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Blitzkrieg Bod at the Cobra Club

New York swoll! Bar offers punk-rock workout classes

The Brooklyn Paper
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Hey! Ho! Let’s go!

A personal trainer with a penchant for mohawks and safety pins is leading weekly aerobics classes for the punk set in a Bushwick bar. Instructor Haley Degroat, who sings in a punk band called Haley Bowery and the Manimals, said her “Blitzkrieg Bod” class is a perfect melding of her interests — and she thinks other misfits will feel the same way.

“I wanted to teach a class that was more fun and wild and laid back and that would appeal to the kind of person who might be uncomfortable with the elite nature of a lot of fitness classes,” said Degroat.

Degroat has been teaching the class every Friday evening at the Cobra Club for the past month and a half, and creates a new theme for each session. Past themes have included ’70s and ’80s glam, Afro-punk for Black History Month, and an Irish workout for Saint Patrick’s Day.

At the next “Blitzkrieg Bod” on March 27, Degroat plans to celebrate Women’s History Month by kicking out jams from female musicians, getting the class sweating to songs from Blondie, the Runaways, and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts.

“The women artists are my favorite, so I like working out to them,” said Degroat.

Degroat calls her style of aerobics “total body conditioni­ng,” using exercises including squats, push-ups, lunges, and dips.

And Degroat said that the class itself espouses punk-rock values, including being cheap and late in the day for those who have been out partying the night before. In true rock ’n’ roll fashion, the $16 session also comes with free booze. Less rock ’n’ roll is that the booze must be consumed after the class.

Students should wear comfortable but punky clothes and sneakers, and bring a towel or yoga mat, Degroat said.

Blitzkrieg Bod at the Cobra Club [6 Wyckoff Ave. between Jefferson and Troutman streets in Bushwick, (917) 719–1138, www.cobraclubbk.com]. Fridays at 7 pm. $16.

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at dfurfaro@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her at twitter.com/DanielleFurfaro.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

JB from Boston says:
Please give credit to the creators of this workout: Hilken Mancini and Maura Jasper: www.punkrockaerobics.com
March 27, 2015, 12:57 pm
jel from Boston says:
OLD NEWS. The NY Times covered this back in 2002 by the founders of Punk Rock Aerobics: http://www.nytimes.com/2002/05/13/nyregion/13AERO.html
March 27, 2015, 1:29 pm
John Wasserman from Prospect Heights says:
Yes, old news indeed.
Please enjoy your weekend.
March 27, 2015, 2:04 pm
Betsy Nichols says:
This is NOT a new idea! I did Punk Rock Aerobics at the Middle East in Cambridge, Massachusetts like 10 years ago. Credit goes to Hilken Mancini & Maura Jasper for inventing this. I always had to belly up to the bar for a quick drink after their "beat up the brats" routine!
March 27, 2015, 3:26 pm
John Wasserman from Prospect Heights says:
Pardon the correction, but these were at TT the Bear's Place, most of the time.
Sorry to interrupt.
March 27, 2015, 3:55 pm
Haley from Brooklyn says:
Hi commenters,
I'm the instructor of Blitzkrieg Bod. I know that I am not the first person to ever think of working out to rock music! Hopefully I won't be the last, either. However, the class itself is my own creation and was not lifted from the Boston-area Punk Rock Aerobics class from the early 2000s. I discovered Hilken Mancini & Maura Jasper's business via google after I had already begun developing the class, and while it gave me pause, I saw that it had been defunct for over a decade. The many classes that use Beyonce as their soundtrack (and I can think of a few just off the top of my head) don't necessarily have anything in common, nor are they in competition with each other. I have my own teaching style and fitness background, and wanted to create something fun for people who don't want to work out to Top-40 and hip hop all the time. Those genres completely dominate fitness classes. So again, I'm not trying to lay claim to this idea, just trying to add some musical diversity to the current fitness class world. I don't know if you can say someone "invented" working out to a certain genre of music- if I was stealing their specific routines, that would be a different story!
March 30, 2015, 1:46 pm
xpfmx from Boston says:
Props to Haley for promoting fitness. A nod in the article to what Ms. Mancini & Ms. Jasper created would have been nice. Incidentally, Punk Rock Aerobics is not defunct as it's an important part of Girls & Ladies Rock Camp Boston (http://girlsrockboston.org/) and other cities' Girls Rock Camp sessions.
March 30, 2015, 6:36 pm
Haley from Brooklyn says:
xpfmx, my bad, I didn't know that. I didn't see any ongoing classes available to the general public in the way that they were offered in '02. Very cool that it's still a part of Girls Rock Camp.
March 30, 2015, 11:11 pm
Tiny Prince from Bushwick says:
Bringing up a 13 year old work out class from a different part of the country and acting as if Haley should mention them as her inspiration is a stretch. I'm going to assume that no one commenting does many organized workout classes because trademarking squats and music is tough to do.
April 7, 2015, 5:22 pm

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