Who Tried It: Gabrielle Olya, PEOPLE writer and reporter
Level of Difficulty: 7 (on a scaled of 1 to 10). The choreography is designed for dancers and non-dancers alike, so even if you’ve never taken a dance class you’ll be able to follow along. The “7” rating is not for the difficulty of the steps, but because the class is pretty much non-stop cardio for an hour straight!
I’ve taken my fair share of dance cardio classes, but was really intimidated by the word “plyometrics,” and didn’t really know what I was getting myself into. For those unfamiliar, plyometrics is a jump-based form of cardio that utilizes explosive moments to burn serious calories — and this class definitely lived up to the “plyo” part of the name.
For an hour straight, PlyoJam’s creator and co-founder Jason Layden led the class through a series of choreographed dance routines that mixed squats, 180s, lateral jumps, pencil jumps, star jumps, squat jumps and frog jumps with body rolls, gyrating and booty shaking.
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“It’s a perfect storm of sexy, sassy dancing and athleticism,” says Stacey Beaman, COO and co-founder of PlyoJam. “People want to get that dance-y vibe, but also feel like they’ve gotten a killer workout.”
“We created the idea based on jump training, but without any equipment, and weaving those explosive moments throughout the routine itself,” adds Layden, who also teaches online PlyoJam classes. “The jump training helps you burn more calories, it helps with bone density for women in their 50s and older, and it helps tighten and tone your body. There’s a lot of benefits.”
By two songs in, I was already covered in sweat, but honestly was having too much fun to care. The class felt more like a hip-hop dance party — albeit an intense one — than a workout class, with a playlist including every guilty pleasure song that’s currently playing on the radio (Flo Rida’s “Cake,” Jason Derulo’s “Swalla,” Sia’s “The Greatest,” and “throwback” jam, Justin Timberlake’s timeless “Sexy Back,” were just a few).
Although I was admittedly getting tired by the end of class, I was sad when Layden announced we only had one more song before the cool down. I am by no means a great dancer, but it was fun to pretend to be one for an hour! I can definitely see why Corden and Hudson — who has been taking private PlyoJam classes since October — are fans.
The Verdict: Although I was physically exhausted by the end of class — and my butt was feeling sore from all the squats — it’s impossible to leave a PlyoJam class and not be in a good mood. I definitely felt like I burned a ton of calories (Layden says clients can burn between 700 to 900 calories in a single class!), but also had a genuinely good time — something I almost never say when leaving a workout. I’ll definitely be back to shake my booty again soon!