‘Hunger Games': I Trained Like A Tribute And Lived To Tell

Katniss Everdeen is in much better shape than I am. It’s a rather obvious sentiment, I’m sure, but one I discovered to be true in both theory and practice when I entered New York Sports Club’s Arena for their new Train Like A Tribute workout.

Along with a handful of editors—er—Tributes, I was invited to sweat through a 45-minute class inspired by “The Hunger Games” and its tough-as-nails protagonist. After a quick warm-up, we lined up to race towards a makeshift Cornucopia for our supplies (resistance bow, weights, towels, mats—and if we were really lucky—water bottles and snacks), which we then used for a series of circuit workouts. Despite their cheeky names (Katniss Killers, Capitol Crunches, Jabber Jays Jacks, Peeta Presses), the rigorous moves—meant to embody survival skills like tree climbing and archery—packed quite the punch.

Throughout the circuits, Master Trainers Fawn Cronin and Eric Salvador declared random “disasters,” requiring us to put down our weights and fight for our lives (so to speak). In one instance we were attacked by fireballs, necessitating quick-footed runs around the Cornucopia. In another, we were chased by Tracker Jackers, meaning we had to bear crawl around the studio (my least favorite).

All the while, a specially mixed soundtrack, including Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger,” Kelly Clarkson’s “What Doesn’t Kill You,” and, fittingly, Taylor Swift’s “Safe and Sound,” pumped us up then cooled us down. At the end, only one victor (the Tribute who completed the most circuits) won and was awarded her very own Mockingjay pin. (SPOILER ALERT: It wasn’t me. Please make sure my mom has enough bread to eat since I won’t be returning home from the Capitol!)

The workout, above all, was fun and a pretty cool way to take advantage of all the hype surrounding the film. But if you’re wondering whether it will pump you up like a certain District 12 champ, suffice it to say that as I type this, my biceps are aching and my core is pleasantly sore. (And if you need any more evidence, just click play on the video above to watch me embrace my inner Katniss. Or try, at least.)

New York Sports Club and its East Coast affiliates are offering the Train Like A Tribute workout free to members and non-members, alike. Ready to enter the Arena? Check for a location near you:

New York
Location: 86th and Lexington NYSC
Time: Tuesdays at noon
Start Date: March 27
End Date: through the end of April

Location: Market Street PSC
Time: Wednesday at 6:30 pm
Start Date: March 28
End Date: through the end of April

Location: Davis Sq BSC
Time: Thursday at 7 am
Start Date: March 29
End Date: through the end of April

Washington, D.C.
Location: Chevy Chase WSC
Time: Tuesday at 9:30 am
Start Date: March 20
End Date: through the end of April