Zumba isn’t just about dancing anymore.
The famous exercise brand has ventured into new territory with a new program called Strong by Zumba.
Strong by Zumba is a high intensity interval class — think burpees, pushups, and other high-impact moves — that’s synced to specific music. After all, Zumba is all about the music.
CEO Alberto Perlman told Business Insider that “70% of the Zumba class is music, and it’s been scientifically proven that the number one motivator in fitness is not a fitness tracker … music is the number one motivator.”
And he felt that other fitness classes that he would take were lacking when it came to how the music synced up with the workout.
“Whenever we would take one of those HIIT classes — we saw so many new HIIT classes come to the market — we would always feel a bit of frustration and a bit of a disconnect,” he said, as though “music was an afterthought” and it was simply a playlist of music set to cues for various exercises.
Perlman said that the company brought in an electronic music producer to create a song for a high intensity routine, and when the routine was matched with the music, it was like one of the “training montages in movies.”
In other words: this is a tougher Zumba — a Zumba not just for semi in-shape mums.
Though some traditional Zumba dance-style classes can certainly be heart rate-pumping and sweat-inducing, Zumba has been known for being approachable rather than forcing people to cry while they chisel their bodies. Unlike much of its current gym class competition, it isn’t threatening, elitist, or characterised by gruelling instructors.
When it comes to at-home fitness, people often leave the gruelling workouts to P90X or Insanity. And at the gym, there’s a fair share of intense classes (or boutique studios) for people to try.
Further, expanding into that territory is a smart marketing move.
It could also get people into the Zumba brand who might have been put off by the dancing aspect of the brand’s namesake class (or people who just hate dancing). Though the company won’t explicitly say it, there’s a chance this could be men. CEO Perlman also suggested that Strong by Zumba could help someone who loves Zumba have a well-rounded fitness regime; two days of regular Zumba for cardio, and two days of Strong by Zumba for strength training, for instance.
But it appears that it also lends itself to helping Zumba maintain its quiet monopoly on the fitness world. Zumba operates in more 200,000 locations, making it bigger than SoulCycle or New York Sports Club, but bigger than Starbucks. Now that Strong by Zumba classes will be taught in select gyms, it could make Zumba even bigger.
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