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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

No excuse workout and how Zumba was invented

Last year, I did fitness training with a trainor for about 6 months. It worked well initially because my trainor was diligent in scheduling my sessions and texting reminders.  But there were days when I had to finish work and I started coming in late for my appointments or I would cancel last minute. Add to that - the routines were also getting harder!  Haha...

So when my program ended, I decided not to renew and try working out on my own again.  Before, what worked for me were fitness videos but after some time, you get tired of doing the same thing plus it's hassle to set up the DVD everytime (ok, lame excuse. Haha...).  I also tried brisk walking at the park but I don't sweat as much, also, if I think I don't have a full hour to walk, I would skip it altogether since I think the effort to change to workout clothes does not commensurate a 30 minute walk in the park (another lame excuse but it's my honest answer! Haha...).

So what I did do?  I downloaded Zumba fitness and workout videos on my iPad.  It eliminated all my lame excuses.

- I can't complain of getting bored because I can download new videos as often as I want. In fact, you can download all kinds of workouts - yoga, pilates, belly dancing, upper or lower body workouts, any kind!

- I can't say it's hard to set up because all I need to do is to turn on my iPad and play the video.

- I don't have to have one full hour because with Zumba, in 15 minutes your heart is pumping and you'll be drenched in sweat.
- I can do it anytime.

- I don't need to change in full workout clothes since I just do it at home.  House clothes plus rubber shoes are all I need.

- I can workout even when I travel.

- And the best thing - it's free!

For those of you who aren't familiar with Zumba, it's dancing combined with aerobics - there are music and dance steps for salsa, merengue, hiphop, etc.   I read its fascinating story a few months ago in INC magazine.  Unlike traditional fitness programs that focus on weight loss, Zumba is about "emotions, joy, release".  In fact, its tagline is "Ditch the workout. Join the party."

The founder of Zumba is Alberto "Beto" Perez (you'll see him in Zumba fitness DVDs;  he leads the pack of dancers).

Beto grew up poor and fatherless in Colombia.  He discovered dancing at age 8 while watching Grease.  At age 13, he and his friends would dance to Michael Jackson's Thriller steps.  Beto's mom disapproved his dancing until he showed his mom a clip from Footloose where Kevin Bacon reads a passage about dancing from the Bible! Smart kid. Haha...

One day, Beto met a model who recruited him to teach her how to dance. He got introduced to more models whom he also taught dancing. Then he won a national lambada  contest and started teaching dance and aerobics across Bogota, Colombia.

One fateful day, while he was about to conduct an aerobics class, he realized he forgot his aerobics tape. All he had was salsa music recording (from a radio) so he used that in the class and the students just loved it!  Zumba was born.

When Beto moved to Miami, US, he had a Zumba student who raved about Zumba to his son (the son happened to be a venture capitalist).   Beto and Perlman (the son of Beto's student) got introduced to each other and the rest was history.

Perlman is Zumba's CEO today and has helped propel the business to a global level.  Its valuation today according to INC mag is more than USD500M!  Zumba's business model includes royalties from songs, fitness apparel, certifications of Zumba instructors, licenses and membership fees, conventions, fitness concerts, DVDs, itunes downloads, Xbox games, etc.  Wow.

Anyway, hope this blog inspires you to get fit and ditch lazy excuses (even better, inspire you to be a future Beto!).

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