’50-Shades’-Themed Dominatrix Whips Gym-Goers Into Shape

Former dominatrix Melody Hardy is shown teaching the “50 Shades of Grey”-themed “Whipped” workout class in New York. Hardy mostly teaches yoga now.

Courtesy Crunch

A fitness instructor shouting instructions at her class doesn’t sound so unusual, but when she’s decked out as a dominatrix and has a crop in her hand, you get a “50 Shades of Grey“-themed workout that will whip you into shape — and maybe make you blush.

Crunch gyms in Miami, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco hosted special dominatrix-led workout classes called “Whipped: 50 Shades of Fitness,” and they were a hit, said Donna Cyrus, senior vice president of programming at Crunch. The classes were packed, and some participants wore costumes to get into character.

“Every now and then, I like to try something more fun and out of the box,” Cyrus said, adding that the class blends traditional interval training with theatrics. “[The instructor] would say things like, ‘If you don’t do these 20 push-ups, you’re going to get whipped.'”

Cyrus, who also founded one of the first cardio striptease classes after the 1996 movie “Striptease” came out, said she came up with the idea for “Whipped” three or four years ago and discovered that one of her New York yoga instructors, Melody Henry, used to be a dominatrix in her “other life.” So when it came time to revive the class for the “50 Shades of Grey” movie premiere, Cyrus said she knew she had the perfect person.

“We all have two sides,” Henry said.

The yoga instructor said her dominatrix name was Lady Absinthe, and she taught the “Whipped” class decked out in a leather outfit.

Courtesy Crunch
PHOTO: Crunch gyms held special 50 Shades of Grey-themed classes in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Miami.

“Being a fitness instructor and being a dominatrix are very similar,” Henry said with a laugh, “because I tell you what to do and I cause you pain and you pay money.”

Every instructor had their own take on the class, Cyrus said, adding that some instructors incorporated blindfolds into the workout and others instructed participants to crawl on their bellies to the other side of the room with a hint of sexual innuendo.

“They don’t even realize how hard they’re working,” Cyrus said of the participants.

When she taught the class, Henry said she walked around the room threatening to hit participants with her riding crop and, at one point, she made everyone start over because one man kept slacking. She stood behind another man shouting, “get it up!” until he did his plank right, holding himself up with his abdominal muscles.

Although there are no plans to make “Whipped” a more regular class, Miami Crunch is pushing for it, Cyrus said.

Crunch wasn’t the only gym to have a “50 Shades of Grey”-themed workout, but it may have been the only one to include a dominatrix instructor. Self magazine wrote of a “50 Shades of Glutes” workout, and British Olympian Louise Hazel taught a one-time-only “50 Shades of Grey” workout in London that involved ropes.

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this article misstated instructor Melody Henry’s name.

Source: ABC News

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