Crunch Gym’s ’50 Shades of Fitness’ is a Hit!

A fitness instructor who barks orders at her class isn’t unusual but when she’s wearing black leather and swatting the lazier participants in the ass, you get a BDSM-themed workout inspired by 50 Shades of Gray. If she doesn’t whip your ass into shape you may find yourself groveling at her feet for mercy.

ABC News reports the Miami, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco locations of Crunch Gym are hosting classed led by a Dominatrix. Whipped: 50 Shades of Fitness is a hit thanks to Donna Cyrus, senior vice president of programming at Crunch. The classes are popular with men and women.

“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 will 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.

“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.