Top positive review
795 of 805 people found this helpful
on 3 June 2011
I bought this product after seeing the numerous adverts on the shopping channels on Sky and decided against buying from the manufacturer for the simple reason that Amazon offered it a lot cheaper, and being the stingy person I am I wouldn't then lose out on more money than necessary if it wasn't any good ;)
This pack is the equivalent one you see on the Zumba website and includes Zumba Basics and 20 minute express, Sculpt and Tone, Cardio Party, Zumba LIVE! and Flat Abs, two toning sticks and the total body transformation guide. To give you more of an idea of what you are getting...the basics part runs for 60 minutes and gives you a step by step (3 parts per move) breakdown of all the main zumba steps you will come across. The is definetely recommended before you start! I have good co-ordination but there are some moves in there that are quite tricky to master, you do the first part and the second and by the time it comes to the third it is sometimes difficult to co-ordinate that fast with the music, but persistence pays off so it is worth sticking with it. The 20 minute express is a full workout to the Zumba music and is ideally suited if you are short on time as it gives a full body workout (in 20 minutes) with each of the different types of Zumba steps, including reggae and samba (for example).
The cardio party runs for 50 minutes and is a longer workout that is aimed at burning maximum calories. It also includes a rhythm refresher feature, which allows you to review each Zumba rhythm (as there are quite a few). Sculpt and tone runs for 45 minutes and does what it says on the tin really. This is the workout that requires the toning sticks (if you wish), and is designed to be a fun workout to help target different areas to sculpt and tone. The toning sticks shake like maracas and are not heavy at all, I think this is intentional as you are doing quite a high energy dance routine (would be no good having heavy things to lug around with you!) I know some people have criticised the need for them, but I personally think they are fine.
The Zumba LIVE! runs for 55 minutes and is a workout that is shot in front of a live audience (think of these big American things where they go crazy) and gives you a different atmosphere to a workout, can be slightly annoying with the Zumba creator Beto (he gets on my nerves in certain DVD's), but is quite fun to do with other people. The Flat Abs part runs for 20 minutes and has been created to help flatten your abs with a different routine that still gets the heart rate up. You also get a total body transformation guide, which includes a background to the Zumba programme and reasons why it is popular etc, training tips, total body stretch guide - 5 steps (something that is recommended to incorporate into your workout), there are then recommendations as to the best Zumba workouts to do and on what day to fit your needs whether it be to tone up or to lose a dress size. Next is a selection of recipes and food ideas to use in combination with your workout for most effective weight loss, top tips from the Zumba trainers and a profile of each of them and finally the RPE (rate of perceived exertion) chart. This chart is designed so you can assess how hard your body is working and responding to each workout and helps you decide whether it is time to slow down or pick up the pace.
So a summary of what I think...I must point out that I did not buy this product with the intention of losing weight, I wanted it to just improve my general fitness (has rather declined since I finished PE lessons at school about 8 years ago) and to tone up a little. However, I must say that it has been successful in helping me achieve this goal, my muscles are toning up slowly and I have more strength in my lower back now (I get regular sciatica). Overall, it really is a fun workout (I absolutely promise you, because I HATE stuff that isn't), I think personally it is better to do it with other people to enhance the experience, but it is certainly fine to do it alone and not have to go to a classs (which obviously adds further expense). I think for what you are getting the price is justified and I would highly recommend it to everyone, even just to have a try as I am sure most would be convinced. And only needing to do 20 minutes a day is achievable for most people and doesn't seem as much of a chore as some other things I have tried. So give it a go, well worth it :D