Too Punk For Pink? Flabby Rockers Have New Workout Option

By | May 15, 2002 at 12:00 AM

So you’re too young to be sweatin’ to the oldies with Richard Simmons. And with musical tastes that lean closer to the Buzzcocks than Britney, you’ll feel a bit dorky getting your body started with the Pink-inspired Bally Total Fitness Center cardio-workout.

The beach season is creeping up faster than you can say “Gabba Gabba Hey,” so what’s a self-respecting rocker who wants to get toned to good tunes gonna do?

If said rocker can get their flabby butt to Boston or New York, they can shed their spare tire to the sounds of the Sex Pistols, the Stranglers and Stiff Little Fingers with Punk Rock Aerobics, a real cardiovascular workout set to the music of punk’s luminaries.

Instead of those sand-filled, pastel-colored free weights used by the more advanced exercisers, Punk Rock Aerobics employs as props bricks, cinderblocks and other hardcore heavies. And forget about jumping jacks and reaching for the sky; those traditional moves are replaced by rock regimens that include windmills, pogos and guitar kicks.

Those who have attended even a single class can testify that it’s more exhausting than being 20 deep in the mosh pit at a Green Day gig.

Punk Rock Aerobics was started in Boston by Hilken Mancini, a certified aerobics instructor and founding member of Boston’s mid-’90s alterna-pop group Fuzzy, and Maura Jasper, a video artist who produced the album art for Dinosaur Jr.’s seminal second album, 1987’s You’re Living All Over Me.

Since its inception in August, the class is being held twice weekly in Boston-area clubs – Saturdays at the Middle East in Cambridge and Thursdays at Spontaneous Celebrations in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts – and boasts an average of 25 people per class at $7 apiece (slightly more in New York, natch).

PRA’s first class outside Boston was held Saturday at New York’s CB’s Gallery, a performance space adjacent to the famed CBGB. Other classes are scheduled to take place in Brooklyn and another Manhattan location.

Proponents of the amped-up take on traditional aerobics include singer Evan Dando (Lemonheads), J Mascis (Dinosaur Jr.), Mission of Burma bassist Clint Conley, who’s scheduled to spin at two dates in June, and former Minutemen/Firehose bassist Mike Watt, who was the guest DJ at Saturday’s show. Among the tunes Watt was expected to play were the Heartbreakers’ “Chinese Rocks,” the Ramones’ “Beat on the Brat,” the Stooges’ “Search and Destroy” and Black Flag’s “TV Party.”

Organizers are hoping to establish Punk Rock Aerobics classes in Los Angeles, Seattle and Chicago, among other cities, and a television show and home video deals are also being discussed, according to a spokesperson.

For class schedules and more information, visit

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