In the 1980s, the attic was where my mother’s fitness-fad equipment went to die. Up there—near the NordicTrack, the Jane Fonda videotapes, and the ThighMaster—was a mini-trampoline, intended for use as a calorie-burning bounce machine. Most often I misused it, boing-boinging until my head nearly hit the ceiling beams in the storage area.
These days the mini-trampoline (also known as a rebounder) is making a comeback, and it’s not just for the legwarmers-and-sweatbands set. With many experts now citing resurfaced NASA research from 1980, which claimed that “the magnitude of the biochemical stimuli is greater with jumping on a trampoline than with running,” rebounding classes are on the rise.
I’ve tried some of these classes in Atlanta. None so far can compare to the fun and energetic sessions at Trampolean Fit.
If you follow a lot of fitness-related accounts on Instagram, you likely have come across the slick and fun videos from Trampolean Fit, showing creator and lead instructor Brittany Thompson leading dozens of spandex-clad clients through booty-bouncing hip-hop dance routines on rebounders. These reels popped up on my feed so often, and the energy was so captivating, I knew I had to give the class a try.
Here’s how it works: Every Monday at about 7:30 p.m., students and staff roll out rows of mini-trampolines at the Loft Athletic Club, a low-lit, welcoming, and raucously loud fitness studio near downtown.
A live DJ deftly spins hip-hop and R&B while Thompson leads the group through warm-ups on and off the trampolines, then takes clients into weighted movements—like squats, dead lifts, and punches—with light dumbbells.
From there, Thompson teaches choreography. Ours—set to “Slow Jamz” by Twista, Kanye West, and Jamie Foxx—involved step-touches, jumping jacks, squats, and bouncing on and off the trampoline. On this particular night, we wore disposable sauna jackets by ShredSkinz, which looked like hoodies made of yellow Saran Wrap, designed to intensify the workout. Thompson kept the movements simple to keep us from overheating.
Still, most attendees didn’t let the sweat-trapping jackets stop them from adding their own flavor to the routine. (As always, I found myself lamenting the fact that I don’t know how to twerk.)
The energy, the music, and the moves kept me from realizing I was seriously engaging my abdominals, legs, quads, and glutes throughout the class. And because we weren’t pounding on a gym floor, I felt no jarring sensations in my knees or feet.
At the end of the class, after peeling off my sauna jacket and wringing out what looked like a gallon of sweat, I checked my fitness watch. I’d burned 500 calories in under an hour, all with a smile on my face. I might burn that much during a run, but you can bet I would not smile at all (except maybe when the run was over).
I’m glad the rebounder has taken its rightful place on the gym floor, instead of in the attic. And I’ll definitely be back at Trampolean Fit. But first, who wants to teach me to twerk?
Trampolean Fit offers $20 classes at the Loft Athletic Club, 275 Decatur Street. Virtual classes are available for $10 per month.