Keeping You in Shape
Zumba definitely changed my life. I used to hate working out, but now it’s my favorite part of the day. Until I had the courage to start attending a live Zumba class, I had been using Zumba Fitness Total Body Transformation System DVD Set. After 3 years, though, it was a bit boring with the same music and routines. When I saw that they were releasing a new DVD set, I knew I had to buy it.
The set comes with 7 DVDs, a pair of toning sticks, and a program guide.
1. STEP-BY-STEP- This DVD breaks down the basic Zumba rhythms: merengue, salsa, reggaeton, calypso, cumbia. belly dance. (Unlike with the older DVD set, there is no step-by-step for samba, which kind of annoyed me because samba can be rather tricky. However, they do cover the basic samba step in the Mix DVD.) The steps are broken down by Gina and Tanya (from the previous DVD set.) You have the option of viewing the moves from both the front and back.
2. ACTIVATE- features a 45-minute workout with Gina and Tanya that applies all the moves learned in the previous DVD.
3. RUSH- a high-energy, 20-minute workout with two different instructors, Kass and Loretta, for when you do not have much time.
4. EXHILARATE- full-length (60-minute) workout with Beto and another instructor, Melissa.
5. RIPPED- 60-minute body-sculpting workout that’s split up in two sections. The first is Toning which uses the sticks, and is hosted by Beto and two other instructors, Jani and Melissa. The second is Sentao which features chair routines, and is hosted by Beto and another instructor, Marcie.
6. MIX- features routines from different places and cultures. This DVD is supposed to be more advanced, and is hosted by Tanya and Beto, along with experts from around the world. You have the option of seeing the routines broken down beforehand, which is really helpful because some of the moves are really complicated!
7. FITNESS CONCERT- 60-minute live concert starring Beto and several of the instructors featured in the other DVDs. The concert was filmed in front of thousands of Zumba enthusiasts and has the same songs found in the Exhilarate DVD.
–The workouts are REALLY intense and high energy. I sweat buckets, even in the 20-minute routine.
— The production quality is AMAZING! I have never seen an at-home workout DVD that even comes close. I always enjoyed the previous DVD set because of the colors. The new DVD set takes things to a whole other level. Everything is vibrant and colorful. There’s a definite party feel.
— The routines really look like music videos. The new DVD set feels more like the experience of a live class. You have the option of turning off the cueing and just listening to the music on each of the DVDs.
— There’s a slew of new music and different routines. You get to “meet” different instructors. In addition to the Zumba staples (merengue, reggaeton, salsa, cumbia, etc.), there are routines that feature tango, swing, axé, hip-hop, etc. The Mix DVD alone if great because it gives the opportunity to learn so many different moves.
— I know the lighting is to help create a visual effect, but sometimes it makes it difficult to see the steps.
— There are a lot of routines that require a lot more floor space. Why are they including routines with an eight step? Usually I just move for four, then do the other four in-place because there’s no room. It seems like they created these routines in the live classes in mind, which on one hand is nice because it gives the DVDs the feel of a live class, but on the other hand it’s not really practical for someone doing this in small spaces, like an apartment or dorm room.
— The Sentao section in particular requires a lot of floor space. You have to be able to walk around a chair. You also need a sturdy chair since you have to do lunges and other things with it.
— To be honest, I prefer the Toning DVD from the previous set to this one. This Toning routine was not effective at all for me. They should have included a full-length toning workout instead of breaking it up between using the sticks and a chair, or at least make a Toning routine that’s similar to one you’d find in a live class.
— I liked the Abs workout in the previous DVD set, and I had wished that they had included a new one in this set. One for arms would be really nice actually.
The best part about Zumba is that anyone can do it. It doesn’t matter if you are in-shape or not, as long as you are moving, sweating, and having fun. Not only will you notice a difference in your body, but you…
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I have been following Zumba for awhile and tried a class at the YMCA. I found the class a little intimidating because it wasn’t a beginner class and of course I fumbled along trying to figure out the steps. I decided I wanted to buy the videos. I researched and found that first set and decided to go to the website. They had this set for pre-order. I decided on this one.
I am so glad I did. All of the complaints about the 1st set has been adjusted in this one. The dance moves are very clear on the intro DVD and you can view from the front or the back. They have also adjusted the other DVDs so you can either do the exercise with or without the dance ques from the instructors. I am very glad that I got this set and can’t wait to go back to a class and know what i’m doing.
I was in my best shape ever when I was going out dancing once or twice a week (in my late 20s)–lots of salsa and belly-dance moves that work the abs without crunches that put you on the floor and kill your neck and back. Times have changed, and so has my figure since I quit dancing. I resisted buying into the Zumba craze for while, ever since I saw the commercial once at 3:00 a.m. for the original set. I hesitated, first because everything looks great on a 3 a.m. infomercial; I figured it was the latest infomercial fitness fad. I’ve been disappointed by lots of work-outs that promise “dance moves you can take to the club” and then turn out to be nothing but club outfits, generic music, and aerobic exercise moves that would get you laughed out of a club. Then I read the reviews, and it seemed like everyone who had the set started out in the classes first. I’ve never been to a Zumba class and never wanted to work out in a room full of strangers–thus my reason for buying a home workout set to begin with. The price was also intimidating, and way more than I’ve ever paid for any of the other “dance party” workouts that found their way into a yard sale. Still, I want to get back into the shape I was happy with, and there were a lot of positive reviews, so I went for it. I did my first workout last night, with the Activate disc, and was sweating immediately. At first I saw a couple aerobics-style moves and thought “here we go again.” But those were few, and were incorporated well into the dance routine. Mostly there was actual, genuine, hip-swinging, shimmying, dancing–I had a little trouble keeping up. I can see just how rusty I’ve gotten, and I’ll have to work up to finishing the whole disc. Still, time flew by way faster than it does on the treadmill, and this was a lot more fun. I was absolutely sweating more, and my whole body knew I’d been working, but I barely noticed because it felt like dancing and not working out. Some of the moves can be a little tricky, especially when you’re trying to keep up with pros. When I got tripped up trying to follow the instructors, I just looked away from them and danced with the music–keeping hips and pelvis in motion. When I needed to catch my breath I just stood front and did hip circles till I could pick up the pace again. I still think the price is a little steep–especially since the little foam plugs that hold the discs in place had already popped off when I got it (it was new and sealed.) But they can be stuck back down with a dot of glue, so no big deal–minus 1 star for price and packaging. The picture and sound quality is very good, and the music is actually enjoyable–not like canned “exercise music” that comes with most workout DVDs. Some of the verbal exchange between the instructors comes off phony (and a little cheesy), but overall the mood during the workouts is light and fun. I’m not a fitness guru, have been in a gym once in my life (hated it), and am not using Zumba as a warm-up for, or addition to, any other exercise routine. Right now, this new Zumba series is my only workout since my treadmill needs maintenance. I’ve read a lot of reviews for fitness DVDs, equipment, and supplements, and they say things like “I use this every day, walk 5 miles, do free weights combined with cardio, cut out all soda and junk food, and I’ve lost 6 pounds!” To me, those reviews aren’t very helpful: first, a person working out that much is already in shape and has little or no weight to lose. Second, when you make that many lifestyle changes at once, results of SOME kind are inevitable–and can’t be credited to anything specific. Did the workout do it, or the lack of candy bars and soda? To really determine how well this routine works for me, I’m going to do Zumba and not change anything else for now. (I already eat mostly low-carb, but I cheat sometimes.) I’ll give it a few weeks, see what results I get, and then update.
UPDATE 6/16/2011: It’s been 2 weeks today since I tried Zumba for the first time. I haven’t changed my eating habits; I eat exactly as I did before (including 6 oz of mint cookie crunch ice cream almost daily), and I’m not taking any diet pills. I’ve done the Step by Step disc once, and then only the Activate disc so far. To date I’ve lost 7.5 pounds, and it isn’t water weight–it doesn’t fluctuate or pile right back on as soon as I eat solid food. The only explanation is that I’m burning more calories than I’m eating, and the only thing that I’m doing different is Zumba. Any activity or workout that gets you moving fast and sweating hard will do the same thing. Pretty much all workouts work, I know that. I also know that it only works if you actually do it, and if it’s tedious, boring, painful–or even largely inconvenient (like going to the gym)–I won’t do it, no matter how amazing the results would be. The difference with this is that it’s fun enough that I’ll actually do it more than once or twice and then…