What's in the Box
- 7 Zumba Fitness Exhilarate DVDs:
7. Fitness Concert
- Zumba Exhilarate Program Guide
- 2 One-Pound Toning Sticks
Pros of Zumba Exhilarate DVDs
- Great way to try Zumba without having to attend a Zumba class in person
- Dance with verbal cueing or without
- DVDs offer enough variety to keep your interest
- Easy enough for beginners, yet challenging to those who exercise often
- No mistakes in choreography (for example, a dancer who gets out of synch with the rest of the group), unlike some workout DVDs
Cons of Zumba Exhilarate DVDs
- Flashy lights and close-up moves sometimes leave you hanging when you really just need to see the dance move they're performing.
- DVD holder has flimsy foam pegs that don't hold the Zumba Exhilarate DVDs in place.
- Some dance moves require a lot of floor space that will be tricky for people doing Zumba workouts in a smaller room.
- Toning Sticks are too light and they try to upsell you to the more expensive weights during the workout.
- Workouts have a graphic telling you to go to the website to buy Zumba clothes, which is annoying and distracting.
Tracking Calories Burned Using the Zumba Exhilarate DVDsThe review of each DVD included in the Zumba Fitness Exhilarate DVD set contains the calories I burned. Calorie counts were obtained using the Mio Motiva Strapless Heart Rate Monitor throughout each workout. Your calorie counts will vary based on the intensity of your workout, height, weight and fitness level so the calories burned shown here should only be used as a general guide.
To compare calories burned, these one-hour workouts were also gauged and the calorie counts tracked:
Zumba class at the gym
Calories Burned: 489
Calories Burned: 597
Calories Burned: 498
Calories Burned: 643
Calories Burned: 658
Calories Burned: 268
Calories Burned: 670
Zumba Exhilarate DVDs Review
Length: 55 minutes
Calories Burned: 598
You'll be eager to get started when your Zumba Exhilarate DVDs arrive and this DVD breaks down moves you'll use for merengue, salsa, reggaeton, calypso, cumbia and to belly dance. Unlike previous versions of Zumba, Exhilarate has a built-in feature that lets you see the instructors' moves from the front or the back. Just use your DVD remote to switch from front to back mode.
Even though Step-by-Step feels slow, you'll burn a ton of calories in your 55 minutes. My heart rate was up and down, up and down during the workout. I continued to walk in place to keep my heart rate elevated instead of standing around in between the time instructors explained the moves and actually demonstrated them. The appeal of Step-by-Step quickly ran out because I wanted a continuous workout that didn't include the stop/start moves that this DVD does.
It's a great DVD to introduce you to Zumba. Even so, a lot of the moves you're shown are only used in the Activate DVD.
Length: 40 minutes
Calories Burned: 390
Activate is another good starter DVD. The moves can help you progress to the faster-paced DVDs like Exhilarate, Mix and Fitness Concert.
Instructors Gina Grant and Tanya Beardsley, who teach you the moves in the Zumba Step-by-Step DVD, also guide you in Activate. This is a fun workout that's not as intense as some of the other DVDs in the set, yet you'll still burn a lot of calories in 40 minutes. Merengue, tropipop, axe, samba pop, salsa, Latin pop, hip hop, belly dance and cumbia are just some of the types of dances you'll be performing.
Zumba Rush DVD
Length: 20 minutes
Calories Burned: 267
Even though it's only 20 minutes, Rush is a challenging Zumba workout. You quickly warm up and by the end of the video, you're just as tired as you are when you workout to an hour-long DVD.
Instructors Kass Martin and Loretta Bates are so much fun to workout with that you'll wish they were in more of the DVDs. They take you through many styles of music in your 20 minutes, including techno, Charleston, flamenco, rumbia, calypso, merengue and samba.
Length: 60 minutes
Calories Burned: 649
Exhilarate will spend a lot of time in your DVD player. Make use of the floor, work at a high intensity and have sweat pouring down your face as you dance to funk fusion, merengue, reggaeton, salsa, cumbia, tango, swing and more.
The chemistry between Zumba creator Beto Perez and instructor Melissa Chiz is electric. Their killer abs motivate you to get up off the couch too.
Throughout the workout, their energy and even smiles keep you moving and having fun right along with them. That's why Exhilarate is my favorite DVD of the seven included in the set.
Length: 60 minutes
Calories Burned: 601
This is the only DVD that makes use of the Zumba Toning Sticks. They are only used in the first 30 minutes of the Zumba Toning portion of this DVD.
Beto Perez and Jani Roberts use the heavier 2.5-pound sticks, which they tell you to go to the website to buy before you even get started on your workout. Pamela Socorro uses the one-pound sticks. Some of the Zumba dancers in the background are using heavier Toning Sticks and some are using the lighter ones.
You feel like you're watching the cool kids with their purple heavier weights while you stand there with your wimpy noodle sticks. I instantly felt like I wanted the heavier weights but that would be another $25 to fork over.
At one pound each, the Toning Sticks included in the box are too lightweight. Even if you're just starting a fitness program, it won't be long before you outgrow these weights. But since you only use these for 30 minutes out of the 350 minutes of workout time in the entire set, it's easy to keep the one-pound sticks and your cash.
They do make a rain stick-type noise when you shake them. But since they don't do much for my workout, I gave them to my four year old. He loves them a lot more than I do.
Ripped is an interesting DVD because you don't feel like you're working that hard. But the calorie counter doesn't lie. An hour of this DVD and I burned off more than 600 calories.
For the Sentao portion of the workout, you'll need a chair. You'll dance around your chair and sit in it for part of the workout. You'll be up and down, which is a nice way to change up your workout.
Some of the music styles you'll dance to in Zumba Ripped are Latin disco, merengue, cumbia, salsa, conga and swing.
Length: 55 minutes
Calories Burned: 520
Mix runs a close second behind Exhilarate as my favorite DVD in this set. This collection of music around the world dances you through many countries.
It's a deceiving DVD that makes you think, "Oh, this song won't give me much of a workout because it's too slow." All of a sudden, you're working so hard you regret the thought.
Zumba creator Beto Perez or instructor Tanya Beardsley dance with a guest whose roots are authentic. Workout with a real flamenco dancer and a belly dancer, for example. Bollywood fusion, hip hop, sino, fusion and African are just some of the other music styles you'll dance to in Mix.
Zumba Fitness Concert DVD
Length: 60 minutes
Calories Burned: 626
Hundreds of Zumba enthusiasts gather for a giant dance party in Fitness Concert. It's a beautifully-produced live version of a Zumba workout.
The choreography is the same as the Exhilarate DVD but you don't even realize it because it's such a glitzy production. Beto Perez takes center stage with other Zumba pros in a 360-degree view.
The audience participates and their enthusiasm is infectious. You feel like you're a part of the action.
The Fitness Concert DVD is a good way to break up your workout routine. Instead of watching instructors look at the camera to guide you through your workout, you become one in a very energetic crowd.