A CrossFitter goes to Strong by Zumba class – and yes, this one does get a punchline. One of the sponsors of IDEA World BlogFest in Las Vegas was Strong by Zumba, and the company kindly provided a sample workout for us on Thursday afternoon.
What Strong by Zumba Is
Strong by Zumba is a high-intensity tempo training (HITT) workout that’s driven by music, not timers. Zumba brought Timbaland on board to reverse-engineer music to match movements, so when you hear the music go faster, that’s your cue to turn up your intensity. It’s a mix of plyometric and isometric moves. As it was explained to me, the class is taught in four quadrants (we only had time for three at BlogFest). The fourth quadrant has all the strengthening moves, although it is a bodyweight class. The strength comes from doing things like lunges and push-ups, all very effective exercises.
What Happened When I Went to Strong by Zumba
In a word: nothing. Literally, I stopped doing the workout about five minutes into it. The class is definitely high-impact, and all the lateral movements were aggravating my knees. Also, I am most definitely not a music-driven workout person. I hear “3…2…1…GO!” and nothing else matters. The music gets turned up, but it’s what’s between my ears that makes me move faster, not external stimuli. (I might have also stopped because I am just not coordinated enough to do moves to someone instructing me from the front of the room. No comment.)
All that said, I watched the rest of the workout from the sidelines, and it looks like a great workout. Strong by Zumba doesn’t seem to fit with the Zumba brand; there was no Latin music, and no one had to do silly dance moves. Everyone was squatting, lunging, and planking like nobody’s business – and getting sweaty. I could tell it was challenging for even the fitter bloggers in the room. Additionally, I spoke to someone who had gotten Strong by Zumba certified the previous day, and she said that she was sore from it.
My overall impression is that Strong by Zumba is a legitimate fitness class. It looks like it targets all major muscle groups, gets your heart rate up, and provides a challenge. If you like music-driven workouts, this one is definitely worth trying.
If you’re like me, though, you’re probably looking for a race to run. Register for the super-awesome EMPOWER Women’s Festival in the San Francisco Bay Area next month, August 5-6. There’s a 5K and a 10K, as well as yoga and a festival!