Updated: 09/12/2017

Zumba Review - Do These Dances Really Work?

By Summer Banks Aug 10, 2017
147comments

This review is what happened after I obsessed for weeks over Zumba. We took the time to create a comprehensive review, focusing closely on the ingredients, side effects, customer-service quality and scientific studies. We additionally scrutinized various user comments from all over the internet. At last, we compressed all of the data we collected to give you the bottom line.

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What is Zumba?

First off, Zumba is primarily a fitness dance class. They are choreographed and include elements of samba, mambo, hip-hop, salsa, and merengue. The company also has a new vegan protein drink mix. The ingredients include pea powder, sprouted brown rice protein, chicory root fiber, pea fiber, and stevia.

Zumba is part of the Zumba Fitness, LLC which was founded in 2001. In addition to the classes, the company also sells branded workout equipment, DVDs, clothing, and accessories. It is based in Florida and has been a BBB accredited business since 2010, but read on…

Physical Requirements – “Too Hard”

The first concern we have are the physical requirements to participate in Zumba classes. While the program claims to be all inclusive, the routines are quite strenuous. According to our Research Editor, “Individuals who are overweight might have difficulty making it through one of these programs.”

One upset customer said, “I use to like dancing and I thought this would be a class for me. I didn’t realize that to do it I needed to be in better shape. It was disheartening.”

A distressed dieter commented, “I bought the DVDs to prepare for the classes but I realized really fast that I’d be out of my league in one of the classes.”

Others felt like the classes and DVDs were what they expected.

A fan of the classes said, “I worked out a lot when I was younger so I knew what to expect. It isn’t as easy as it was then but I make it through the classes.”

A recent devotee explained, “It takes time to get as good as the people who’ve been doing it for a while but they were new once too.”

Cost – “How Much?”

The cost of the Zumba DVDs and the equipment can be as much as $120. Classes average about $10 a piece which could end up being several hundred dollars each month.

One consumer said, “I have to drive for an hour to find a class and then on top of gas it’s more than $100 a month to exercise three times a week. I can’t swing that.”

A similar complaint was, “I wanted to try out the DVDs after I borrowed one and the price wasn’t horrible. But I got bored quickly and buying enough to keep me interested was too expensive.”

However, some individuals felt the price point for classes and DVDs were in line with similar regimens.

According to this customer, “I love the variety of the classes and they aren’t that much more than a gym membership.”

Another dieter noted, “I really enjoy my DVDs. The initial investment wasn’t cheap but I can use them for years.

According to our research, the physical requirements and cost of a class or exercise DVD can be an issue when it comes to long-term results. If the Zumba dance workout is too difficult, it could be hard to keep up with it.

The Science – “Validity?”

At DietSpotlight, we want to see research specific to the product or service we are reviewing. Zumba promotes the idea that increased physical activity is better for one’s health and leads to weight-loss. While these generic facts are accurate, there is nothing that indicates it is more effective than walking, swimming, or any other free activity.

The Bottom Line – Does Zumba Work?

What’s the real deal with Zumba? If you enjoy dancing and are fit enough to follow the choreography, this is a good way to increase your physical activity. However, it doesn’t offer any sort of assistance outside of the class which is why we have reservations about giving it a full endorsement. We’re also concerned with the cost, which could be too much for some.

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Among the best products we’ve seen this year is one called Dietspotlight Burn. It contains a combination of four key ingredients that have been shown in clinical testing to help increase the rate of fat loss and boost metabolism. We didn’t find any negative user reviews online, and customer testimonials around the web reveal people seeing excellent results.

The company that makes Dietspotlight Burn is so excited about their product they’re offering a special trial offer, which we find reassuring.

Previous Zumba Review (Updated August 1, 2013):

What You Should Know

Zumba isn't a diet pill, it is a diet dance. Celebrity trainer "Beto" Perez stumbled upon this Latin inspired fitness regimem in the 90's in his native Colombia. He has since brought it into the United States, joined with entrepreneurs Alberto Aghion and Alberto Perlman and created an empire! In 2007 Zumba became international and in 2008 they released their third DVD collection. With this third collection, they have included Zumba Toning Sticks and Zumba LIVE! Zumba Fitness, LLC. is based in Hollywood, Florida and their website allows you to email them, while it also provides a contact number and mailing address. The site also offers a "sign up" to become a Zumba Instructor!

Ingredients

Fast beats, slow rhythms and resistance training, with a little Latino flavor are used to "spice up" your workout when you use Zumba!< ?p>

Product Features

Zumba claims to be an effective aerobic workout that is fun and works. The website provides customer support and FAQ's (frequently asked questions), the chance to buy the DVD sets and accessories, and search pages aimed at helping you find an instructor or classes available in your surrounding area. In lieu of user testimonials, they provide 3 pages of clickable links to news publications about Zumba. Nearly ONE entire page is articles published in 2008 alone. For those who do plan to become an instructor, the website helps to provide the tools and resources needed to teach Zumba, and has options available to keep their instructor status current through workshops.

Advantages

  • The website boasts both a privacy policy and return policy, to ensure buyer happiness.
  • You can look the part in Zumba's full line of clothing.
  • They offer a 30 day FREE in- home trial.(less S & H)

Disadvantages

  • As with any exercise regimen, willpower and commitment are inherently necessary to achieve the full potential of the product, but, unfortunately are not part of the package deal.
  • There are only 3 music C.D.'s available (along with scores of whats look like temporary tattoos) on the website. You have to navigate to an entirely different website in order to actually purchase the 3 DVD set they are so proud of.
  • Once you do get to the right place, you find out the price of the set is $60 plus S & H.
  • Not everyone may be physically up to the Zumba program.

Conclusion

Zumba seems like a fun exercise system purchase, but if most people are like us, they will be spending an exorbitant amount of cash on an item they may seldom- or never- actually use. We all know that a well balanced diet of healthy foods and an exercise regimen are needed for achieving and maintaining a healthy weight- but I for one would rather turn on (and UP) the radio and dance myself silly for free! Zumba is likely best suited for those who are already comfortable with fitness routines and with dance, since it could offer a pleasant change and you already know that you can keep up a dance fitness routine.
Learn More About Burn HD »
Summer Banks Dietspotlight Author
About the Author:

Summer Banks, Director of Content at Dietspotlight, has researched over 5000 weight-loss programs, pills, shakes and diet plans. Previously, she managed 15 supplement brands, worked with doctors specializing in weight loss and completed coursework in nutrition at Stanford University. full bio.

Rating: 4.0. From 24 votes.
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Zumba Reviews

Leave a comment or review

  How much space does it need?
Phyllis

Would like to try this but am limited on space. How much room do you need to “zumba” properly.

EB

I Zumba in my small bedroom at the foot of my bed and I use a space that is aproximately 4feet long by 3 feet wide and I have a blast! You should try it!

  Lose weight by summer
Allie

I’m 17 and weigh around 150 pounds, I’m around 5’3..how much weight do you think I’ll lose by the summer time, June.

Maribel (Editor)

Hello Allie. All users are different and can experience different weight-loss results.

  Do you think this could help me get some feeling back in my feet?
Brenda

I have neuropathy in my feet which I have no feeling in my feet. do you think this could help me get some feeling back in my feet. Or do you think it would be to hard to do

berny

I have been doing zumba for two months now !! I also have neuropathy ,I really have no trouble with my feet or legs ….. we have been doing this for two months @ the church fellowship hall two days a week !!! we have a lot of fun laughing at our own mistakes (OMG) , sometimes we have a hard time in standing -up almost !!! be careful , enjoy yourself in zumba!!! 😉

Victoria (Editor)

Hello Brenda. Please consult with your physician before participating in zumba to make sure it is safe for you to do so.

  Loose much weight
michaela

if i start zumba dvds and eat good statring today, how much weight can i lose by june?

Maribel (Editor)

Hello Michaela. All users are different and can experience different weight-loss results.

  Doing other way to loose weight
Cici

i follow along with classes on youtube and I had the dvds. Youtube is free and guaranteed something different every time.

  Would really love to try
curiousaboutzumba!

Has anyone tried both the Zumba dvd’s and the Zumba game for WII?? I would really love to try zumba but i’m not sure which is a better buy.

Jasmine

Yes I have and I enjoy both the Wii actually allows you to create your own class meaning you can take the songs and workouts you like and create a custom workout. I also have the original workout dvds I know that they have expanded over the years but I still enjoy the original and get a good High intensity workout

Les

Wii definetly

  Can I tone up my loose tummy because of two ceasarian n second were twins?
leena sinha

Can I tone up my loose tummy because of two ceasarian n second were twins

Victoria (Editor)

Hello Leena. You cannot pick a target body part that you will loose the weight; all dieters have different weight loss results.

  I have no dance experience
lola (Verified User)

I have no dance experience. So now that i tried zumba i am totally lost. Even on beginners workout. Is there a video that can help me step by step?

Maribel (Editor)

Hi Lola! Please refer to the Zumba official website for more information on where to find the video that you’re looking for.

  Possible effects when I stop this
divya (Verified User)

Hi i need to know,if leave the Zumba classes do we put up weight

Victoria (Editor)

Hello. If you do not keep up with a healthy lifestyle and diet, you might experience weight gain.

  You trying to lose you belly fat
Brianna

which combination of workouts would you do if you trying to lose you belly fat??
and does the zumba diet system work well with it?

Victoria (Editor)

Hello Brianna. Zumba can help you with the ‘cardio’ aspect for working out, but you might need to incorporate supplements and weight training to burn the extra fat in the midsection.

  Weight
Jenifer

If you weigh 177 how much weight can you lose in 90 days?

Victoria (Editor)

Hi Jenifer. All dieters have different weight loss results. Some users loss weight faster/slower than others, so there isn’t a ‘specific’ amount everyone can/will use.

Anonymous

You can start slowly if needed, or you can dance your heart out if you are in great shape. If you just love to move your body to the music, then Zumba is for you.

Staci

The large fitness center I am currently a member of recently tried Zumba for a couple of months. The response to the fitness program failed and the previous workout that was in use returned. The Zumba program seemed flat and did not bring the enthusiasm/energy that other fitness routines had brought. The owner did try two different Zumba instructors and the interest was not there. The movements were simple to learn and might be beneficial for a senior center to utilize. Maybe the Zumba home product would keep someone motivated to work out, but I did not see progress/results.

  Thanks for the inspiration
yoga dvd for kids (Verified User)

Steven, I’m inclined to agree with you! I actually should have listed more specific organizations, for example, that accept toys for children. I thought about that after I posted the article – I could have (and should have) done more research and listed the different organizations and ways people can help.I also could have listed about 10 or more different things that could be done for senior citizens at nursing homes. I didn’t even touch on Big Brothers and Big Sisters or sponsoring children (something I fully, fully, fully feel close to). I obviously need to work up another post devoted entirely to the different ways to make a difference. Thanks for the kind words and the inspiration. – Joi

Annette Talsma

Quite very well reported and exactly appropriate!

   Zumba Gold CDs
Gin

After viewing the Zumba Gold CDs I signed up for a class. What a shock. Nothing is broken down. We are never taught the basic rhythms . The instructor does not repeat and can’t get the steps straight. She loses the rhythm and has to add steps. She also claims that Beto doesn’t break anything down when that is exactly what he does on his CDs. This may be a weird class but reading the internet, I suspect it is not. I think they just want to sell licenses.

  I love it, of course the results depend on your own effort.
maria (Verified User)

I have been practicing zumba for about 3 years, i love it,is fun and you really work out when do zumba,of course the results depend on your own effort.

  Hated the product.
Wendy (Verified User)

I’d have a game of tennis or squash over Zumba any day! No stupid clown cloths and no stupid vanilla ice remix.. Or that other try hard bull dog or Pitt bull or what’re the dude is..real fitness is not a Fad and zumba is the cheesiest fad I’ve seen in a ling time, it hit its peek in 2012 ranking no9 in fitnes but already at no13 in 2013. Predicted to rank in the mid 30s in a few years, that’s where it was ranked in 2004. Like Abba you’ll all be ashamed to say you did it. You do know the music is totally slutty right? You know it’s cheesy when they got vanilla ice to do Zumba music lol how desprate are you lot? Lol

Gloria

It’s not all slutty music. Everyone has different tastes and different cultures.

  How to get the 60 minute DVD?
Jojo (Verified User)

I purchased exhilarate in December and I started using it on the 9th January i started on the ripped DVD have mins of the exercise and the Sentao portion is not on the DVD.. i AM SO DISAPPOINTED as i prepared to do this part of the workout. I feel as if I have been RIPPED OFF.. inform me how I can get the 60min DVD AS advertised

  Total body transformation or exhilarate
michelle

I just started going to the zumba classes at my gym and I love the program! I would love to buy the dvds, but I am not sure which set to get (total body transformation or exilarate). Can someone please let me know which one is better or what the difference is? Thank you!

Victoria (Editor)

Hello Michelle. Both have two different types of zumba style workouts, so it just depends on your preference.

  Shoes on carpet
charlene

I just purchased zumba wii. It is fun but I have to admit I find it hard to keep up, not knowing the moves.I also would like to know what shoes are best on carpet. Any advice would be appreciated

  Zumba is NOT a fad
Lacey (Verified User)

As a fitness instructor, people need what they need to get fit and active, if Zumba works for you, then it works for you, who on earth are people telling you it won’t work for you. I have been doing Zumba on and off for the last 4 years, I always go back to Zumba and I have recently become a lincensed Zumba instructor and trust me throughtout the masterclass my HR zone was peaking at 188 for long periods of times, and when I do the DVDs my HR can reach 177 bpm with ease. Exercise is personal choice and what you want, if you do not like Zumba fine, if you love it good for you, but lets not call it a fad or a waste of time if you just want a couple of DVD’s and to go to classes it is smart fitness that will explode your fitness levels, positive hormones and if it raises you heart beat, will burn and control your fat levels, end of story. It is cheaper than a gym membership, more interesting than jogging, recruits muscular memory and coordination for good balance and posture and it is fun. I love the way Beto encourages all who takes part in Zumba even that 20 stone woman to become a Zumba instructor, yeah he will make money from it, but so will you, essecially it is about fitness, dancing and hiding the hard bits in exercise under music and dance. The only annoy bit is that I cannot rip their CDs to put on my MP3 and listen to outside to get to grips with the music placements! No wonder why my old zumba instructor was running back and forward to the CD to change the music, that is a bit stupid!

  Never thought this will be so fun!
Evy (Verified User)

Just bought the Zumba Exhilarate DVDs and I just love them! It comes with lots to routines to choose from, with Ripped and Rush being my 2 favorite. I have also been to the live classes. I’m not sure if it’s my instructor, but the DVDs do a lot more for me. I also like that the DVDs break down the steps for you, unlike the class. It’s been about 2 a half weeks and I’ve lost about 6lbs. I’d say give it a try, it does not feel like exercise at all to me. To me, it feels like a challenge to get the moves right. In the end, it’s tons of fun!

  Having fun by losing weight!
trina (Verified User)

Been doing Zumba about three weeks now. Love it never stuck with anything but this is different. As long as you like music and fun this is it. I sweat like never before and I am 35 yrs old mother of 8. I have gained weight through the years and this is great. I have not changed my diet as yet but lost 5lbs since i started. I know how people say changing your eating habits is a lifestyle change and I feel the same with Zumba. It is going to continue being my lifestyle change. I go to live classes so much fun everyone there is having a blast from young to old men and women. I have decided to implement the Zumba for kinect in a week or two. Will let you know how it goes.

  Dancing can help losing weight
Mike

Come on people you dont need zumba to lose weight you just need to go to a latin club and find a great dancer like me and stop feeding your lazy ass mcdonalds all the time lol

Jane

Must be a cheap who can’t afire the sixty bucks mao

  I am having fun while losing weight
Ally (Verified User)

I have been using Zumba for about 3weeks and have lost a little under 10lbs without special dieting. I also do mine every afternoon for about 45mins-1hr, sometimes two hours. I have the zumba wii game, not only are you excersising but it’s actually fun! I find myself loosing track of time and my kiddos love it too!

  Fun & Exciting Way to Lose Weight!
lovedazumba (Verified User)

Love Zumba! It is a great workout. You never feel tired after the workout, you’ll feel exhilarated 😀 Yes you will sweat to the point you’ll look like u just took a shower, but it is fun and exciting. The music alone makes you want to move, you just can’t sit and watch. The difference between the old dvds and the new ones, is the new ones are more up-beat and more now. For those curious about whether to get just the dvds or the one for the Wii, I would suggest just the dvds, since they play on almost any console (PS3, XBOX, dvd player, computer, etc…). The DVDs have a beginner section to show you the steps, and with any of the Zumba DVDs u get, u can go at your own pace. Do one workout, sit out for the next one (catch your breath, drink water) then go to the next. Before you know it, if you are dedicated enough, you will be able to go through the entire DVD without taking any breaks. I did this before and lost 20 lbs in 4 months. Only because weight loss is based on your metabolism. It is different for everyone. There is a book, if you are interested in a Zumba diet, that has meal plans and a grocery list for you to check out. I would highly recommend this to anyone. If you can’t figure out where to get the DVDs, check out a class, or see if any friends have it and set up a zumba date. Well this is my input so hope this helps clear up some confusion on the workouts and DVDs 😀

  Didn't feel any difference but still continue
mary beth (Verified User)

just started zumba a couple of weeks ago. i am a stay at home mom of 2 under age 3 and have been heavy most of my life…now i am in the obese category. Anyway-i am sticking with the workout plans but have had trouble sticking to the food part of the zumba plan. i just can’t seem to stick with the eating 5-6 small meals everyday. stupid me! i thought eating more would make you gain more so i only eat three meals a day and maybe a evening snack. the problem with that is that i eat too much because i only eat three meals. i am almost frustrated because i have not really noticed difference in my body. BUT I AM NOT GOING TO QUIT! I am not about to spend $60+ just to waste it. i just need to change my eating now and hope to see a change…zumba is fun and i have never been one to think that a work out was fun. i have never sweat so much in my life!

Maria

Do not go hungry. The reason why you should eat 5 to 6 smaller meals a day, is to prevent hunger. When you do not eat, your body holds on to the fat in your body to keep it going. So eat a fruit or another healthy snack in between your meals, and do not eat anything heavy after 6pm. Because your body slows down at the end of the day, your metabolism slows down – which means you will not metabolize your food as fast at night, and your body tends to retain more of the fat at that time. Lighter and healthier meals at night is a must. Drink lots of water throughout the day. If you sweat, you must replenish the fluids lost. Also don’t drink while you are eating, drink a glass of water before you eat (this will give your stomach a sensation that it is partly full, and you won’t want to eat as much), and a glass of water after your meal. Also use a smaller plate. Whatever fits there, is what you can eat. No going for seconds!! These hints should help you get started! Good luck and never ever give up. It will work!

  Want to get rid of baby belly
kat (Verified User)

I have 2 kids and i was wondering, will zumba help me to get rid of my baby belly??i just purchased the zumba for WII and have been doing it only for 3 days and i am addicted!soooo much fun

Victoria (Editor)

Hi Kat. If you keep up with a healthy diet and exercise lifestyle, it should help you with weight loss.

  Good workout without the pain
LAV (Verified User)

Just tried Zumba for the first time. It was a little hard at firt learning the moves because I’m not dancer to begin with. I have to admit I was sweating like apig at the end. Good work out w/o the pain. I’m hoping to trim a bit off the waist line. Wish me luck!

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