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health

Do Men Belong in Zumba?

If there’s one place you won’t find me, it’s in a Zumba class. Or jazzercize. Or any other dance-related fitness class. I know plenty of women love these types of group exercises but it’s way at the bottom of my preferred calorie-burning activities. For one, I don’t get that euphoric rush like I do from other intense workouts (like kettlebell, plyometrics, weight lifting, spinning, or running) and secondly, it just doesn’t burn enough calories for me to justify the time.  I workout for one of two reasons: to look good or to feel good.  Dance aerobics don’t really do either for me.

Now, before some of you die-hard Zumba fans try to hip-check me with your saucy shimmy, let me explain. For women who love to dance and that’s what gets them moving, great!  I’m all for it. And for women who are carrying excess weight, dance movements can be a great exercise option since the extra body fat increases the difficulty of the movements, making it a higher calorie-burn. But when you weigh 125 pounds, you don’t burn a lot of calories in your own skin (save for some intense plyometric routines that will drop you faster than you can say, one-more-chin-up). And to be totally honest, my calorie-burn seems even lower when I’m spending most the class awkwardly missing all the steps and trying to play catch-up with the routine.

Hello left foot. Oh, and hello there other left foot!

Photo Credit: Hannah Maulef Finch

So today while I was sweating buckets on the spin bike, I couldn’t help but notice the aerobic class happening in the studio directly in front of me. Facing one of the floor-to-ceiling windows, I had a front-row seat to the hilarity that ensued inside. The ladies were working up a sweat (I think…??) as they danced around the room waving their arms here and there. But that wasn’t the hilarity.

I know I’m going to get flamed for saying this, but the thing I found so funny was that there were MEN in there! I mean, real, manly looking men!  Their movements were spastic and clunky as they did their best to keep up with the routine and shift their body weight from one foot to the other, always a step behind the rest of the class. And as I found myself chuckling, on the inside of course (as if my awful internal judgments weren’t damning enough), I noticed another man in the back corner. A guy that I know! In fact, he’s a regular in my kettlebell training group.

So here’s where someone leaves a comment to say “why is it okay for you, a woman, to take on the testosterone-filled kettlebell class but it’s somehow not okay for him to attempt a Zumba class?” Well, logic would say that it’s totally okay and that I should even be proud of him for having the guts to prance walk into such a class in the first place!

But despite the logic, I still find it hilarious. Perhaps this is how culture swings. For centuries, women were denied basic rights because we were viewed as inferior. And now, I get to laugh at men trying to do something that’s decidedly “feminine” simply because enough of us think it’s girly, even if it’s not.

Philosophize all you want, I’m still laughing.

Domestically Yours,
Natasha Kay

Discussion

55 thoughts on “Do Men Belong in Zumba?

  1. I cant speak for the majority of men,
    but for obese men, such as myself, anyway and anyhow we can burn calories and get moving is a good thing.
    In fact, its for reasons like this a friend of mine created an exercise class, for “My Large Friends”

    Posted by Jake Carte | February 28, 2012, 6:06 pm
  2. I LOVE that, Jake!! What a great idea and really necessary, too. Training someone with an extra 50 pounds is a lot different than training someone with an extra 150 pounds (or more) so having a customized program is imperative to staying injury-free and successful. What a great resource!

    And yeah, I agree — any movement is a good thing! And if a guy has the guts to Zumba, I gotta offer up my props for that! 🙂

    Posted by Natasha (Domestica) | February 29, 2012, 9:49 pm
  3. Well, sweetie, for rhythmically challenged people like yourself (no offence, I found the description really funny: hello, left foot… :-)) or maybe some of the men you were watching in that class, dance workouts are probably not the right thing. But you’ll never know whether you can do it before you try – so why shouldn’t these guys give it a go?

    And yes, as you said, if you keep wondering where your left leg and where your right arm is – you will certainly burn 0 calories. I’m a former competitive dancer, visit my gym about 5 times a week and am quite happy with my abs and my weight. I do kettlebell and work with weights or at all the nice machines the gym offers, but prefer dance workouts for cardio. I don’t have a problem with spinning or running physically, it’s just so mind-numbing and boring. If you know what you are doing, dance classes can be hard workouts. Just imagine you couldn’t keep your feet on the pedals – how hard a workout would spinning be?

    I’ve been doing ballroom dancing and salsa and other dance stuff for ages, and of course take all kinds of dance classes at the gym. A small choreography is no more difficult to me than making that silly cross trainer move, just a lot more fun – the sweat level is the same, believe it or not. Zumba is great and I love it, even though I have to say that it’s become so popular that every cat and dog seems to buy a licence and starts teaching bad classes.

    And just in case: no, I’m not gay, and I’m married to a woman. 😉 She’s of course a dancer who shares my passion for rhythm and is proud of her guy who can move on the dance floor and not just stand in a corner like Michelangelo’s David and look good. Anyway: maybe you can think about it and try not to be so prejudiced. And just one last thought: as you and I aren’t overweight, it’s not really the calorie-burn that’s our issue, is it? I do cardio workout to remain fit and keep my heart and metabolism healthy, not to lose weight.

    Posted by Tom | March 16, 2012, 7:33 pm
    • Thanks for this comment, Tom. You are SO right…when doing the moves correctly, dance can be a huge workout. I know this because the one Zumba class I took was taught by a man and that guy was shimmying and shaking all over the place and by the end of the class looked like someone had dumped a cooler full of water on him! I was shocked that he was dripping with sweat while I was barely breathing heavy.

      I think dance is really beautiful — in fact, I can often be found in the audience of professional dance productions. It never fails that I leave every performance dreaming that I could somehow dance like them! No matter what it is, ballet, hip hop, breakdance, tap…I just love it.

      I guess I just find it amusing to see men who have clearly never danced a day in their life, out there getting “their burn on” in a dance aerobics class. That said, if we’re talking ACTUAL dance…like, REAL dance classes, than I have nothing but mad respect for guys who do that. Although my husband and I almost called off our wedding while attempting pre-wedding salsa lessons (lol!!), there is a part of me that wishes we could be into dancing like you and your wife!

      For now, I’m happy that my bass-playing man has crazy rythym and is always out there ripping up the dance floor with me…even if we have no technical “talent”! 🙂

      Thanks again for your thoughts!

      Posted by Natasha (Domestica) | March 18, 2012, 8:40 pm
  4. ! Great article Natasha !

    I do Zumba as well and actually be doing my Zumba Instructor training in July, something I am REALLY looking forward to doing, I will agree with you on the whole calorie burning issue, unless done properly it’s really hard to really get any kind of burn out of it. Somethimes that is depending on the instructor. A zumba instructor with a background in dance are probably much harder to follow than an instructor with a fitness background, reason being is because where a dance instructor looks more at the moves flowing together, a fitness instructor will concentrate on the cardio side.

    Zumba is great fun and to be honest you dont really need any dance experience to enjoy it and that’s what it’s all about, the main push of Zumba is to make excercise fun. I find it easier to do an hour long Zumba Session than a 45 minute circuit. I’ve got a tidy tonned body but thats been down to dancing.

    I’ve had the pleasure of seeing both sides of the whole fitness and dance backgrounds so, again its all about the fun aspect. I can imagine the guys you were laughing at were having a whale of a time. Not only are they getting a work out (as such) If your the only male in a class of 20 – 30 women, your the centre of attention.

    Posted by Jordan Collins | May 17, 2012, 9:54 am
    • Love it!! You’ve obviously found something that you really love and that’s key to any fitness regime! Thanks for weighing in with your expert opinion!

      Posted by Natasha (Domestica) | May 17, 2012, 11:36 am
  5. I have been doing 4-5 cardio-dance including 3 zumba classes for almost three years. True, I am often the only male in a class as big as 55 women. I am also almost 67 years old so probably the oldest person in the classes. I have good stamina and have little trouble keeping up and doing the moves. I am quite comfortable near the front and have been in the classes so long the women don’t give me a second thought. I find it a great workout that I look forward to. As other members realize my ability and dedication to Zumba I feel respected and part of the group. I am not the stereotyped bumbling males so many talk about. I see just as many struggling women and respect any male for trying this form of exercise. My wife also shares some of the same classes with me

    Posted by Ron.S | September 3, 2012, 12:41 pm
    • Such great feedback to hear Ron! I have nothing but respect for you — I wish all 66 year olds would take a fitness class, be it Zumba or anything else. And believe me, I am definitely one of the “bumbling” females you speak of!!! 🙂

      Posted by Natasha (Domestica) | September 4, 2012, 8:54 pm
      • I have found it most enjoyable and great exercise. I am at a point in my life where I am not overly concerned with other’s opinions. I enjoy interacting with women in a non romantic way. I have a lot of respect for women and their rights. Last year I crewed for 3Days for the Cure and participated in a few Zumbathons for Breast Cancer. My wife and I have an equal relationship. For years I worked in an office where men were a minority while doing the same job and two of my superiors were women. I am very comfortable around women and not threatened by being in the minority.

        Posted by Ron | September 4, 2012, 9:21 pm
        • With the help of Zumba and other exercise and sensible diet, I
          have lost 85 lbs. and maintained it for over 3 years.

          Posted by Ron | September 4, 2012, 9:26 pm
        • I am also the only male in my classes (1 of 25 in one and 1 in as many as 50 in another). It’s been a great 3 months for ma and have lost 40 lbs. I lead a song or two as well so I more than hold my own in my classes. I am a pretty athletic guy and have a great time with the ladies in my class. A few are pretty flirty but I like that just fine. I get some cat calls when I head to the front of the class to lead. Becoming an instructor may be in my future as well. I am also military and I do get a little jabbing when I am walking out of the squadron in my Zumba shoes. I keep on rockin’ it though.

          Posted by David Ferguson | September 10, 2012, 9:49 am
          • Keep it up. Lots of fun
            Too bad more men don’t Zumba. They don’t know how much fun they are missing. We don’t lead but I am right up front so I can watch the leader’s footwork since we don’t have an elevated platform.

            Posted by Ron | September 10, 2012, 12:14 pm
  6. Zumba? Heck I’m a hetero guy & I do step. There’s a few guys who do step, but no guys who do zumba. I’ve even had bad experiences doing aqua-fit (trying to rehab an ankle injury) from women who literally tried to get the female instructor to kick me out of the co-ed pool class. She told them off. Sexism cuts both ways. Ladies: I pay my club fees like you. If its posted as a co-ed class, it is…its not the girls’ club. I really am not interested in you, your body, or how you think you can outdo the instructor. Nor did I kick you off the bench press or laugh at you when you struggle to lift 50 lbs..all I’m asking is the same respect. I am married… to a woman. I don’t want to see you reach into your butt to adjust your thong or realign your boobs during class any more than me adjusting the boys. Yes, women can be pigs. Maybe you should also have a change & shower before hanging out in the lobby, or driving home in your workout clothes….this seems to be a female thing. Trust me you stink, its not a glow you have. No wonder guys have difficulty in group exercise classes. Ladies, when was the last time you actually went over & welcomed the one poor guy who wandered into the class. Why is it only the instructor who says hello?

    Posted by Jay | September 21, 2012, 3:37 pm
    • Sorry to hear your experience. At my gym I have not had any of those experiences. I am in about five Zumba/ Dance Aerobic classes each week and have had no negative experiences. I have been in these classes for 2-3 years depending on the class and many of the women talk to me. I just got back from a great Zumba class with my wife. I guess we just have a more friendly gym. It is a no frills gym without a pool but is clean and seems to draw a nice group of people. Many of the trainers have clients of the opposite sex also. Perhaps my age and gray hair gain me a little respect and I don’t appear as a threat.

      Posted by Ron.S | September 21, 2012, 4:49 pm
    • I’m happy that Ron replied to you (below) because I think he’s got more experience in this than I do! But that said, I think you have a lot of valid points, Jay. Women often think we’re more important than we really are. 😉

      Posted by Natasha (Domestica) | September 24, 2012, 9:26 pm
  7. This is interesting reading. I just also read another view of things from a man’s standpoint by Joe Donatelli on LIVESTRONG.COM. I have participated in Zumba twice and was curious why I was solo or one of only two guys there. The first time, I was sooooo lost. I hated being lost, but I loved the exercise. I did it with intensity and it was great cardio exercise. The second time, I missed about as much of the timing and moves as the first time, but I knew in advance that I was going to be sooooo lost … and I really had fun anyway. About 1/3rd of the class appeared to be struggling like me, so why should it matter? I will do it again, simply because I like exercise to be both rewarding and fun and I really do not care if I look in front of a bunch of strangers. Now If I were interested-in one of the women there, maybe I would consider doing Zumba someplace else. No one has said anything, positive or negative, about me being there. I only wish the instructor would identify a couple alternative moves for me (and the other guy), so that we weren’t sometimes trying to shake parts of the body we do not have!

    Posted by Jeffrey | October 20, 2012, 5:04 pm
    • Thanks for weighing in Jeffrey! I’ve been shocked at how much traffic this blog post has received — there are A LOT of men out there googling “should men do zumba?”!!! So keep it up! You’re setting a great example and I love that you (and the other men who have commented) are doing what they want and not giving a crap about what other people think! That has my full respect, Zumba or not!! 🙂

      Posted by Natasha (Domestica) | October 20, 2012, 8:56 pm
  8. I think Natasha this speaks to a “void” in exercise training for men. This is somewhere between personal training & do your own thing. Even boot camp style training has mixed results with attracting males. A large part of the issue is Les Mills: the marketing, the girly moves, some of the music choices. It should be gender neutral. It isn’t. I’ve read that Les Mills is afraid they will lose their participant base, mostly female, if they do change it. Its interesting how circuit training in other contexts ie. a mma camp or ma dojo will be mostly male. Personally I think it should change.

    Posted by Jay | October 21, 2012, 7:09 am
  9. I can see where some men have problems with being in a Zumba class. A lot of it is the result the stereotypes men are exposed to and some can’t get beyond that. I think that is a source of a lot of the problems some men have with respecting women and Womens’ issues in general. If they realize that men and women are equal they won’t feel that sharing a “feminine” activity such as Zumba is beheath them or a threat to their masculinity. If you feel secure with your gender identity you are not threatened by activities like Zumba which are predominantly enjoyed by women. I am a heterosexual male in my late 60’s and once I got into the classes, after the initial uncertainty about the exercises as well as being in the minority, I found I just enjoyed it.. I can’t always do the “feminine” moves as well as the women but that is a physical rather than a mental factor. Women don’t seem to have much trouble enjoying a lot of traditionally male activities. At 67, I am also the oldest person in the classes and I get respect when they realize I can keep up with the much younger members of the class.

    Posted by Ron.S | October 21, 2012, 10:05 am
    • I have just loved hearing from all of you 60+ men! You all seem to have an air of confidence and wisdom and I have to wonder if it’s just something that really only comes with age and maturity. Keep doing what you’re doing Ron — I think it’s awesome!

      Posted by Natasha (Domestica) | October 22, 2012, 10:22 pm
  10. What a great blog. I am straight male, married with three kids. Can bench 300 lbs, have a Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do and here is the kicker, a police officer. On a dare I took a Zumba class and LOVED it. Sorry to hear about the guys with 2 (or 3) left feet but I used to break dance as a kid and combining with my martial arts experience I was like a fish in water. Being Puerto Rican helps with the latin dancing also. I too got a couple comments when I got to my fist class ” this isn’t cross fit ya know” or “aren’t we the brave one today” but after doing circles around some of the women there they all know me on a first name basis and I get respect there. The instructor is begging me to get certified and I am thinking about it. One guy at the guy made a “nice dance class” remark to me at the gym but when I whispered in his ear “I understand if you prefer to work out with men only but check out my workout parters” and pointed to 3 hotties checking me out. I see it as another ability under my belt. Dancers ARE athletes! Needless to say being athletic in my profession pays off and most men have very little athletic grace and ability. I also do cross fit and all the other “macho” stuff but it’s cool to be able to kick ass and shake it too….

    Posted by Josh T | November 21, 2012, 1:33 pm
  11. Good comments, Josh., Check out my comments here also. A for being gay, wouldn’t a gay guy be more interested in doing a boot camp class where he could stare at men’s bodies? I do about 4-5 Zumba classes a week and tend to be the class photographer when special events come up. They all enjoy my pictures and many talk to me and have even friended me.. In addition to being the usual only one or one of 2-3 males in some classes, I am also the “old foggie” at 67 but am able to keep up with just about any of them. Associating with a younger group of people exercising to the contemporary music keeps me younger physically and mentally than many of my age group.. Last week we did a 2 hour Zumbathon. 2 guys and about 60 women.

    Posted by Ron.S | November 21, 2012, 2:30 pm
  12. Well, Josh & Ron kudos to you. I remain too timid for zumba. I ALMOST entered the class. The class was starting. Really wanted to get some cardio done. My workout sched was messed up due to errands. I peered inside.15orswomen in zumba gear. The Latin music & the shimmy shake-shake began. I lost my nerve, that they might think me a perv. Acted lost & got onto the nearest elliptical machine. I’m having a hard enough time with body attack. All the hand claps. The high knee kicks & the cheerleader squad moves. I can’t say I enjoy it. Its more like taking medicine. My cardio has immensely improved, along with my coordination (the old shuffling feet..lol) So between step & attack & worx this is about as brave as I can get. Please, please, Les Mills can we not get this more gender neutral.

    Posted by Jay | November 21, 2012, 7:45 pm
    • Keep at it Jay. Go online and find Zumba videos to practice with. I prefer the dance inspired Zumba as the music, for me, is more enjoyable. My favorite instructor constantly works on her music and coreography so never gets boring. We just follow whatever she does. I enjoy the unpredictability which keeps the class fresh. Her cool down music was so good I told her it was being in Zumba and Yoga at the same time.

      Posted by Ron | November 21, 2012, 9:12 pm
  13. I’ve just turned 40, I’m a straight married guy and have been a dancer basically all my life. I do an hour of Zumba most days, it’s the perfect thing for me. Half an hour of muscle training before and after, and I get a complete workout. No mind-numbing treadmill or jogging any more. Women who frown at me in the beginning generally stop after the first song when they realize I’m not a spectator. The only reason why I don’t get certified myself is that my wife is an instructor and I don’t want to compete with her. It’s also great fun doing Zumba together as a couple. In my experience people who despise of Zumba and people (men and women) doing it are those who can’t do it themselves.

    Posted by Tom | November 21, 2012, 11:54 pm
  14. Hey, I just realized that I commented on this a while ago and surfed by again by chance. 🙂 Amnesia… must say I’m a little embarrassed about my previous rant that I just read now, Natasha. Your follow-ups show that you understand why people do this kind of exercise and enjoy it. I guess your original post was meant to be a little provocative, and it sure worked for me. 😉

    Posted by Tom | November 22, 2012, 3:13 am
    • Always nice to have a repeat visitor, Tom! 🙂

      Posted by Natasha (Domestica) | November 24, 2012, 6:26 am
    • Tom, you’re right the original post was provocative, so is the accompanying photo. Why photo? Older guy, gray hair, glasses. Not buff. Not dancer. Sort of nerdy looking. Every other individual is female. It reminds me of a YouTube video someone posted about why old white guys shouldn’t take cardio classes that was secretly taken & mocks a guy trying to follow the steps. The mocker in that instance is also male. So is the photo a celebration f odiversity? Or is it a mocking prank? Do you think the is photo funny? Or is it a question of context?

      Posted by Jay | March 29, 2013, 2:07 pm
      • I don’t find the photo provocative or funny. I can’t see a mockery or a celebration of whatever either. That’s simply a bunch of people doing some kind of workout – presumably Zumba, according to what the girl in the front is wearing. One of the participants is male, and I guess some other participants are his age and certainly in worse shape than him. As it’s a photo and not a video, it’s impossible to tell who’s able to do the moves and who’s not.

        Btw, I just spent a week at a Zumba “bootcamp” at a beach resort, which was totally awesome. No other guys around (except for some instructors), but who cares? As far as I could tell, none of the girls / women there found my presence disturbing or unpleasant. Anyway, the only person whose complaints I would take seriously is my wife, but she is perfectly fine with it. On one occasion, an instructor pulled me onto stage to assist her – I guess she wouldn’t do that if I was totally clueless.

        Posted by Tom | April 2, 2013, 1:43 am
  15. Learned a lot from this blog. I have been doing Zumba for past three months, still feel the intimidation every time I walk in the class, I always am the only one male, but I LOVE zumba which keep me going back. My moves are awkward, but I believe one day I will master. I know personally some women in the class, they are amused to see me in the class, laughing saying “are you trying something like that”, but I just love zumba, can’t live without it. I will keep doing no matter what other people think. Some women are very nice and friendly, I can feel it, one woman even high five with me at the end. One instructor singled me out in a good way saying “we have a guy here”, I was a little bit embarrassed, but actually she was happy to see me in the class.
    Frank

    Posted by Frank | March 29, 2013, 10:30 am
    • Keep it up, Frank. I have been doing Zumba from 4-6 days a week and am usually the only or one of a few males. From the beginning I have been in the front row and at 67 feel comfortable and can move with the best of them. Maybe not as flexible but have good timing and rhythm having followed a director in a gospel choir for 20 years. I told one instructor I was 47 years older and twice her weight and I had no trouble keeping up with her. Once they realize you are serious and not just there for the eye candy they will respect you.

      Posted by Ron | March 29, 2013, 1:08 pm
      • I forgot to mention that I have been doing this for 3 years with up to about seven instructors. So, I can handle whatever they throw at me. Don’t worry about the “girly” moves. Just go with it and enjoy the music and the motion.

        Ron

        Posted by Ron | March 29, 2013, 1:13 pm
        • Thank you very much for the encouragement, Ron. I will keep doing Zumba this time.
          Ten years ago, I tried “NIE” which stand for “Non Impact Exercise” or something else, it has a lot of dance move, I also tried “Latin Heat” and “Hip Hop”, I loved them all, because I was only male and time issue, I gave them up. I will not give up Zumba this time. Every time the Zumba class is over, I want to have more. That festival atmosphere is so contagious. I will feel more comfortable if there is another male in class. But that is OK. One day I will master those moves, this thought excites me. I have found something I can improve on. I can no longer improve my basketball skills because I am getting old, but for this dance , I can improve greatly.

          Posted by Frank | March 29, 2013, 1:46 pm
  16. I see no problem with the picture. He looks like he knows what he is doing and I don’t see him as nerdy or old etc. Just for the record, I am an older guy with gray hair and glasses, usually found in a room of women with, at most, one or two other guys or just myself. For the last three years you would find me on the front line and I have had no problem keeping up with or exceeding the efforts of others in the room. I probably do more Zumba (4-6 classes a week) than most of my classmates and some of the instructors.

    Posted by Ron | April 2, 2013, 7:34 am
    • Hey, this could have been written by myself. Grey-haired guy doing Zumba almost every day. Just that I don’t wear glasses. Keep enjoying the party, brother! 🙂

      Posted by Tom | April 2, 2013, 7:55 am
      • I do wear earplugs. I realize that many people like the music volume turned way up and I do too, to a point. When not exercising, I where hearing aids to enhance my hearing and feel I should protect my ears from further hearing loss. Besides, loud but not too loud, is just more enjoyable. Zumba has given me an appreciation for Latin and other genres that many people my age do not enjoy. Just another aspect of Zumba that keeps me mentally younger.

        Posted by Ron | April 2, 2013, 11:43 am
    • That is right, I don’t see any mockery in the photo. Contrarily, he is dancing pretty well, and in good shape. He might be better than many of female participants. Yesterday there was a guy who was hesitate to get in class. After I got in class, then he joined the class too. That was encouragement. Looking forward to the next Zumba class.

      Posted by Frank | April 2, 2013, 8:24 am
      • Thanks for all your comments, guys! I love hearing your personal stories. As you probably know from reading it, my original intention in writing this article was admittedly pretty shameful. I was pretty skeptical as to why any man would want to take a dance aerobic class. But after hearing all your amazing comments, I have definitely changed my tune and really value your insights! Keep it up — you guys are awesome!

        Posted by Natasha (Domestica) | April 2, 2013, 9:25 am
  17. Benefits of doing Zumba: 1) You get practice doing Salsa / Merengue … so whenever your lady friends want to go out and do something different you can suggest going to a salsa club (Be sure to take actual Salsa classes, busting out a Zumba routine doesn’t count as dancing at a club.)

    2) You over come being self conscious. Yes, the mirror amplifies your mistakes, shows that you’re uncoordinated and struggle to keep up with the women. After a couple of classes it becomes easier to get through, and you develop confidence. (Note: Even the woman at the opposite end of the class has stared at you during the class and if you ask her “I think i need some help” she has no problem answering “Yes I saw you.” (Damn those mirrors… i feel so violated))

    3) Helps with social interaction and have something in common … now you have something to talk about when it comes to the gym. Guys can’t talk to the ladies about ‘the burn’… getting your ‘pump on’… pushups / pull ups / crunches / burpees… that crushing feeling from bench pressing 225 lbs… all the things girls would benefit from getting a stronger core. Instead you can talk about the things they’re into… getting a cardio sweat going… seeing improvements (lets face it… strength takes a lot longer to develop… coordination can somewhat come faster with practice.

    4) It makes everyone in the class feel better: Thats right… we all know who the stumbling elephant in the room was for the first month… and that means none of the women can say “i was the worst person in the class” / “I feel so much more cordinated when compared to the lone guy.” So all the women feel more cheerful.

    I’ve been taking Zumba once a week to get practice at dancing to be ready for some weddings that will happen this summer. Its helped me tackle my anxiety, and given me an extra bounce to my step.

    Other funny things; I’m often introduce as “And this is the only guy in our class.” (i have a name you know.) or “he is also in the boot camp.”
    The clerk desk women often take a quick sneak peek into the class to see my … effort (Like you did.) It becomes conversation for the women in the locker room. Apparently, i’ve been getting points… Points? I didn’t know there was even a game let alone a score.
    I immediately hit a machine that works the back, put on 185+ lbs, to regain my masculinity and to remind the women, i do weights that are heavier than you. :).

    From one male – 33 – 186 lbs. 6″0 (Yes i stand out like a sore thumb where the average height is 5’4-5;7.)

    Posted by Andrew | April 25, 2013, 10:47 pm
  18. i’m a 125 lb “man” and I find zumba to be the best workout I have ever done. Refreshing and fast moving and no pain that is associated with lifting weights.

    Posted by mike | May 2, 2013, 5:20 am
  19. I have been going for two years now. I’m mid 30s, 6″2′ and 200 lbs now, lost over 20 lbs and put on a lot of muscle doing Zumba at least twice a week. I happen to love music and dancing, which helps, but I’m not going to lie: none of that helped when I first joined. I was terribly intimidated and self conscious. I slowly got over it, helped by the fact that most of the women were very welcoming and friendly (not all of them though). I’m now just another one of the crew.

    The cardio and workout is INTENSE. Depending on the instructor and pace of moves, I burn between 500 and 800 calories in a 60 minute session. It takes every last bit of effort out of me and it makes me feel great. Find an instructor who pushes hard and keeps the energy high.

    Posted by Lee | June 5, 2013, 8:40 am
  20. And this is why so many of us stopped trying… No matter what anyone says, there really are folks sitting back laughing at us making fools of ourselves making an effort.

    Posted by Jayce | June 12, 2013, 6:28 pm
    • I think it’s time for a follow-up to this popular post! There are many men who have commented here who have helped change my opinion and I now think it’s great that men are in these classes. I will always respect a carefree attitude that doesn’t get caught up in what other people think — I think men doing Zumba is a perfect example of this!

      Posted by Natasha (Domestica) | June 13, 2013, 8:19 am
  21. I have to say since the three years i have been with zumba. I have had the best-est of time. I am a guy next summer i will in fact be a zumba instructor. But please if you are a guy stay have fun and be yourself it is one our of exciting fun and you may and will make friends. the zumba crew is my family I AM WITH THEM EVERYDAY OF THE WEEK 3 HOURS A DAY. I Love ZUMBA!!!!!!!!!! If you are a guy don’t heist to try.

    Posted by Dylan Eby | July 4, 2013, 1:21 am
  22. I’m a male who is trying to get in shape and i do lift weights in the gym..and often found myself glancing thru the glass door and was always interested in taking a Zumba class , just for the kicks!!

    Trying not to stare at pretty women is harder for me than exercising and sweating it out 😉

    Posted by trupod | September 1, 2013, 8:08 am
    • That’s great dude! I love it. The funny thing is, it was also hard for me not to stare at the pretty women when i started. However, after a while they become your friends and you get used to it. I now have a lot of my guy friends coming up to me asking me to introduce them to pretty women. I tell them just take Zumba class.

      Posted by Josh traverso | September 1, 2013, 10:02 am
      • Well i am a male zumba instructor and i believe that it should be your insensitive to go stare at women in my class i believe that would be uncomfortable if my students (women) stared at me like that you should want to go to have fun and meet new people and do great things for your body.

        Posted by Dylan | September 1, 2013, 2:13 pm
  23. Well, its been almost a year since my first post here. I’ve made an outstanding discovery, Natasha. Its Hip Hop. It s male. It testosterone. There’s an equal divide in genders. The instructors are male. There’s no fru-fru moves orshimmy-shimmy shake. Its thug, its gangsta. IThe music is graphic. Its dance, parkour, its aerobics. The instructors are pro choreographers.Its a great workout. Bye, bye zumba

    Posted by Jay | September 1, 2013, 6:27 pm
    • Awesome, Jay! I love hip hop. 🙂

      Posted by Natasha (Domestica) | September 3, 2013, 8:00 am
    • Good for you, Jay. Go for it! I don’t like Hip Hop, though. Maybe it’s the testosterone. Maybe the thugs. Anyway, it’s just not my thing. Or maybe I simply want to connect to my feminine side doing shimmy-shimmy shakes, who knows? 🙂

      If it’s ok for girls to do gangsta moves, it should be ok for me to shake my butt, if I feel like it. Nobody probably ever started a thread like this one why girls are in these testosterone-packed classes. I don’t accept that women have more freedom of choice without being frowned at. Hope Zumba will be around for a loooong time. As long as it is, I’ll be in these classes.

      Posted by Tom | September 4, 2013, 9:40 pm

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