There are two names going around the exercise world these days, Zumba and Tabata. Both of them can give you results, though they seem in some ways, opposite poles of the fitness spectrum, cold screaming intensity from Japan versus warm Caribbean dancing, they actually work your body in some of the same ways.
Which one is for you will depend more on your goals and on your personality than anything else. Of course, you can always do both. Do Tabata three days a week and Zumba two days a week, or the other way around. They’re so extremely different they make for a good change off routine.
Zumba will take you at least an hour, and to have the full fun effect, you’ll need to enroll in a Zumba class or dance party, as some call it. You’ll get to mix it up with people of all ages, physical shape, and backgrounds, and even learn a variety of aerobic dance moves that put to catchy Caribbean music, will give you a workout before you’re even aware you’re working.
At the same time, if you do really put yourself out there, you’ll have no problem working up a sweat during your Zumba session and at the same time burn lots and lots of calories.
Tabata workouts can be done in classes at the gym or at home with no equipment, other than a stopwatch. Tabata is an extremely high intensity physical training program. You bring yourself to your own personal ultimate level of exertion for twenty seconds, let it drop for ten seconds, and bring it back up for another twenty eight times over.
A Tabata routine only takes four minutes total. Keep in mind, though, Tabata routine can be much harder than a Zumba session just because of that absolute maximum intensity that is required. You have to push yourself, really push yourself, for it to be a true Tabata.
If you can really push yourself to your limits and you can be disciplined enough to do your Tabata routine daily, or four times a week, research has shown that Tabata style high intensity interval training can give decidedly better results than even an hour steady-state training program like Zumba.
However, that doesn’t mean you should write your Zumba off. The plus side of Zumba is the motivation it offers. It’s not hard to make yourself do; you may even be looking forward to your Zumba dance sessions all day. Tabata, on the other hand, requires motivation from within.
So if you have a hard time pushing yourself to do exercise at all, signing up for that Zumba dance session is a really good idea and an important step toward a healthier future. If you’re the sort who can beat your body into doing almost anything, and if you’re serious about being as fit as you can be, try Tabata.
It’s four minutes, after all. How bad can four minutes be?
As you’re lying on the ground dying after your routine is over, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you did it and you trained like a world class Olympic champion.
Incorporating Zumba With Tabata
On the flip side, why should you choose? You don’t have to. Tabata is only recommended to be done 3 or 4 times a week max. So you can easily do Zumba on the other days. This will make sure that you have the optimal amount of exercise and that you are not doing a very intensive workout every single day.
So go for it! All you have to lose is fat, and the risk of heart disease!