Oct 162010
 October 16, 2010  Posted by at 3:40 pm Uncategorized Tagged with: , ,  Add comments

Zumba is a new hit at the gym and has been promoted widely as an excellent cardiovascular class and a class for those that are seeking to burn calories and tone up. Today I borrowed a video from a friend and went through the whole workout giving it 110%.

Length of class: 50 min
My sweat rate: 300 ml/hour (at 22.5 C, humidity unknown, indoor)
Heart rate: average 62% based on my own personal resting and max heart rate.
(My resting heart rate (tested): 51 bpm* my max heart rate (tested): 195 bpm**)
*Typical healthy resting heart rate in adults is 60–80 bpm, lower in athletes
** You can also subtract your age from 220 instead of testing
*** using the Karoven method (Target heart rate = ((HRmax − HRrest) × %Intensity) + HRrest )
Steps: 4500 (if walking this would give me a speed of 4k/h)
Calories burned: between 250 – 310–calculated on my weight (58kg)

The promise of burning up to 1000 calories an hour is very far away from the truth. Turns out I only burned 250- 310 calories on one session! To burn 1000 calories you would have to weigh 175 kg and above!

Cardiovascular exercise: My heart rate shows an average 62% of my max heart rate, which isn’t in the cardiovascular zone. In other words, the exercise isn’t intense enough to give you a real cardiovascular workout. You will be in the so-called fat-burning zone, but with the low amount of calories burned you would be better of doing something else at a higher intensity as at the end of the day it is calories in versus calories out.

Will this make you look like the dancers? No! Remember that the host Alberto “Beto” Perez is a personal trainer and has probably worked out his whole life. I didn’t get my abs overnight; I have worked out with weights for 12 years and been an active dancer and runner since I could walk. There are no quick fixes! If you find Zumba motivates you, then do it. Just remember that you still need to do weight training and cardiovascular workouts and watch what you are eating and drinking, for your health as well for your looks (if that is your aim).

Have you tried Zumba? What do you think of it?

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  14 Responses to “Zumba Cardio Party workout – does it work?”

  1. I like Zumba but they don’t have it at my gym. They have Les Mills classes, is that better?

  2. Hi Jane,
    as with Les Mills you have to be a certified instructor and pay a fee to hold classes at the gym. Not all gyms buy in the class, it depends on its popularity and the profit they will be able to make from it. Often it is the larger gyms that purchase the licence as they can have one instructor that goes to different venues in the area. I used the Zumba DVD, and worked out at home. I will test the gym version as well.

    There are many Les Mills classes, and there is big difference between balance and body combat.

    I will soon do a test of BodyCombat 44 (latest release) next week, but in previous classes I have had a heart rate up to 165 and more if I remember correctly. You will burn more calories during that class than the Zumba DVD class I tried.

    Good luck!

  3. H! I’ve found that I work harder with the dvds than in the actual class because Beto is a better dancer- I’m very competitive 🙂 In class I find myself trying to help with others with the steps, etc. I also think the Zumba Live Party is more intense- or maybe I just work harder- than the actual Cardio Party dvd. It’s more fast pasted and the moves are “bigger”…perhaps you’d burn an extra 10 calories 🙂 Anyway, it doesn’t matter, I’ve lost ten pounds! At 125.5…five more to go. I’d changed the way I eat and this makes me active…even if it isn’t really 1000 pounds. Thanks for the analysis though!

  4. Excuse the typos….”trying to help others with the steps” “more fast paced”

    • Congratulations with your weight loss Stephanie- I am happy to hear that you have found something that motivates you and that you have incorporated a healthy diet as well as more exercise! Maybe Zumba isn’t as intense as body combat for example, but everybody has their own preferences and the best activity is the one you do. This means that the best choice is always the one that you feel you can continue with so you can sustain the changes in body weight that you have achieved.
      I forgot to mention that I did use the Live! video and I haven’t tried the other DVD yet- I will have to give that a try as well and compare results! Beto is a good dancer, and I really liked that it was a man that led the dance team (Beto) as dancing sometimes is considered more of a women’s ‘sport’. Hopefully this will inspire men as well, and maybe I have a good argument now for when I try to get my husband to dance salsa with me 😉
      The typos- no problem, my fingers are also trigger-happy on my keyboard + plus I am Norwegian 🙂

      Wish you all the best, and let me know how you go!

  5. Does it work ? Of course it does. Not everything is about caloric burn..Zumba is generaly more fun than running/jogging by ones self, it can also be performed indoors. Much better hip opener and lower back exercise than most other workouts with maybe the exception of Yoga.

    Also for someone who is fighting obesity, they are more likely to exercise daily and stick with tit if it is fun and in the 300 to 500 Cal/Hour. I would suggest someone who is “heavy” is better to do 45 minutes of Zumba daily for negative burn of 3000 Calories a week. rather then attempt to run two , three times a week. Zumba also has pretty much zero injury risk.

    All in all it is a fantastic workout for beginners and folks who are not ready to hang with their body builder or pixie friends.

  6. I love doing the zumba work out dvd and it makes me sweat so it must work!
    I prefer it over other work out dvds as I have NO rhythm and doing zumba is helping this little problem and I honestly have fun and enjoy myself which in my opinion makes it great!

  7. I LOVE Zumba!!! I have lowered portion sizes as well. I have been at it for 4 months and have lost 20 lbs. I feel great and I hitmy goal weight 2 weeks early. I especially love the cardio party.

    • That is awesome, congratulations! Feel free to share your story, many people are looking for inspiration, I am sure they would love to read your story!

  8. I love Zumba too. For someone who exercise and fitness hasnt been the norm it has been effective in some good weight loss because it fun so i was able to be more consistent. but as your fitness level improves i agree that obviously one would need to incorporate something more intense. but otherwise fun therefore good for a beginner.

  9. Question: I just saw some ladies perform last month and they did work up a sweat even though they were already skinny!! So I can’ imagine the sweat that will pour off me if I start it.

    My question is: can you do this on carpeting, or do you need a hard wood floor? No sense me purchasing the DVD’s if you can’t perform the steps on carpet.


  10. Hi Cheryl.
    I have the DVDs and do the Cardio party one twice a week. I have carpet and yes, some if the steps are more difficult (especially the sliding travel ones), I just compensate and do some jumps or hops, the steps you can’t do on carpet are very few.
    With the zumba twice a week an the gym once or twice a week, I’ve lost 14lbs (bear in mind I weighed 206lbs when I started so the results may be different for you).
    I think the DVDs are great 🙂

  11. I love zumba as well. been doing it for 2 weeks and have lost inches off my waist. after 3 days of zumba I went from a size 22 to a size 20. cant wait to see how much more weight drops off

    (keep in mind I also cut down on food a lot stuck to whole and organic foods wont eat processed foods)

    I did the dvds

    • Hello, I was wondering if you did just the cardio party DVD or the sculpt and tone one also when you began to see results? Congrats on your weight loss!

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