Is Zumba Effective? Zumba 101

This question is like asking “is walking effective?”  or “is lifting weight effective”  The answer to “is it effective” will always come with conditions.  If you do the exercise regularly, if you do it properly, if you don’t do it halfway, but give it your all….pretty much every phyical acvitity is effective.

But the question “Is Zumba Effective?” is one I can speak to personally.

Zumba was the first workout I ever felt like sticking with.  So that in itself means, for me, it was much more effective than step class or the elliptical.  Simply because I was drawn to Zumba and willing to do it multiple times a week made it effective for me.

But let’s look at some of the reasons why Zumba is effective.

Zumba is a mix of cardio and toning.  Even in a regular Zumba basics class, you will be working many muscle groups as you do the Zumba dance steps.  You will be working your arms, legs, abs, back, and more.  All this muscle movement means you will not only get your heart pumping doing aerobic activity, but you will be working your muscles.

Zumba is varied, leading to muscle confusion.  Many workouts are preaching “muscle confusion” meaning varying your workout so your muscles don’t get used to it.  With Zumba, your classes will always be changing and the songs all have different choreography, so your body never gets the same workout twice. 

Zumba is fairly high intensity.  Unlike walking, Zumba is a high intensity cardio activity.  You won’t just get your heart pumping, you will be jumping and flailing about, really working your heart.  I can personally attest to this!  Last time I donated blood, my resting heart rate was so low they had to have the supervisor clear me to donate!  A healthy heart has a low resting heart rate.  My heart had gotten really healthy from all my Zumba!

Zumba offers many specialties.  If they are offered in your area, I would suggest not only taking a basic Zumba class, but also Zumba toning, Aqua Zumba, and Zumba Sentao.  The different specialties are all slightly different workouts all set to the Zumba formula. 

Zumba (when done properly and with full effort) offers a high calorie burn like other high intensity exercises.  Zumba has equivalent calorie burns to other aerobic activities like traditional aerobics, running, and more.  But unlike those other activities, it is so fun you won’t notice you are working out!

So is Zumba effective?  Well it helped me lose 40 pounds and 4 pant sizes in the last 2 years.  Now that may not sound like much, but I have lost very slowly with minimal effort, just by eating healthy and doing Zumba.  I don’t really want a “quick fix”.  If you lost it fast, you will likely regain it fast. So Zumba is very effective for me.  It has regulated my blood pressure, helped me lose weight, and made my heart healthy.  I have more muscle definition, better stamina, and just an overall healthier body!

Here is my before, during and during.  I don’t call it an “after” because I am not finished losing weight.  But the first picture is July 1010.  The middle is October 2011, and the last one is February 2012.  I am a work in progress!  But Zumba is WILDLY effective for me!

In order to make ANY exercise and diet program effective, you have to stick to it…and it has to be good food in (in normal amounts) and burning more calories.  You can’t do 10 Zumba classes a week and pig out at dinner.  You are just cancelling out your Zumba.  Eat good, healthy foods in normal portions and work out. Zumba is a great workout for helping you reach your fitness goals!

Have you found Zumba to be effective?  Tell me about it!

Check out this article and video from the American Council on Exercise about Zumba!


  1. great post! love it!!! highly agree with you!
    Kristen Beasley

  2. WOW!You look awesome! Great job!

  3. Great post!

  4. You look great!! I love Zumba. It motivates me to go to the gym and I’ve made friends in my class who encourage me as well. My mom has recently started going to Zumba, too. I love that it attracts people of all ages and stages of fitness.

    • The universal appeal is one of my favorite things about Zumba! I have a 75+ man in my class, along with twenty something who are there to get down, and a mom who brings her 4 year old. We can all dance together and have the best time!

  5. Wow! It’s always so fun to see people’s before and after transformations. A friend of mine who worked her ass off for her wedding always balked when I wanted to go to Zumba and told me it wasn’t a good enough workout. I thought it was fun, but I’m not as fit as she is. I thought it was a good workout for me. How often do you do it? Since you teach Zumba I would think you do it a ton, like all week long. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks for stopping by! I do Zumba 5 times a week (2 classes on Tues/Thurs, and one on Wednesday). I actually have more students who do MORE zumba than me! I am not a full-time instructor…I work in digital marketing full time…so it really is my typical workout.

  6. Your an inspiration. I am glad that summer is almost over and me and mu lil one can get back into your night class.Your an amazing instructor!

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