Continuing Education

Class Quest: STRONG by Zumba®

Though accomplished in Zumba®, CE director Christy Isaacson discovered a new and challenging Imageworkout process when she put her stamina to the test and visited a session of STRONG by Zumba®.

I had been eager to try STRONG by Zumba® led by Michelle Ihlan ever since we added it as a new Continuing Education course in spring quarter. This summer I finally had a free Wednesday to join the class and see what it was all about. It’s been a while since I’ve been to a Zumba® class and the first thing I noticed is that this was very different from Michelle’s Zumba® Step and Zumba® Toning classes. If you visit the STRONG by Zumba® website, you’ll learn that this is NOT a dance class. So what exactly is STRONG by Zumba®? According to the website, “STRONG by Zumba® combines body weight, muscle conditioning, cardio and plyometric training moves synced to original music that has been specifically designed to match every single move.”  

Unlike other exercise classes where you work-out with music in the background, in this class you work-out in sync with the music. Squats, lunges, and yes, burpees are driven by the pulse and rhythm Imageof the songs. Before the class started, Michelle provided an overview of what to expect for the format of the class. We would be working out to a set of songs followed by a short break for a total of 4 rounds.

As the class started, I noticed that Michelle’s enthusiasm and energy was as strong as ever—her intensity matching that of the music. By the time the warm-up round ended, my heart rate was already up and I was starting to sweat. As we moved through a variety of exercises, the music guided us. As it pulsed, our muscles pulsed so that duration and repetition were aligned with the song. When beats or rhythm changed, so did the exercises. We worked our way through jumping jacks and mountain climbers, push-ups and bicep curls, plank jumps and more. Incorporating lots of exercises designed to target arms, legs, and core, the class is a full body workout!

Although I have been doing High Intensity Interval Training workouts for a while now, this class stillImage challenged me. The pace of the music didn’t let me slow down. By the time the music signaled it was time for a break, we were all ready to grab a sip of water before starting the next round.

From the warm-up in the first round through the floor work in the last, the music kept us moving— and fast! However, Michelle provides a welcoming, supportive class for people of all exercise backgrounds and experience. Whether you’re new to working out or just looking to add variety into your exercise routine, STRONG by Zumba® is a fun class that will help you get fit!

Learn more about CE's  Zumba® and Zumba® Toning.

Photo credit #1: Michel Dangmann_cc_2.0
Photo credit #2: Michel Dangmann_cc_2.0
Photo credit #3: Ayuntamiento Don Benito_cc_2.0