Friday, April 4, 2014

Reader Question: All Things Zumba

Honestly, I love talking all things Zumba. Granted my real knowledge is very limited, I'm hoping to change some of that this weekend when I get licensed to teach! I've got some amazing mentors that are helping me through this entire process. I just can't tell you how grateful I am for each one of them. 

Zumba changed my life in so many ways. From hating exercise to looking forward to class. Having support friends to laugh with, dance &  exercise all in one. I take class for $4 a class when I sign up for the month or $5 as a drop in. Check out for classes near you!
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Mrs. Jen asked: 

"I've just discovered Zumba. My experience is still quite limited. I'd love to hear more about how other classes work (multiple instructors? When you say 2-hours of Zumba what level are you staying at during that entire time? Do you track calories somehow (HRM? Mine always comes in SO much lower than what I hear other people say their burn is). Some songs/moves are a little slow, how do I keep my heart rate up during those times? What shoes are best?"

I've actually never been to any other Zumba class. I started out almost a year ago at my church and it met all of my exercise needs. We have four different instructors that cycle through the classes. I absolutely love the variety! We've had a few guest instructors along the way and I think it gives us great insight into the diversity of styles. 

Our program started out with two ladies. One focuses on toning and has paired great choreography to popular songs. The other is our "bouncy" girl. She's a ball of huge energy! They would alternate every couple of songs between the two to give us an amazing workout. We got toning and high energy cardio all packed into one workout. 

Later on a third and forth lady were added. One lady teaches the morning classes which I never get to take, but she's as sweet as they come. 

The fourth lady..... When she first started teaching, I threw my hands up in the air and said, "I can't do this! I cannot keep up!" She was light on her feet...and I was tripping over mine. She had this genuine flair that comes naturally to some. She was graceful and I knew that there was no way I could ever keep up. For weeks, I hung in there and slowly it turned into something amazing. I discovered I actually loved it! 

I'm so thankful I didn't give up! Yep, I still trip all over my own feet but I consider it a challenge that I gladly accept. 

So we get a fabulous workout... Some days my legs ache, some days it's my hips, then other times I feel like my arms are going to fall off! Having that many different styles switches everything up and our bodies don't get used to just one thing. 

I know some people go to a Zumba class once or twice, hate the style or the pace or the instructor. But if you don't immediately fall head over heels in love, it's worth giving it another shot. It's not always easy and it takes some practice, but once you "get" it you feel this amazing sense of accomplishment! 

So when I say two hours of Zumba, what do I mean? 

I attend Zumba twice a week. Classes run an hour each back to back with about 10 minutes of rest in between. I started out doing one hour and slowly worked into two. In the beginning, it absolutely drained me! Now I just feel like I'm getting a really amazing workout and I don't feel like I'm gonna die. For me Zumba, doesn't feel like a workout. It feels like dance and to me, dancing is just plain fun! I couldn't see myself going to the gym for two hours or running for two hours. It just doesn't have the same appeal. 

My level? 

I'm the high energy one. I'm the one moving and bouncing, taking each move up a notch. If we get the option of running in place versus mountain climbers, I'm doing mountain climbers. I do the high impact form of each move. To me, it's all about the challenge. I want to push myself harder each and every time just to see what I can do. 

Our classes have recovery periods built in, so the high impact isn't overwhelming. The slower songs are made for that. I feel like if I push myself harder during the faster songs, then the recovery ones are needed and appreciated! If you want to keep your heart rate up, you can exaggerate your movements. In between songs, keep moving!!! 

I use my Polar FT4 to track my calories burned. 

One hour of Zumba

Two Whole Hours of Zumba

I've seen ladies do Zumba barefoot, in hightops, and in just regular athletic shoes. I simply wear my Nike's and I'm good to go. I prefer to workout in yoga pants, a good sports bra, and a tank top. For some reason I don't like anything on my arms. 


  1. I love Zumba's been a while since I have gone for a Zumba class because I can't make it on time to the class...but that class always made my evenings happier, I would always get out of the gym smiling :)
    good luck with your weekend



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