Book health & wellness appointments instantly


During Forza, lunges and parries activate the muscles of the arms, legs, and core at the same time.

By Zeel Editorial Staff, Last updated: August 15, 2012

Known as the Samurai workout, Forza is a strength-building routine that centers on the use of an ersatz sword. Don't worry about accidentally impaling yourself—these "swords" are really blunt three-foot props, like wooden rods, bats and broomsticks.

Benefits of Forza: During Forza, lunges and parries activate the muscles of the arms, legs, and core simultaneously. Forza provides a fast-paced aerobic workout that builds both muscle and endurance.

Who Forza is best for: Anyone who's ever gotten a good workout as a kid swinging a lightsaber around will appreciate Forza. Forza is currently only in a handful of gyms in the United States, but the fun of pretending to be Lara Croft in Tomb Raider while getting fit is catching on.

Getting ready: Forza begins with a 25-minute-long warm-up routine. Wear a fitted t-shirt or tank top that won't get in the way of swinging arms.

Calories burned: Forza can quickly burn calories and build lean muscle; the workout burns up to 500 calories an hour. For an even more strenuous workout, a heavier "sword" can be used.

Celebrity Devotees

Yvonne Strahovski—agent Sarah Walker on the television show Chuck—demonstrated the Forza workout for Self magazine in 2010. Forza also made an appearance in the second season of Celebrity Fit Club.


Forza can result in injury of the shoulders and arms. Warming up before hoisting the sword in the air can limit injury to the upper body.

Who shouldn't do it: Swinging a faux sword around for an hour can cause shoulder strain. Individuals with shoulder problems should consult a physician before participating in Forza classes. Women in their second or third trimester may have difficulty swinging the sword in front of the body.

Find expert fitness instructors near you