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on April 8, 2010
Okay, okay, I fell for the infomercial. I was looking for something that was pure cardio and this really seemed to fit the bill. So I gave it a try and I don't have any regrets! Honestly, I had four other dance workout dvds in my Amazon wishlist--after doing the Zumba 20-min workout, I deleted the wishlist. No kidding.

What you'll definitely need: WATER!! And plenty of it! Also, a little room to dance around in. Of course, the workouts and the toning sticks are provided for you.

What might need: Since the toning sticks are crazy light (1 lb. each ??), you may want to throw on a pair of weighted hand gloves if you have them. I've also tried just using regular hand weights but at the fast pace of this workout and since the toning workout is "dancey," they were a little difficult to handle.

Workouts: The basics "workout" isn't really a workout but breaks down the moves using a 3-step process working up to the full dance move. (I'd break it down but there's 20+ moves) This is about an hour but, I feel, well worth the watch, even if you are a seasoned dance dvd phenom. And if not, the moves are super easy.

The other actual workouts, of course, use the moves from "basics" but also does variations of these moves (don't worry, they'll give you a heads up.) Some mainstay dance routines are Samba, Merengue, Reggaeton (my fav!), Cumbia, Mambo and Salsa but I was pleasantly surprised that were more styles of dancing included in the workout other than Latin. Cardio Party (my fav!) has an "American Mix" section that features a bit of country dancing and an ode to 1950s Americana. There's also some African steps that are really fun, too (you'll see them in Zumba Sculpt and Tone and in Zumba Live). You'll also see some bellydance (kinda, sort of) ;-) and Flamenco.

A few things that might trip you up:

1. The cueing, though not terrible, could be a bit better.

2. During the "basics" workout, Tanya (??), the girl who co-hosts the workout with Beto, says to just keep to beat. This tidbit really comes in handy because there are a few (VERY few but noticable) editing issues. So you might think you're on the wrong foot when in reality, the editor messed up. But no worries, the scene will cut and everything is back to normal. (In other words, just keep in step with the beat of the music and eventually, you and those working out of the dvd will be back in unison.)

3. Beto has a REALLY rich accent so it can be sort of hard to pick what he's saying at first. I found, after doing the workouts a while, my ear has become more apt at understanding him--so maybe it will for you, too.

A couple of personal pet-peeves:

1. The toning sticks. They seemed like a great idea but the constant raddling kind of started to get on my nerves.

2. After each routine, there's this pause to introduce the next routine. I'm not really sure about how I feel about this because sometimes I think "thank goodness, I thought I was gonna die." But other times I feel like the breaks just slow down the workout. Jury's still out on that one.

Overall: What else can I say that I haven't already. I really dug this workout. 'Nuff said.

*Side note: I know there has been some debate over price on this item. I love this workout and bought this from Amazon (only 60 bucks + free shipping at the time), but seriously, it's really not worth spending over $100 for.
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on January 6, 2017
Ok wow! I have wanted to try Zumba for a long time but didn't have the guts to give it a shot. Some things just come along at the exact time you need them! I have been doing Shazzy Fitness dance cardio DVDs for a few years on and off. I recommend those for starting out because they are less intense but still a great workout. I also prefer the Dance Socks that you can buy from Amazon for this over the ones that came with Zumba because they cover the whole shoe versus just the front part of the shoe. When I tried the ones that just cover part of the shoe I found that I was getting a lot of drag from the heels of my shoes (I workout on a rug).
My husband bought me this for Christmas to try to help me break through a weight loss plateau he knew I'd been struggling with. I was both excited and intimidated by it. After putting in the first DVD I was hooked on Zumba from the first workout! The moves are fun and easy to learn. It might take an extra beat or two to get some of the moves down. I just kept going and watching their feet until I got it.
I use a Fitbit charge HR and it's showing that I'm at my peak heart rate for almost half of the workout! That's awesome!
The toning sticks are easy to use. They got a little slick when I was using them and I was afraid one would go flying if I didn't hold them tight.
My favorite workout was the Live! Session which is what it sounds like- shot at a live event with real people in the audience sweating it out. The Abs workout which is on the same DVD kicked my butt the next day. Good stuff!
I also have the Incredible Slimdown Plus Zumba dvd set which is worth checking out. It's filming is more current than this set. Some of the instructors look like teens which can be a little disconcerting at first but it turned out to be a lot of fun. Everyone on camera in the Zumba DVDs is very buff and perfect looking. In the Shazzy Fitness DVDs they definitely tried for more diversity in that there are skinny people, heavier people, old people and young people in them. It doesn't really bother me but I figured it was worth mentioning.
I'm definitely making this the core of my cardio now. Bye, bye treadmill! Looking forward to getting into some smaller exercise clothes for the Zumba cruise next year!
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on August 24, 2015
I love Zumba so much! I tried to do the new programs, since I had lost my old set, but I just did not like them as much. I am one of those people that does not like to change something I know I like. I am so glad I found this set again! I lost 65 lbs by doing Zumba before... Let's see how much I can lose this time!
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on October 17, 2009
I started taking the Zumba classes and was so in love with them that I wanted to do them at home. After researching the Zumba DVD's, I stumbled across this set and bought it. I loved it- but it wasn't like the Zumba Beginners class that I was taking. The first DVD is a beginners DVD that shows you how to do the steps, and includes a 20 minute workout. I am a fairly fit, active female, and broke a sweat in no time with just the instructional DVD. They break each step down into 'easy', 'medium', and 'hard' so you can learn the steps and be confidant enough with them to move up into the other DVD's. Other reviews thought this was lame- I actually loved it. It was very helpful, here I thought I knew the steps all along and I really didn't. It will also help me with my class. The 20 minute workout is also a good beginners dvd, but I assume would get old after you get good at the moves. The Zumba Live DVD is probably most like the Zumba classes, where there is no instruction, and everyone is just dancing in rows. Surprisingly, you can pick up what they're doing, and I really didn't see them use the moves you learn from the first DVD too much, it was a little more freestyle. Beto, the creator of Zumba is kinda crazy- he's hard to understand, but the other female instructors are great and easy to follow.

I also thought this was very different than my classes. I was hoping to hear some of the same music and routines that I see in the live classes I attend, but it's different- not better or worse, just different than I was expecting. The 'weighted dumbells' are kinda lame- they're long, and not real heavy- I haven't used them yet because I find it hard to add yet another dimension to these moves still. You want to make sure you have a good area in front of your TV to do this on, and that you have the ability to jump and move your body weight without having to worry about things falling off bookshelves and such. The reviews that this was cheaply done and put together are false- how could it be cheap? It looks pretty clear from the pictures what you're getting. There were several DVD's and a dumbell set and I thought Amazon.com's price was reasonable for what you get. I don't know what these other people were expecting. I guess this is going to be sold on infomercials, but I have yet to see one yet- it's put together by that Gunthey-Renker brand that touts several other 'as seen on TV' products.

In all, I would highly recommend this, and recommend you wear hip-hop shoes (like the Bloch S0538L sneakers), and as few clothes as possible- each time I try to do this in a tshirt, I end up having to put on a tank by the end of the workout. Get ready to sweat and work your butt off- and you'll be well on your way to needing hip replacement surgery after all this latin dancing!!
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on June 28, 2014
I recently bought Zumba Fitness Total Body Transformation System DVD set. I took a couple of days to learn the steps on the Basic workout... then I jumped in... I who am 54 years old (almost 55) post menopausal woman never thought I could keep up... I only have to modify a couple of steps but the point is I keep moving and that is the key to Zumba, you don't have to be perfect you just have to have fun... and it is really fun, I have not come across a workout I don't like and I get up looking forward to exercise... (I also was a couch potato, and never thought I would find something I like to do) I do believe I am addicted to Zumba... I use it with the totally free site myfitnesspal.com and keep track of what is going in my mouth... and in the last 12 days I have dropped 7 lbs... I finally found the right combination for me... I am on my way to health and fitness after all these years. Thanks Zumba!!! Give it a try!!!
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on March 29, 2011
I first saw this product advertised on an infomercial, several years ago, and became hooked on the musical rhythmic accompaniment to the exercises and dance routines as well as the high physical intensity of the program.

Recent problems associated with a weak core section of my body have resulted in me spending large sums of money on rehabilitation physiotherapy; I am also required to do physio exercises at home. These require a great amount of motivation and I had been waging a losing battle with myself to do them religiously. That's when I remembered the Zumba infomercial. The price of this product is no more than the cost of only one Physio session.

Now, I don't need any motivation to work out. Yes, Zumba is a work out. The 4 discs that comprise this product, each offers a different approach to the rhythmic Zumba aerobic exercises. The introductory practice disc that demonstrates the Zumba steps is itself a workout for the person who is out of shape. In order to avoid the monotony that usually overcomes those who train at home, I use a different DVD disc each time that I "dancercize".

If there is any criticism about this product, it is about the music and the gender bias. Most of the musical tracks where composed and recorded specifically for this program and they are not as exciting as commercial salsa music recorded with a full dance band. After a while, they become monotonous. The attractive female instructors on screen serve as very enjoyable eye candy for the male user of this program but sadly, they remind him that he is doing a workout targeted mainly for women and very few men. That is a pity because Zumba has no gender. Men who avoid exercising to music don't know what they are missing because music makes exercising fun. Besides, lots of women are attracted to men who can dance.

Nevertheless, I chose this product for its infectious rhythms, the physical intensity of the workouts and the inspirational personality of its creator who appears in many of the routines. I am thoroughly pleased.

After a few weeks of using this DVD set, I notice that I am walking taller and straighter than before because the core section of my body is strengthening. Now, if I can only convince my wife to use this product with me, we will both be able to Salsa dance at the next wedding we attend.
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on January 3, 2011
I've wanted to go to a Zumba class at my local gym for awhile but didn't want to embarrass myself. I just knew I couldn't keep up. I'm over 50, 30 lbs overweight and not really fit. So I bought this DVD set and decided to try it in my own living room. Wow, it's really well worth it.

I have to say, the first time, I thought I would pass out. And I was just doing the Basics learning the steps! It helped to do that because I'm not really a dancer and I didn't know any of the steps. If you know what you're doing, you can skip that part.

When I first did the 20 min workout, well let's just say I didn't finish. I did maybe 10 mins. But after a couple of times, I was able to do all 20 mins and feel really good afterwards. I'm working on doing the complete Zumba live DVD as well as the Sculpting and Toning. My goal is to lose 30 lbs and get fit for my daughter's wedding in 11 months. One day I may go to a Zumba class at the gym - if or when I feel confident I can keep up - but with this DVD set, I feel like I'm getting a complete workout at home.

I don't find it hard to understand Beto at all and there aren't any problems with editing that others have complained about. I like the break between the dance workouts, mainly so I can catch my breath. I had never done any kind of dance steps at all and I thought the instructions were easy to understand and follow, even at my age. If I can do, so can you. I'm so glad I got this set.
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on April 11, 2016
I've been taking Zumba for a couple of years now. But I especially like how the first CD teaches the steps to all the dance moves. They break each dance movement down into 3 steps so I can learn how to do the dance steps properly. I found this very helpful.
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on November 1, 2012
Since there are so many individual dvd sets of Zumba fittness to choose from, I researched very thoroughly and decided to purchase this one. I read a lot of reviews of all the Zumba dvd sets. This particular one seems to be right for me personally: it's perfect for my age (65) and physical condition (good). I would recommend it to anyone much younger as well. All the dvd's are high quality for music, sound, verbal instructions, and pace for whatever your ability is, slow, medium or advanced. Most of all, they are easy to follow and best of all the one dvd shows ALL of the dance in full mode as it would be if you were there in person and it's one big party:) I consider the price I paid for this specific Zumba dvd set to be worth it and did not regret it one bit. It's a lot of fun and will be even more fun to join in throughout the winter when I am snowed in.:) This dvd set is good for all ages. And a note: looking forward to spring when I can get outside and dance as well. There are no classes in this area so this is the next best thing. Have fun!!!
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When I bought this Zumba fitness workout program, I certainly didn't have any great expectations of becoming another Alberto "Beto" Perez, but just keeping fit through the winter months. The music associated with Zumba is totally infectious and if you've been on YouTube to watch some of the dancers, you're going to want in.

The first few times I watched the instructional DVDs it was ... nope, this is not for me and I'll never learn it. What I did was throw in some of my own moves, but kept moving. The steps are broken out and are very easy to understand, but implementing them in a smooth manner is quite another thing. Remember when you learned to type on a keyboard? Same thing ... everything just takes time.

The twenty-minute workout is just that ... a workout. I danced with a much younger friend, who is a dancer, and she loved it. She claimed, "this really is quite a workout." If you are looking for this as a means to lose weight (I was not), there are some tips and recipes included. Keep in mind this is a lifestyle change and the decision is up to you. Simply by buying this program you aren't going to lose weight, shape up, and having everyone complimenting you next week. This takes time and commitment.

And so what do I think? I think this program is a lot of fun and well worth the money. Zumba fitness is a great way to get fit, or at least moving. Keep in mind, it does take time to learn the basics, but when you do you'll have a lot of fun. I certainly did and don't regret purchasing Zumba!
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