the book possess, such as pulling back bows and scaling trees. Katniss Killers require tributes to draw back a bow 10 times on each side. Capitol Crunches mimic tree climbing, requiring tributes to lie flat on their back holding a weight overhead, and then complete 10 full sit-ups. Jabberjay Jacks are 20 cross-legged jumping jacks. And Peeta Presses are 10 squat presses with weights and then a sprint around the arena.
And if that doesn’t sound intense enough, there’s another twist: Gamemaker-inflicted disasters. The trainer becomes the Gamemaker and stops the music at various times with a loud speaker new to announce a new development in the arena, which requires participants to stop what they’re doing, complete a new workout move, and then resume the circuit.
Emily Leamen, Hunger Games fan and writer for Be Well Philly – an online health and fitness magazine – endured the workout herself after receiving a personal invite to the class. She admitted prior to attending that she wasn’t expecting too much in the way of difficulty. But a few minutes in, she changed her mind.
“By the time I’d completed two [rounds], I knew I was wrong. My shoulders ached from the squat presses, and that dang bow was much more taxing than I’d realized. I was dripping sweat by the end.”
Jealous! I love a good workout just as much as the next fitness freak. And couple that with my fanaticism for The Hunger Games and I’m screaming with excitement to try this class.
The Philadelphia Sports Club will be offering the class every Wednesday evening through the end of April and it’s completely free of charge – no membership required. So if you’re in the area, be sure to check it out.
If only I lived I lived in Philly area, I’d be there in a heartbeat – braided hair, tribute determination and all. But alas, Pennsylvania is one too many states away from Kansas. Perhaps I’ll create my own Hunger Games-inspired workout in my backyard. Think Katniss would approve? I think so. Think my roommates would mind? Probably not. Would my neighbors think I’ve lost my mind? Likely. But if it’s for the games, I’ll in.