Last night I took a Zumba Strong demo class. People ask me ALL. THE. TIME. what I think about Zumba as a Jazzercise Instructor, and I’m hesitant to speak because, well, I have strong opinions about how group exercise classes should go. But, I figure I’m an informed participant, so, here are my thoughts.
– it’s good. The cardio is not too complicated, very with the beat, lots of strength – mixed with straight up strength – like the planks and lunges.
– I didn’t find anything too challenging until the floor abs part, and that was just unreasonable, to my mind. Even the instructor wasn’t hanging in for all of it.
– I did not like the 90 second catch-your-breath-get-water break every 5 minutes. Killed the momentum. (But, see below, maybe it’s really needed for most of the customers).
– I would enjoy teaching this class.
– We already do almost everything in this class (except for the copious amounts of burpies) in Jazzercise – it would easy easy easy to create this using what we already do. The “techno music set to the strength choreography” selling point – feels just like our choreography. Totally.
– the instructor was cute as a button and CUT. I liked her. BUT.
– she flipped between facing the mirror and facing us, and sometimes facing side randomly, but didn’t bother to switch her R/L when she did so. I was careful to be equal on each side, but the customers weren’t – they just followed.
– this kind of thing needs really good cueing for safety and to know what’s coming up next. When the choreography is set to music you have to be on the music – no time to wait another 8 counts and jump in. This instructor did not know what was coming next in time to cue for it, and it showed.
– I liked the challenge of the intense bursts of strength (and a lot of the plyometric jumps into burpies into kickboxing was pretty intense)…but I’m in pretty good shape and teach Jazzercise. Most of the class was not like me, and could not keep up. About 25% of the class left after the first 10 minutes, and those that remained, over half did not ever touch the floor – and going down and up from the floor was a big part of this.
– safety – eek. I was in the back row and looking at all the knees ahead of me and thinking “this is really not safe”. Without the cueing and prep, the quick turns into lunges and such were not done safely by most of the class.
– I burned the equivalent calories to an Interval Fusion class, says my fitbit. Remember – I was going all out and doing everything; most of the customers were not.
– I am a little sore in the core and glutes.
– I am a lot stiff in my back.
– My head was pounding after the class – I think it was all the quick inversions from the burpies and planks and up again. Ouch.
– I was a sweaty mess after…but not sweatier than when after I teach Jazzercise.
Thems my thinks!
My Raffle Winning Superpower was in full force, and won a free month of group exercise classes at the Parks and Rec Center for attending this demo…so I’ll go back and take this for a month and see if my perception changes. It was a good enough class for me, personally, to get something out of it.