Workout Review: Zumba Fitness

Zumba Fitness

I am so sweaty right now.  You don’t even know.

I have been wanting to try Zumba Fitness FOREVER.  Now that I am halfway through my weight loss, I decided it was time, especially since I just switched gyms and classes are included with the monthly cost.  So today, after 30 minutes of walking on the treadmill, I stepped into the group fitness studio.

Some background things you may not have caught quite yet if you are a reader who does not know me in real life:

    1. Despite having lost 105 lbs so far, I am still a fatty.  I’ve got some weight to go.
    2. I am so, SO uncoordinated.  My high school choir (and thus, show choir) director referred to my dancing once as “frightening.”  She wasn’t exaggerating.
    3. I have no problems making a complete ass of myself.  One of my best qualities, really.

These things are very important to understanding my experience with Zumba.  I made myself a promise before I went:  No half-assing it.

It’s billed as high energy, dance-based calorie killer.  I am here to tell you, it is all of those things.

I came in 10 minutes before class and did some stretching/awkwardly looking around at the people I would be dancing beside.  I kind of figured out what the layout of the room would be and decided, to hell with it, I was going to stand in front so that I could see the instructor’s footwork more clearly.

When the instructor, Meghan Glover, got there, I could already tell that she had mad crazy energy.  She asked if anyone was new to Zumba, so naturally my hand went up.  She smiled and said that usually she finds the noobs at the back, and I joked that I was in the front so everyone else would feel better about themselves.  It could be an Eventually Former Fatty proverb:  If you’re going to make a fool of yourself, make sure you are front and center.

Meghan shared with me the two rules she had in class.

    1. Keep moving, even if you are moving wrong.
    2. Smile and have fun.

Great rules.  Totally in line with my goal.

So class started, and I realized how important those rules would be.  The pace of the class is FAST, especially your first time.  I had watched a video ahead of time for some basic steps used in Zumba.  It wasn’t enough.

Holy crap.  The Latin-inspired dances were HOT, fast, and required use of the full body.  And my full body was moving too.  Not the right way, of course.  I had limbs flying everywhere, and every time I got a step right, we moved onto another one.

The instructor was like…


And I was like…


Joking aside, that’s actually a more accurate representation than I care to admit.

If you are a perfectionist, Zumba is probably not for you unless you are already an awesome dancer.  If you are worried about looking like a fool, you might want to learn the basics from a DVD before doing Zumba in front of other people.

But for me?  I had a BLAST!  I have no shame, so even though I looked like a complete idiot, I’m sure, it is too fast paced to look around at what other people are doing.  Hell, I didn’t even really get an opportunity to look at myself in the mirrors much, which is probably the only reason I feel even a little proud of myself.  Just my eyes trained on the instructor’s feet, my limbs desperately trying to match those around me, and me moving like a deranged person, clapping on the wrong beats, and yelling “Hey!” two bars after we had apparently moved on from that section.

I brought a water bottle and a towel.  I emptied the water bottle completely and used the towel a whole bunch.  Next time, I should bring MORE WATER.  I went through the water 35 minutes into class.

I really loved the sense of community.  After class, several people I was near during class asked me how I liked it, assured me that they were even worse their first time, and encouraged me to keep coming back.  My new Sunday ritual?  I think maybe!

The Verdict:  Zumba is a ton of fun, a ton of work, and will give you a solid workout.

And now….  Now I am just sitting on the couch with the TV remote and my water bottle within reach, binge watching some TV.  Having burned at least 10 billion calories today, I don’t even feel a little bad about staying completely stationary the rest of the day.

I encourage everyone to find a class near you!


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