What do you do if you’re a regular gym-goer but your idea of good music involves headbanging and guitar riffs? You could try and block it out with headphones. Or, you could check out Melbourne’s only dedicated fitness class based around a heavy metal theme.
"I like heavy things," says Deadlifts and Death Metal founder and head instructor Elissa Jewell. "I like heavy metal and I like lifting. Not everyone gets to combine their two favourite things in life, but I do."
Elissa is a qualified personal trainer, nutritionist, and former competitive bodybuilder. She created Deadlifts and Death Metal after a decade of hearing clients say they’re sick of "gym music".
Her vision was straightforward: host strength classes around not just a love of heavy music, but also around a shared interest, where participants look forward to training as much as they do to socialising.
Typical Deadlifts and Death Metal sessions start much like any regular strength class, focussing on things like squats, shoulders or core strength. What makes it so distinct though is the savage soundtrack of brutal, heavy, and monstrously fast death metal music, coupled with a strong social element. Indeed, classes are usually followed by a trip to the pub and, very often, a catch-up at a gig too.
Despite the fearsome name, class attendees are a surprisingly diverse bunch. "We get all sorts, not just metalheads, but people who just want to try something different," says Elissa. "I have people who have literally never picked up a barbell in their entire life training next to people who have been doing it for as long as I have. It’s about pushing yourself, not competing against others, and no one looks down on you for lifting a particular weight range. When it comes down it, we’re all nerds and misfits," she says.
Whatever you do, just don’t request Beyoncé.
Deadlifts & Death Metal meets on Saturday afternoons at Alterego Holistic Fitness Studio, at 14 Abbott St, in Alphington. Bookings are essential. Visit Deadlifts and Death Metal for more information.