Sometime back in the nineties, Alberto Perez created a dance-fitness program called Zumba. It has since been trademarked and owned by Zumba Fitness. Alberto is a dancer/choreographer and has some pretty cool moves… but can Zumba make you fit?
There are several factors we need to look at before deciding if Zumba is right for you.
Firstly, do you enjoy dancing? Millions of women (and some men) all around the world dislike conventional exercise programs such as P90X or Insanity. They prefer dancing to heart-pumping music and enjoying the ‘flow’.
If you’re one of them, then as a form of activity, Zumba is great. Some activity is better than no activity.
Secondly, how often will you be attending Zumba classes? Generally, Zumba classes are held at gyms or even outdoors and done in big groups. It seems more fun that way and there’s some group energy and camaraderie during the dance session which keeps things fun.
The frequency of your dance sessions will dictate if Zumba makes you fit. If you’re keeping up with the pace and moves, Zumba is a cardio activity which will raise your heart rate and metabolism.
However, it’s ideal to do 3 to 4 sessions a week. One or two Zumba sessions is helpful, but might only have a limited effect on your fitness. If you’re trying to lose weight it will be harder too.
Thirdly, your diet is crucial. Unlike other fitness programs, Zumba is a lot less demanding in the sense that it doesn’t have much of a resistance training aspect to it. You’re mostly on your feet dancing.
So, your diet is even more important. On a caloric deficit and a clean diet, Zumba can make you fitter and leaner.
That said, it’s best to incorporate 2 days of resistance training into your fitness regimen every week. So, you may have 3 to 4 days of Zumba, and on the days in-between, you may have a resistance training session or two.
You may not like it, but it’s necessary for toning your arms and other muscles. The cardio you get from Zumba is great for your cardiovascular system, but your muscles need to work too. Zumba tends to drop the ball here.
There are some workouts like Zumba Toning which focuses on using weights to tone the arms. You could do this workout or just stick to other resistance training methods.
Some women prefer to do Zumba on Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays… and P90X on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Saturday and Sunday are rest days.
In this way, you get benefits from 2 different protocols and your training regimen is much more all-rounded. It’s all a matter of preference.
Zumba is a full-body workout, but it’s just not that effective for your upper-body muscles. Nevertheless, it will boost your endurance and help to burn fat while raising your metabolism.
You may also wish to check out Strong Nation by Zumba. This program claims to combine “body weight, muscle conditioning, cardio and plyometric training” in one workout. So, you’ll be doing burpees, squats, etc.
Do your research and decide which Zumba workout you prefer. Some are more dance-oriented while others look like kickboxing workouts with Zumba-styled music. There are so many variations out there that it’s hard to pinpoint what’s actually real Zumba.
The best way to get original Zumba workouts will be to go to Zumba.com and see what they have there. This is a great fitness program to get on if you wish to get fit and/or lose weight. Try it out today.