Why take Zumba® classes? Its Interval Training!
We all know that Zumba® works. It's been proven successful in weight loss, body toning, and boosted self-esteem, along with many other great improvements. But what is it about the interval training format that makes Zumba® so successful?
A simple definition of Interval Training (IT) is: Shorter, high intensity exercise periods alternated with lower periods of intensity or rest. These varying periods of exercise are repeated throughout the workout.
Interval Training entered the workout scene over two decades ago in the form of Personal Training and weight lifting. It became a new way to train Professional Athletes and private training clients in less time with better results. Continuous scientific research and testing has shown that Interval Training has many benefits.
Interval Training differs from Continuous Training (CT) because CT workouts are at a constant intensity level, usually following a consistent, smooth "bell shape" curve in the intensity of the workout over the duration of the workout (starts with a low intensity, gradually increases, peaks, and then gradually decreases). Both IT and CT are effective methods.
The technicalities of why IT is successful deal with glycolysis, carbohydrate conversion, adaptation responses, and other such physiology. Equally important is the psychology behind IT. In summary the benefits are:
- Improved Cardio Vascular Fitness
- Increased speed
- Improved aerobic power
- Higher Caloric burn in shorter time duration
- Ability to break through training plateaus
- Expand workout options (having cardio, fitness, and strength training moves in the same class)
- Increased use of fat as fuel
- Lowered risk of injuries due to repetitiveness
- Less intimidating
- More adaptable to a larger variety of different fitness levels, providing more success to a diverse audience
- Recovery periods allow students to work at higher intensities instead of keeping energy in reserve
- Perception of less fatigue with higher caloric expenditure
- Higher intensity periods feel more manageable
IT training allows students who are natural athletes to work at their desired level, while giving deconditioned or new students the option and freedom to work within their own limits. Then everyone reaps the physiological and psychological benefits at their own fitness level. Utilizing the IT format in a Zumba® class is also a great way to take advantage of the natural highs and lows in the music we love.
So, come have some fun, while I turn the music up, and we all dance, dance, dance!