The Zumba Fitness Program Really Is a Program
Posted by terrepruitt on September 13, 2012
Zumba is astronomically popular. The marketing and “it’s a party” advertising has attracted MILLIONS of people. My first few Zumba classes were fun but I left feeling as if Zumba was not a very safe product. Not all the classes contained a warm up and a cool down. Most had no instruction, just the teacher pointing and making other hand signals I was not familiar with. After having taken the required Zumba Instructor Training, I see that the Zumba Fitness Program is constructed to be safe and meets with the general fitness guidelines. It could have been that the classes I had taken were not following the program with the prescribed class format.
A standard guideline for fitness classes that is considered safe for the general pubic is 10 to 15 minutes warm-up and at least a 5 minute cool down. Since Zumba is marketed as being something everyone can do, the program incorporates these guidelines. Zumba instructors are trained to follow this set formula for the safety of all participants. It is understood that many people who attend a workout class come in “cool”, it could even be that their muscles and bodies have been in one position for most of the day. Muscles need to warm up and get blood flowing in order for there to be less risk of injury. A warm up is necessary for the body, it is also nice for the brain so that one can “shake off” the happenings of the day and embrace the workout that is ahead.
In addition to the Zumba Fitness Program following the standard fitness guidelines in regards to a warm up, a “formula” for the warm-up section of the class was created. The formula has three components, and if they are used correctly they should allow for a nice smooth transition into the remainder of the class. The warm up is built into the Zumba Fitness class model to prepare you for the bulk of the class. The bulk of the class, as you may know, has a very unique formula.
Zumba was not created to be an elite fitness class, it was meant for everyone to enjoy themselves. There are moves and steps to follow, but each participant is allowed to add their own style and their own “flavor” — as it is called in the Zumba world. That means not everyone will be doing it the exact same way. Not everyone can shake their hips as the instructors do on the training DVDS and I don’t think anyone is as loose a Beto.
While I was taking the Zumba Instructor training I kept wondering if the creator of Zumba, Alberto “Beto” Perez and the co-creator of Nia, Carlos AyaRosas know each other, even though one is from Columbia and the other one is from Mexico. Some of the same ideas and philosophies are in both exercise/fitness programs. To me they have a lot of ideas in common. I had no idea how similar the programs were until I attended the Zumba Instructor training.
I have posted a bit in the past about Zumba because people are familiar with what Zumba is but not with what Nia is so they often ask me for comparisons so they can understand. Well, in the past my answers were coming from the perspective of a Nia Teacher who had taken a few Zumba classes. Now my answers and my comparisons will be from an instructor of both Nia and Zumba. So I will be posting more about Zumba in the future. I will be sharing and clarifying a bit about the actual Zumba Fitness Program. I will also be doing my best at delivering the Zumba Fitness Program making my Zumba Fitness classes fun and accessible for everyone.
I’ll see you in class!