Nick Mitchell: Do I Endorse Zumba?

“I Want You To Go To Zumba!”

Seven words I suspect that you never thought you’d read from me. Have I let the Spanish sun melt my sanity and relinquished the weights forever?

Of course not.

Most of the time I will always try to give you the paradigm of what you should be doing to get in shape. After all, modest efforts get modest results and we want something special because life is too short for mediocrity. That being said, I want to write today about taking a balanced approach and what that means for the less than super dedicated trainee.

If you give me six weeks to get myself in top shape then you would see me pull out all the stops. Twice a day weight training, a Spartan diet regime, and total focus. At Ultimate Performance we want you to excel at so many of these principles that we espouse, however, I want you to understand that these are not for everybody and that is not a bad thing. The best plan is the one that we can stick to and fits around our lives, and if that means the middle-aged Mrs Jones loathes the gym, cannot get her head round weight training, and freaks out that she will morph into Schwarzenegger in a month should do something other than what will get her maximum results in the shortest possible time then so be it. We need to remind ourselves that some causes are lost and that our hobby/passion/obsession of beating ourselves up in the gym isn’t for everyone.

If Mrs. Jones has the choice of twice a week Zumba where she moves her body, has a laugh with her friends, and feels better about herself, or she goes to the gym for a few weeks and then drops out never to return, which is the optimal choice? You of course know the answer to this question. So whilst Zumba may not fit into the UP philosophy of training, I’d have no hesitation in saying to someone that they should try it out if other options don’t appeal to them.

Does this mean that I think Zumba will get comparable results to so-called real training? Not a chance in a million. I think the average dance type class does very little for real body composition gains (anyone want to wager three times a week of UP training versus three times a week group dance class) unless it is done a lot, and who other than instructors have the time to do 6-10 hours a week. What Mrs. Jones gets out of her Zumba class is not a new body, and if she is sold on it on that basis then she is being sold a false bill of goods. She is, however improving her blood pressure, her circulatory system, probably her digestion, her sleep, and (never ever underestimate this) her self-confidence.

There are always different horses for different courses and as we turn into the New Year I don’t want anyone to be put off from embarking on a new health/ exercise regime because they don’t like/appreciate the classic weight training gym. Unless your job is linked to your physical performance I believe that the most important thing for all of us is to just do it!

By the way, in case you think I might have come over all fluffy please get that out of your head. We are about to open a new gym in Marbella, a truly classic weight training/conditioning gym where I have already decided one fundamental rule “if you train like a ****** you will be asked to leave. There are after all plenty of gyms that cater for out and out ******* so in my new found spirit of inclusiveness, it isn’t as if these people won’t have a place to exercise at.