Health & Fitness

By Dina Fierro

Blame it on a happy relationship (I certainly do), but over the past year and a half, I have gained about twenty pounds. None of my beloved clothing fits anymore (a tragedy of epic proportions) and I’ve resorted to buying only shoes and bags to satiate my shopping urges bags (hey, they always fit, right?) You might be thinking, ‘Well, Dina, why not work out?’ Well…let’s just say that workouts and I are not copasetic. In fact, friends are frequently surprised to discover just how enormously uncoordinated and terribly unathletic I truly am.

Rockin’ out and getting fit with a Scottish-inspired warm up and Dogsled conditioning exercise at Punk Rope.

However, and this is a big HOWEVER, occasionally my interest is sparked when I hear of an innovative and fun fitness class. The newest class to pique my interest is Punk Rope. The brainchild of Tim Haft, a certified personal trainer, running coach, and stability ball instructor, Punk Rope marries jump rope (an amazing cardio exercise) with conditioning drills. The best part? None of the individual exercises lasts more than a single song – for you punk novices, most songs in the genre are about three minutes long.

This unfit gal took a recent Punk Rope class at the 14th Street Y and was pleasantly surprised to discover just how FUN the class was. It really made me sweat, but more importantly, it actually made me smile. I can sincerely say that I’ve never said that about a workout before.

Tim answered a few questions for curious BN readers:

BN: What inspired you to start Punk Rope?

TH: It was a rebellion of sorts. I wanted to create a class that I would actually enjoy taking because most of what was available in gyms just didn’t get me energized. I know that sounds selfish but I figured I wasn’t the only person in the country interested in a fun, athletic, somewhat goofy, community-oriented, intergenerational class fueled by rock and roll.

BN: Do you find that people connect more with the class if they connect more with the music?

TH: Surprisingly no. I think most people find the music to be a suitable backdrop for the class, but they’re more interested in getting a good workout and making new friends. That said, there are a few loyal students who get really psyched if I’m playing a particular band or song. For folks who are interested, I publish a monthly e-letter, which focuses primarily on the music. They can sign up at

BN: What’s your favorite punk band?

TH: That’s like asking what three items I’d bring with me if I were stranded on a desert island. I’m going to go with the Ramones. They were one of the first, they’re from New York, they had a cool look, and they helped inspire thousands of other bands around the world. Plus their music still holds up 30 years later.

We concur! For a schedule of NYC Punk Rope classes, click here.

Originally published September 2007
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