Top positive review
Fun, doable, & suitable for the rhythmically challenged! NO DREAD FACTOR!
February 16, 2016
A short bit about me -- I used to be an avid exerciser, but now it's been a while, and I'm slowly easing back into exercise and back into shape. I'm 48 years old with knee joint issues and chronic lower back problems. Still, I keep very mobile, I just have to be careful of what I do and how I do it. Also (and this is important) I'm dance and rhythmically challenged! I'm usually not a big fan of dance-y cardio, but I figured I'd give this a try. It's pretty low impact and not particularly bouncy, so that met my criteria just fine! -- This DVD is divided into two separate parts, both done by the same 3 people (lead by Zumba instructor Beto Perez).
The first part is Step-by-Step which teaches you the basics of the moves used in the "main" workout along with a little cultural history about the dances. However, note that it is a workout in and of itself complete with cool down. It breaks things down well and Beto's cuing is flawless (especially important to those of us who are not graceful and/or not prone to a natural sense of rhythm). This is suitable for a "lighter" cardio day although I was still out of breath! But I wasn't ready to pass out, either.
The second half is Dance, Dance, Dance - the main "master class." The cuing is great, and there is a "just music, no cuing" option available, but I'll never use that because I will always need the instructions!
Beto is very enthusiastic and encourages keeping the beat over the count. He's also as clear as to what NOT to do as he is as to what to do. He also performs some of the moves with his back to the camera so you can see it from a different perspective which is quite helpful at times.
Even when I was out of step, I was doing the same level of cardio as I would've been had I been exactly on point, so that was a big advantage. The dancers are all obviously having fun. Even I loosened up and had fun!
After the first time I did this, I rushed to review it and gave it 4 stars only because it seemed slightly above beginner to me. However, it's instructions and moves really are beginner, it just took me a couple of times through to get used to it. Each workout is divided into sections, which is good in a way because you can pace yourself, but "bad" in the sense that you're stopping and starting. However, I solved that issue by continuing to march, walk, or side-step in between the briefly interrupted segments. Honestly, the (very) short breaks are welcome! Just keep marching through them, wipe your sweat with a towel or grab a quick drink of water, and keep going because the next section will be ready when you are! - This workout varies in intensity and can be modified, so especially if you're hesitant to do dance because you CAN'T dance, go ahead and get this one and put it into your rotation. I'm pretty sure you won't regret it! I wasn't sure about Zumba as I had tried it many years ago and hated it, but this is GREAT! I now have it in heavy rotation, but I do like to change it up with interval, light weights, step, and cardio walk DVDs for variety and to challenge different muscle groups. Oh, and one more thing - I have a heart rate monitor & exercise gauge on my wrist (don't think I can mention the popular brand name here), and I can tell you - In 30 minutes you burn a LOT - I mean a LOT - of calories, and the time absolutely flies! I'm so busy thinking about what I'm doing that the workout zooms by quickly. And there's no dread factor because it's actually fun to me now, and it seems it's done as soon as it starts! A win/win! The more you do it, the more you'll love it.
I was thoroughly worked out after each of the segments but without feeling like I was dying, and there will be no Dread Factor with this DVD (which is always a good thing and something I always look for in exercise videos!). That's a big selling point for me, and I'm sure for most other people as I don't know of anyone who wants to dread their workout! You won't dread this one at all. In fact, you may just find yourself very much looking forward to it. :)
A last note - I have a FitBit Charge HR, and it showed I burned 454 calories (after doing BOTH workouts in just under an hour) and did the equivalent of climbing approximately 23 floors with the workouts alone. Now, I know this varies with age, weight, and other factors, but that gives you some general idea of what you can expect burn-wise. You definitely get your aerobics in without gasping!