Zumba | When A Workout Isn’t Working You Out.

My Zumba class was cancelled. I go to Zumba after work on Mondays and Wednesdays and I have recruited a lady I work with to come along, too. We both had plans to go, until I received an email about the class being cancelled. While she decided to go home, I decided I wanted to do something to get my body moving. So, I went to another class being offered in Zumba’s place. While I enjoy Zumba, this other cardio class got me thinking about what I want out of evening workouts. Zumba may be a great group fitness class that allows you to move around after a long day of work, but it’s not really working me out much any more. The class yesterday included tabata training and I felt the burn, which felt great!

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I first started attending Zumba a couple of years ago. At that point, the two days a week class was the only structured workout I participated in. I always looked forward to the dancing/fitness combination. I should probably credit Zumba as my first “baby step” toward beginning my fitness journey. Since beginning Zumba, and especially in the last year and a half, I’ve incorporated other fitness classes and routines like Krav Maga – where I met my boyfriend – and strength toning classes offered at the gym owned by my work. I’ve also dabbled with Yoga and I have now crossed over to the weight room at the gym. (It used to intimidate me!)

Krav Maga – Don’t mess with me, I Krav.

While some of those classes have come and gone, I’ve tweaked my fitness routine to what works best for me in terms of results and enjoyment, and what works with my schedule and lifestyle.

While attending Zumba classes these past few weeks, I’ve notice that I’m not benefiting much from Zumba any more in terms of physical results. I find myself kind of going through the motions. So I’ve been wondering what I need to do to amp up this time so I can benefit most. My dad is an engineer and he always advised me to make a list of pros and cons. Here’s my list, Pros and Cons personalized for me:

Zumba Pros:

  1. Zumba gets me moving after a long day at the office.
  2. It’s convenient to work. Just a five-minute walk and I’m at class.
  3. It’s immediately after work, so no wasting a few minutes here or there before class starts. Time is precious and I hate to waste a minute of it!
  4. I connect with my colleagues in a non-work environment. This builds rapport.
  5. Dancing makes me feel good and boosts confidence. While I’m not the world’s greatest dancer, I can pretend to be J.Lo for 45 minutes.

Zumba Cons:

  1. I don’t feel like I’m pushing myself.
  2. I don’t think it contributes to seeing real results.

While there are more Pros on the list than Cons, the value placed on the Cons are a lot to consider. Should I spend that time at the gym or another class to push and challenge me? Or can I find a way to push myself harder in Zumba to make it a more effective workout? Or do I focus on the fact that Zumba helps me build relationships and incorporates a fun activity in my work week?

With all of this said, I think I’ll stick with Zumba, concentrate on engaging new muscle groups and feel good about simply moving my body after a long day of work. I must understand that Zumba is only a supplement or a complement to my active lifestyle and it’s not my main workout plan. Zumba has become a social and fun activity which, too, contributes to an overall healthy life. If I were to replace my Monday and Wednesday Zumba sessions, I would be limiting my social and networking life. How often do you actually get to combine fun activity with socializing/networking? Not very often. As long as an activity isn’t decreasing my overall health and is helping maintain or promote it, I’m in. I’m going to keep that fitness party going.

Tabata Time!

Additionally, while I spend part of every lunch hour in my gym, I think I’ll look for a class that challenges me on Tuesdays and Thursdays because I really did enjoy the tabata training yesterday. It pushed me and I felt like I had worked out when the class ended. I guess that conclusion makes for the best of all worlds.

Wow. That Pros & Cons list really did help. Thanks, Dad!

Wishing you all the best. katie


What would you do? Is it okay to participate in a workout that is not really working you out? How would you up the fitness results in this situation? Do you have a similar story? Please share and let’s discuss!

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13 thoughts on “Zumba | When A Workout Isn’t Working You Out.

  1. Well thought out decision! Your reasoning makes good sense to me. I agree that as long as you recognize the Zumba workout for what it is for you now — more of a fun, social activity to get moving a bit, rather than an intense workout for your body and muscles — then there’s no reason to stop so long as you’re enjoying it. Great idea to engage new muscles, too! (For me, Zumba is similar – I don’t do it much for that reason, but it’s a fun way to get your blood flowing after a long day.)

  2. I LOVE Zumba. Love it. But, like you, I’ve started noticing I’m not benefiting as much from it as I used to. Don’t get me wrong; I still sweat and burn lots of calories, but I don’t have that ache from a good work out and I know I’m not pushing myself. I recently went to another group fitness class and literally couldn’t walk the next day. That’s when I realized how little Zumba’s actually doing for me. I still love going to Zumba, but now I’m considering it more of just an extra way to have fun and move, but I’m not letting it be my only form of cardio these days. great post!

    • Thanks, Jessica! I TOTALLY agree with you. And I think it is important to realize that, just because it’s not pushing you, it’s still okay to participate in because it is a fun way to move. It’s not hurting my overall fitness. I’ve just realized that I can view this as a fun, social activity and focus on amping up true workouts. It’s a neat transition/focus change I think. Wishing you the best. katie

  3. There’s nothing wrong with doing a workout that doesn’t push you to your limits; as long as you’re having fun AND are doing other workouts that do!
    I think one of the best things are Zumba and other group exercise classes is the social aspect; you’re laughing and moving with other like-minded people.
    Congrats on moving over to the free weights section; it’s really not so scary, is it?

  4. You don’t want to always push to your max. Allowing room for something you enjoy, like Zumba, will keep things fresh and keep you from over training. If you enjoy Zumba there is no reason you should give it up.

    • I totally agree! As you can see, I had to think through that process and ultimately decided that, like you said, there’s no reason to give up something I enjoy. Wishing you the best! katie

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