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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
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on 2 June 2011
Don't misunderstand what I'm going to say, Zumba Fitness is great, full stop. However, for those who are not so young, not so fit and/or have never learned dance steps before, the following may be helpful.

Firstly, if you can look in on a class run by a Zumba Instructor do, it will be an inspiration. I'll never forget the impression I had of Kay, flying sideways, co-ordinating head, arm and hip movements, all at same time. Fantastic! Unfortunately, this class had been running for 5 months and I knew I'd never be able to pick up the steps, so on April 1st I ordered my DVD set and have been practicing the Basic Workout for nearly 2 months.

The on-screen instructors first demonstrate the step they are about to teach and then break it down into three Easy Beat stages. Initially, I found the foot work was well taught in Easy Beats 1 and 2 but that working the arms and, to some extent, the hips was all thrown in at Easy Beat 3 with the thing going at full speed. It took me quite a while to pick up the arm and head movements in the second step taught. So, secondly, in the end I decided it was better to learn up the steps by watching the instructions repeatedly and then practicing from memory. I still do this even though the "whole body" instructions improve by the time you get to Cumbia and Reggaeton. This is fine. At home you're your own boss.

Thirdly, I would suggest adjusting the order in which you learn the steps. In the programme, 4 merengue steps are taught first. This is OK, but merengue is faster than salsa, which is presented third. The second set is of 3 quebradita steps and I really would recommend leaving these for later, say after Reggaeton. Quebradita Basic and Andole involve hopping and shoulder swiveling. It took me ages to get the balance right with the swiveling and both steps are energetic. I can just about manage quebradita andole now, albeit with my own version of the swiveling.

Fourthly, there's the music, particularly if you're practicing away from the screen. I bought Zumba Dance 2011 and found the heavy beat painful. The Rough Guides to Salsa and Merengue on the other hand are smashing and authentic. Salsa as I said before is slower than merengue. Last night I bebopped through my routine with Charlie Parker. At home, you can do whatever you want to. Slow the steps enough and it becomes a sort of Tai Chi.

The main thing is to do it at whatever level is right for you. Believe me, you'll breathe better, your joints will be looser, you'll be warmer. I practice on the kitchen tiles while I'm waiting for things to cook. I play whatever music I fancy or none. I wear loose clothing and a certain brand of comfort shoe. I'm 63 and have never learned a dance step before in my life.
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on 20 October 2011
I am still trying to get to grips with the concept of Zumba. I do not feel tha the girls who are doing the basics, give us enough time to master the moves. I am 58, but very sprightly, and like to exercise, but I find this dvd very difficult to follow. I am going to join a class then maybe I might get my head around the moves.
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on 18 April 2012
I have been going to the gym a long time now and not really getting as much out of it as i'd like to, i have always been on the look out for more uplifting ways to exercise so decided to purchase my new zumba kit for the great price of £29 from Amazon. I noticed a hell of a lot of these things on ebay saying 'only used once' and figured that it must be fairly challenging and that these people have spat the dummy pretty quickly.

I began yesterday witih basics introduction dvd and without a doubt some of these moves are fiddly and seem almost impossible but i loved the moves and seeing the washboard bellies of the sultry sashaying senoritas on the dvd made me want to achieve zumba greatness :-) today i got back on it after work and paused and rewound the instruction where necessary and started to get to grips a bit with a number of the moves, it is immensely satisfying when your feet finally do what you tell them and your hips suddenly move like fluid after the initial clumsiness. I look forward to doing it everyday now which is a real triumph for a form of exercise. Time flies when you are doing it and I can't reccomend it enough to people like me who want to shake like beyonce rather than don some pastel slacks and aerobic it up like Wincey Willis. There is 4 dvds so plenty to go at, the toning sticks seem good quality and the maracas thing is cool. The other cool thing about zumba is that once you know how to do it you can buy zumba or latin music cd's to bust your new moves to and keep the variety in it.
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on 8 June 2012
I started a regular exercise and nutrition plan at the beginning of May - I was feeling overweight and unhealthy and decided a bit of an overhaul was needed. I am by no means a fitness freak - in fact I really don't like the gym at all, so wasn't sure how I would get on with these.

These DVDs are brilliant. I kick-started with the 10 day cardio plan (it claims to help you lose a dress size in 10 days, not sure this was the case but it definitely helped!) I now do the workouts about 3-4 times a week and also attend one class. I alternate between Cardio Party, Sculpt & Tone, Zumba Live and the short Abs work-out so it feels varied and not like I'm doing the same workout over and over again. I actually like Sculpt & Tone the best, it feels like you are working that little bit harder. The steps in all the DVDs are fairly easy, and I have to agree that it's not as intensive a workout as a full Zumba class. However, if you really give it some welly you DO work up a sweat and burn fat!

Almost 6 weeks down the line, I'm a stone lighter and noticing that I'm more toned all over. This is not just down to Zumba, but a sensible eating plan. However, doing these DVDs has made a massive positive impact and I will definitely continue with them. It's early days but I'd go as far as saying that they have changed my life as I never thought I'd find a form of exercise that I loved doing day-in-day-out.

Big thumbs up; buy these - you will not be disappointed.
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on 13 June 2011
Yes, this may be on the expensive side, but, given there are four workout DVD's, a booklet, and toning sticks (which shake like maracas!!), it isn't that bad. Equal to approximately eight Zumba sessions at your local gym, so in my eyes, WELL worth the money!

I just LOVE this Zumba set, and I am so pleased I invested in it! It gives you a great workout, I rotate the DVD's to ensure I use all muscle groups, and the 20 minute express workout is great if you haven't much time to spare :o)

I HATE going to the gym, it is sooooo boring, I would rather stick pins in my eyes, and get fat, lol!

I do however love dancing, and this is THE best dance DVD(s) I have come across. You simply do not get bored, at all. I love the sexy South American moves, and even though I'm still trying to crack the famous Beyonce "Bum Wiggle", or whatever it's called, I just love it - All of it!!

I've also tried purchasing much less expensive "Brazillian" dance DVD's to save money, but to be honest, you get what you pay for, and I was very disappointed with anything I purchased previous to this DVD set.

I especially like the "American" workout that they have included, so some "yee-haws" are in order, it is great fun!

I can't fault this DVD set at all, it has everything you need to tone up and lose those pounds. I've only been doing the workouts for three weeks (I try to do it every day, but have missed a few), and I've already lost 8lbs!! Losing 8lbs, having fun, and still not really restricting my diet - You can't go wrong!

Therefore, I highly recommend this to any one wanting a fun way to get fit (and learn some sexy dance moves) - You don't have to be a Zumba expert, as the moves are pretty easy to pick up, and even if you are an expert, this will give you a great workout, at your own pace.

That's my opinion, and I hope it helps!!

Natalie :o)
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on 1 March 2011
This is an excellent DVD, lots of fun. I have been going to Zumba classes for a while and this DVD is exactly the same as doing a class.
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on 21 May 2012

I purchased this Zumba Fitness DVD about a month ago and can not put it down. Its excellent value for money and £20 cheaper than Argos.
I have been going to Zumba classe's for the last 18 months, but the cost per month does add up if you go two or three times a week. We do have it on kinnect, but I can never get to do it as the kids have always got it, so i decided i would try this one. Its just a normal DVD following the team and doing what they do. The DVD comes with toning sticks and a book, which gives you exercise options to follow if you want to do a routine over 10 days or so. You dont have to do this, but i prefer it. There is also a healthy eating plan to follow if you wish.
Its a really good workout & is great fun at the same time, and i cant say that about any other exercise DVD i have tried. Coming from a dancing back ground this is right up my street, and its also for all ages. You can go at your own pace.
I love it and would recommend it to anyone.
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on 22 December 2011
I bought the Zumba package just over a week ago and have been addicted to it ever since. It's the most fun you will ever get from a cardio infused workout. I am what you call a fitness dvd junkie and have everything form Jillian Micheals to kettlebell workouts and this by far is the best. It's no wonder that Zumba has taken the world by storm. you really don't feel like you are working out it is that fun. I was considering joining the gym as my new years resolution and have decided to "ditch the workout and join the party". It's so boring running on a spot for half an hour and sweating it out like a hamster in cage. I'm an avid fitness junkie and have done everything apart from dance workouts as i never thought you could actually get a good workout with them but as I was so bored of the typical workouts you get on the market I decided to try Zumba for a change and I am so glad I did. I have even bought the new Exhilerate Zumba package and the Targets Zones DVD to incorporate with my workout regime which now just consists of zumba. Im even going to start learning how to salsa dance and this is coming from a woman with two left feet. Life is too short to be slogging hours at the gym feeling bored, you might as well have fun and get workout at the same time. It is an intense workout and you get a 20 minute express workout for days when you are pushed for time. This workout itself is pretty basic and I have so far along with the flats abs programme been doing these for a week and have noticed my stomach muscles getting more toned. I have also used the toning sticks with these programmes and although they may be light, it helps to tone up my upper body and i can feel my arms working harder due to the resistance. I am also going to incorparate the Cardio party DVD which is 50 mins long into my workout plan and intend to workout twice a day using these dvds. I tried the tone and sculpt dvd and just didn't feel it gave me a good workout. I noticed that the more cardio infused workouts in the package to be more beneficial and worked up more of a sweat. It's so addictive I actually don't mind getting up early and doing a dvd before work and another when I get home. The amount of calories burned through each workout depends on how hard you push yourself but I have read somewhere you can burn up to 500 calories in a one hour workout. I am using the package to help lose a stone of weight due to bad eating habits and hoping zumba will help me realise that living a healthy lifestyle should not be hard and boring but actully FUN. Buy now while the prices are low and you will not regret it. Well worth investing in. I Love Zumba and I love the energy and hope you guys who are considering buying this package will too.
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on 27 December 2010
Bought this DVD set after seeing adverts on holiday in USA for Zumba - it's mega over there. DVDs arrived quickly and I followed the suggested programme in the first 5 days - some steps are tricky to master and are FAST - but great fun and after only 4-5 days I was puffing less and keeping up (well pretty much). Not cheap, but I love this workout and it's strengthening my lower back too. Highly recommend.
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