HIIT Gets A Makeover With Zumba

Sweat it out by moving to some fun choreographed moves; the HIIT Zumba revolution is here!

Stop counting your reps and start training to the beat; the music will make your heart skip a beat and that beat will unlock the inner warrior in you! You'll simulate battle ropes slams and jump-lunge your way to a seriously intense workout and experience the new revolution of HIIT through STRONG by Zumba.

Before we dive into the specifics of it, let's review the fundamentals of HIIT. High-intensity interval training is versatile enough to meet the distinct needs of a diverse population of exercisers, but not all HIIT formats are created equal.

High-quality HIIT workouts should ideally focus on the following:

•    Promote specific adaptation to imposed demands (SAID) - allowing participants to avoid plateaus and maximize results.
•    Stimulate EPOC-excess post-exercise oxygen consumption is the amount of oxygen the body must use to restore its normal state (homeostasis) after a workout.
•    Emphasise on safety – add proper rest and intensity modifying ability based on individual needs.
•    Add resistance and motivate. 

Ai Lee Syarief is the Lead Master Trainer for music-led, high-intensity program STRONG by Zumba. She co-created the workout, which is a non-dance, music-led, high-intensity interval training exercise class that combines bodyweight, muscle conditioning, cardio, and plyometric training moves. The end product encompasses all the necessities of proper HIIT design, creating the potential for a safe, effective, results-driven workout that attracts traditional Zumba fans as well as those who want a pure HIIT experience.

Burn Calories And Tone Up!

It is synced to original music that has been specifically designed to match every squat, every lunge, every burpee, helping you make it to that last rep, and maybe even five more. In a one-hour class, you will not just burn tons of calories, but will also tone different body parts through Plyometric or explosive moves like high knees, burpees, and jumping jacks that are interchanged with isometric moves like lunges, squats, and kickboxing. 

STRONG by Zumba classes consist of four distinct quadrants with specific goals designed to build the workout's intensity progressively and systematically: 

Quadrant 1: Ignite (a warmup)
Quadrant 2: Fire Up (HIIT exercises)
Quadrant 3: Push Your Limits (combos or supersets of Fire Up moves) and
Quadrant 4: Floorplay (core and other floor exercises). 

Some pretty big names in the music industry – like Timbaland, Steve Aoki, and Krewella – have created original songs for the program, and that list will continue to grow. And this format is aptly called High intensity tempo training - (HITT) as the moves are created first and the music is then placed on it, as if you are in a video game! 

It’s All About The Music

This new concept which emphasizes music as the main motivator, allows you to burn more calories while toning abs, legs, arms, and glutes. Pairing music with your exercise can actually result in a more effective workout. You know how you cycle to the beat at spin class or use the fuel of a kickass chorus to help you power through a sprint? You probably don’t need an exercise scientist to tell you that music makes exercise more enjoyable, but what is its true effect on physical performance?

Costas Karageorghis, Ph.D., from London’s Brunel University School of Sport and Education, one of the world’s leading authorities on music and exercise, quotes: “Music can reduce the perception of effort significantly and increase endurance by as much as 15 percent.” 
Over the past 20 years of research, Karageorghis has identified three primary things about music that could possibly influence exercise performance: 

•    The tendency to move in time with synchronous sounds
•    To increase arousal (e.g., the desire to move rather than to sit); and 
•    The tendency to distract the exerciser from discomfort that might be related to exercise

A 2012 study also found that cyclists who synchronized their movements to the beat of music, required 7 per cent less oxygen than those who did not. That means our brains and bodies actually perform better when we sync music with our moves!

Well-known Olympic athlete Perri Shakes-Drayton, fitness stars like Jeanette Jenkins and Brittne Babe love it. And some of Instragram fitness gurus are also getting in on the action! You probably already know, follow, and love these fitstagrammers: Lauren Abraham, Natalie Jill, Kaisa Keranen, Ron Boss Everline, Michelle Lewin, Brittne Babe, Theresa De Pasquale, and Valeria Orsini.

The innovative concept has already won praise in the fitness world, including from celebrity trainer Josh Holland. The fitness expert, who has trained the likes of Gigi Hadid and Madonna, hailed the workout as "contagious". Jump right in to it (pun intended) and get infected!

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