Physiological load associated with a Zumba® fitness workout: a comparison pilot study between classes and a DVD

Anne Delextrat*, Emma Claire Neupert

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The objectives were to compare the metabolic load elicited by Zumba® classes and DVD workouts and link the physiological responses to participants’ psychological characteristics. Fifteen women (25.4 ± 4.3 years old; 164.9 ± 5.1 cm; 56.9 ± 5.8 kg; 23.9 ± 4.9% body fat) performed three Zumba® classes and three Zumba® DVD workouts using a repeated measure design. Energy expenditure was assessed by extrapolating oxygen cost from heart rate (HR) using regressions from a preliminary incremental running test. Differences between Zumba® classes and Zumba® DVD workouts were assessed by Student’s T tests and repeated measures analysis of variance and correlations between physiological and psychological variables by the Pearson’s coefficient. Results showed that Zumba® classes allowed greater energy expenditure compared to Zumba® DVD workouts (6.8 ± 0.9 vs 5.6 ± 0.9 kcal · min−1, 95% confidence interval (CI) limits: 0.3–2.1, P = 0.016), with significant differences in the time spent with a HR above 85% of HR reserve (14.7 vs 1.7%, 95% CI: 5.6–20.4, P = 0.021). Furthermore, women with a greater autonomy score showed a smaller difference between DVD and class (r = 0.511, P = 0.048), while greater differences were shown in women with greater interpersonal skills (r = −0.563, P = 0.028). The results suggest that while both types of workouts are suitable to maintain fitness Zumba® classes allow greater energy expenditure.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-55
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Sports Sciences
Issue number1
Early online date9 Apr 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016


  • heart rate zones
  • oxygen consumption
  • calories
  • weight loss
  • aerobic fitness


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