Saturday, August 24, 2013

Zumba Warrior, created by Jani Roberts

One of my favorite courses from Zumba(r) Convention 2013 was Jani Roberts' workout, Zumba(r) Warrior.  Yes, it's a kick-ass workout that will challenge even the fittest participants' aerobic thresholds and muscular endurance in practically every muscle group.  Yes, it's rock-n-roll, dub-step, sexy, bold, edgy, in your face, totally Jani-esque.

But it's more.

The workout is leveled very well.  There are three options for each move, and they're taught in a progressive sequence.  Beginners can stick with the first level, which is challenging but with minimal impact.  Participants wanting more of a challenge can progress as the levels progress, and the earlier levels are sound movement preparation for those that follow.

The premise is quite simple.  After a warm-up stylized for martial arts and bootcamp motions to dramatic music (think, opening music to Cirque du Soleil - yes, I shazammed it!), it's an intermittent workout with a fairly specific rise and fall.

5 minutes of progressive hard work (hard, harder, ridiculously hard anaerobically taxing)
2 minutes of active recovery

Repeat 5 more times, then cool 'em down.

But it's more.

A major theme of the class is "going within."  So intent on your own focus that no one else's movement matters.  It's a familiar concept.  We've probably all heard of being "in the zone."  That's what she means.  I use this concept in my HIIT and weight training classes - don't worry about anyone else, just focus on working hard, whatever "hard" means to you.  Jani takes it even deeper, into seeking the source of your power within, tapping into it, and being constantly aware of it.  So, not just shutting out others' activity, but being mindfully aware of every single move you make.  She had some wonderful ways of describing the internal experience of bodily movement.

I'm an obsessive note-taker.  :D  So I wrote down several of her drills and my favorite cues.  If you're one of my clients, don't be surprised to see some of her 5-minute sequences in my HIIT and CrossCore classes.  An interval sequence might even sneak itself into Zumba(r) Toning.

More photos to come.

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