Zumba, Zumba, Zumba…

So I finally got around to hitting up a Zumba class, which was a goal of mine towards the end of last year and eventually got bumped to 2012.

However, it featured prominently on my inspiration board for this year, so I bit the bullet and signed up for a 6-week Zumba course at my local community centre.

I’ve been three times now and I love it, so I thought I’d write a quick review for all of you newbies who are wondering whether or not to give it a try or not!

PROS

  • Pro 1: Zumba is fun.

This seems obvious, but this is the main attraction to Zumba and is ultimately what keeps me coming back.

The energy is upbeat and light-hearted; everyone else who is there is doing it for the same reasons as you, and it’s just a whole bunch of craziness matched to some really high-energy, LOUD music (see Pro #2).

Copyright to Nikki Boertman

  • Pro 2: The music is AWESOME.

It’s true – as with all of my points – that this all depends on your teacher. But in general, Zumba has branded itself as a workout heavily based on music.

Often teachers will use current hits (LMFAO’s “I’m Sexy and I Know It” and Maroon 5 and Christina Aguilera’s “Moves Like Jagger” are both songs on my teacher’s regular playlist), but sometimes they’re cheesier Latino or re-done songs that are formulated to speed up the tempo and give it some Latin flair. I love that these songs are cheesy – they break up the seriousness of the class and force you – if you weren’t already – to laugh at yourself.

Copyright to fitness-passion.com

  • Pro 3: Everyone laughs at themselves.

Seriously, even if you’re a regular pro and you’re picking up all the choreography instantly, most teachers will throw a song in there that makes everyone look or seem a bit ridiculous at one point or another. This just equalizes the playing field again and reminds the class that this isn’t a competitive environment to be super judgmental of others or yourself, but more just to have some fun and loosen up a bit!

Plus, if you are really shy and you’re just not picking up the choreography, what I LOVE about this class is that there are some women in the back (and, not in my class, but men often too!) who just do their own thing. They can’t keep up with the choreography so they just do every third or fourth move with the rest of the class and the rest of the time they do their own thing. What does that matter? They’re having fun and, most importantly, they’re MOVING.

The Fitnessista – a Zumba teacher herself – posted this image to her blog the other day and I found it hilarious – and totally true:

Copyright to fitnessista.com

  • Pro 4: You’ll get a great workout – but you won’t even notice!

The speed of the music contributes to this – no matter how you move, you’ll be moving fast, which ultimately will help you break a sweat.

But while you end every song a bit sweatier than the last, you won’t even have noticed. Between keeping up with the steps, getting into the music and having an awesome time, you won’t even realize your heart rate is elevated.

My teacher throws in a couple of songs that have a Bollywood feel to them, so we use our abs a lot (belly dancing styles!) and our arms are in the air practically the whole time waving scarves. It’s only ever when that song ends and I lower my arms that I realize how much they were aching!

Yep, you’ll be looking like this in no time with those scarf moves…

Copyright to dfw.cbslocal.com

CONS

  • Con 1: You gotta keep up!

I don’t mean you have to keep up because as I said before, you can totally just do your own thing at the back of the room.

Instead what I mean is, if you come from a dance background or you’re used to learning steps in a slower, more methodical way, throw that out the window. I’m used to dance where they break the steps down really slowly and then slowly we do them over and over again and eventually speed up.

No chance with Zumba – you go right into it! There’s no explanation or demonstrations, it’s just done in a ‘follow the leader’ type of instruction. However, the dance moves are kept relatively simple (again depending on your teacher) and are repeated over and over again with verse and chorus repetitions, so usually everyone can pick them up, especially by the end of the song.

Source: zumbafitnessfun.blogspot.com

  • Con 2: There will be certain levels of repetition.

This was more a con for me at the end of my second class, because my second class had been almost identical to the first – all the same songs and all the same moves. But in my third class the teacher threw in 3 new songs, which was great.

I do like to see some songs come up again because you’ll feel accomplished when you realize you can pick up the choreography easier the second time around. And with the new songs, the teacher is still shaking things up enough to keep your interest.

Again, this one entirely depends on your teachers, and I also really respect that it takes the teacher a lot of time to choreograph and come up with a new song so I certainly don’t expect them to have brand-new songs every single class. So this one is half a con, half not.

Copyright to zumbavideosx.com

Those are my thoughts on my Zumba experience! Even if you don’t have a class locally, it’s now available on DVDs, games consoles and you can even just follow along to videos posted on YouTube.

Let me know about your experiences with Zumba in the comments!

QUESTIONS:

  • Have you ever done Zumba?
  • If so, what are some things you found to be pros and cons?
  • If not, what’s stopping you?
Advertisements

Comments

  1. Zummmmmmmmmbaaaaaaaa!

    So glad you are loving the zumba classes girl! It is very fun! I am a zumba teacher but not teaching at the time, hope to find somewhere soon!

    Happy Wednesday! What a great post you did on zumba though!

  2. looks like fun! but another one i’ll have to be brave to try. i’ll add this to my list!!!

  3. Love your posts!

  4. Love this! Haven’t really tried Zumba yet, but keep hearing amazing things about it. For some reason I prefer working out at home besides a class… or just going to the gym to do my own thing. I’ll have to look into the videos! And your post from yesterday- I loved the hunger games. Wasn’t the biggest fan of the 3rd one, but still loved them and can’t wait for the movie. 🙂

    • The 3rd was my least favourite HG book too, but I think authors have you hooked by then so they can get away with being a bit rushed in the 3rd book, which I hate but it’s true! Definitely try the YouTube videos! If you can work out at home that’s awesome – saves you tons of money! I can start working out at home but I’ll give up way quicker than I would in a class, so I prefer to go out!

  5. I totally want to try Zumba, but I’m a bit nervous! I was a dancer for 15 years, so I’d be totally embarrassed at myself if I didn’t pick it up right away! I usually don’t like something if I can’t master it! lol! Shouldn’t have that attitude, but I can’t help it 😉

    • If you have a dancing background I promise you you’ll find it so easy! It’s really designed for those with no experience whatsoever. I’ve done just a few years of dance training compared to 15 and I find most routines easy to pick up. What I said about not having the choreo slowed down and taught to you step by step being a bit of a shock to the dancer’s system is true, but you pick it up super fast. Let me know if you decide to try it!

    • I danced for about 15 years as well and felt the same way!! When I took my first Zumba class I found it frustrating to keep up because the moves are “unconventional” from a dancers perspective. I was too busy working on my form or how perfect I was trying to get this move or that one. I soon realized what Zumba is about, having fun and letting loose. No one cares about your form or what the person next to you is doing.. I had to let the “dancer” in me go. I now take Zumba anywhere from 3-5 times a week I LOVE IT! Definitely give it a shot!

  6. Hey Girl!! I love that you tried Zumba…I’ve NEVER tried it…I’m so bad at keeping up and my coordination is alway all off…eeekkk!

    I hear its a FAB workout though!!

    xxoo

  7. I love zumba! you definitely need to try to take it with different instructors because no two are alike. i’ve had some i hated (too much repetition, boring, not enough of a workout) to amazing ones (love all the music, and can’t walk cuz i’m so sore for the next 3 days!)

    • So true – and I’m actually quite excited about the variations between teachers because I always get so easily bored. I like the idea that if I get bored I don’t have to be ‘done’ with Zumba, I can just try a different teacher!

  8. Zumba is like step class in that it scares the uncoordinated girl in me 🙂 I would definitely be one of those people in the back doing their own thing, or possibly still three moves behind because I have no idea what is going on! I’m sure I would be laughing non-stop 🙂

    • Laughing non-stop is always good! But a lot of songs aren’t even as complicated as step class – though again, this all depends on your teacher so it’s tough to say. Definitely try out the YouTube videos first and see what you think!

  9. I love Zumba! My college offers a free class two times a week, and I love it! You are so right, you do not even realize how great of it workout you are getting until the class is over and your sore, sweating bullets! It’s so much fun, even though I have no rhythm, I still always enjoy myself!

  10. I love Zumba. I haven’t done it for a while though, but I think that’s because when I’m slacking I need to re-build up my endurance and I hate working out when I feel like I can’t physically keep up. The movements are pretty simple, complicated occasionally but not too hard. Sometimes they’re fast. I come from a dance background, though, and so I don’t feel like it really fills my need to jazz dance or do hip hop. I think it’s from the repetition. And the lack of leaps and other jazz like moves.

    Thanks for writing about it though, I enjoyed it!

  11. i’ve never tried zumba…but have always wondered how it was… this was a great post about it…thanks! 🙂

Trackbacks

  1. […] here: Zumba, Zumba, Zumba… – The Guiltless Life Related Posts:Lessons on Love: Living Life in Technicolor – A Lesson from Zumba Reflections […]

  2. […] 1-hour Zumba class had me hoppin around today! This week I have a couple of Zumba classes planned, some gym sessions and then some HIIT to keep the heart rate going. What are you […]

Let's chat!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: