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AZULVIOLETA6 SparkPoints: (66,733)
Fitness Minutes: (74,443)
Posts: 3,293
11/21/13 3:45 P

It also depends on size. Someone like me who is nearly 6' tall and more than keeping up with the instructors? Yes, I can believe that I burn 800 calories during a Zumba class.

Swimming a mile burns a similar number of calories according to the Spark tracker, but I feel like Zumba is a more intense workout. This varies by instructor of course.

GRACILU Posts: 466
11/21/13 10:58 A

I have a Fitbit One and Sparkpeople just log in my Fitbit minutes. I keep track of how long I workout whether it be Zumba or the gym or walking or work (I am a private caregiver so a lot of being on my feet)and then I go to and do the break down there. It sounds like a lot of work but if you want to know your specific stats that's how I do it. I like to know my numbers to change my goals.

KIMBAJL Posts: 2,763
8/14/13 11:28 A

I just estimate what calories are burned...I love Zumba and think its a lot of fun so the burned calories are just an added benefit. :)

DEANNA0725 SparkPoints: (22,611)
Fitness Minutes: (13,947)
Posts: 2,072
8/14/13 11:23 A

I usually input that my hour class is only 50 minutes so I don't over estimate how many calories I am burning. I don't own a hrm because I cannot afford one at this time, but as soon as i can I am going to get one.

DARKDEETS SparkPoints: (14,744)
Fitness Minutes: (31,691)
Posts: 234
8/14/13 11:00 A

I don't even think about the calories, I would go if I didn't burn any, just because it is sooooo much fun....And the physical conditioning has been great for me and I am no young chicken anymore. .I must admit I am always amazed at how much I sweat!

MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 15,363
5/6/13 8:26 P

Actually, an HRM is NOT always an accurate measure of calories burned. The true measure of calorie burn is oxygen consumption, but this is hard to measure outside a lab.

HRM's instead measure how fast the heart is pumping (oxygen rich) blood around the body, and in many cases this is a pretty good proxy for oxygen consumption.

But high blood pressure and some medications can lead to an accelerated heart rate, above what the exercise itself warrants. Another classic HRM error is the units of measure between the kilogram and pound settings, leading people to overestimate calories burned by about double. Poor contact beteen skin and the device can also lead to overestimates.

I don't dispute that people are seeing 1000 calories reported by their HRM, but it is extremely unlikely that this is a true reflection of their actual calorie burn.

Calorie burns above 700 an hour are working pretty hard, and figures above 800 an hour should be regarded with a great deal of skepticism. This has nothing to do with whether Zumba is a great workout - I'd be just skeptical if someone reported burning 1000 an hour on the elliptical. There are limits to how hard the human body can work out, and fun and great as Zumba is, it hasn't reinvented those limits.


5/6/13 7:19 P

what ever

CECE0330 Posts: 3,464
5/6/13 5:33 P

A lot of calories burned will depend directly on the student. If you look around any group fitness class, you will see students at ALL levels of intensity. Some who know the moves and have been coming to class forever will be putting more effort into it, thus perhaps burning more, while a new student might only burn 200-300 calories for the hour because they are spending their time trying to figure out what the heck is going on.

Students who wear monitors typically report anywhere from 500-800 at the end of class.

ROXIELU0422 Posts: 317
5/6/13 12:53 P

YES you can burn 1000 calories in a Zumba class. I am an instructor and can do it if I'm really pushing myself. My students have HRM as well and show them to me. so yes it is possible and NOT a rumor.

It honestly depends on what kind of music and how high impact your instructor is. Me, I'm medium to high impact on most days. I do NOT stop or take breaks. I tell my students to pace themselves. If they need a break take one.

Bottom line, the harder you work, the more calories you burn. You can't go into any class with expectations of what kind of calorie burn you will have. It's truly up to you and everyone is different. Seriously, get a HRM and it will give you an accurace count of your calorie burn. You will be amazed.

FITWITHIN SparkPoints: (442,632)
Fitness Minutes: (282,002)
Posts: 23,790
5/5/13 1:31 P

I wear a fitness monitor and it breaks down total body calories in a 24 hours period and actually exercise calories. Thank you

5/4/13 7:37 P

I've done zumba for the last 6 years and wear a heart rate monitor and if you push it with zumba and have a top notch instructor, max is 600 and thats pushing it. This rumor of 1000 calories is not true. Even in a 45 minute spin class, you could do 650-700.

MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 15,363
5/4/13 7:15 P


We burn calories in 3 main ways:

* most people burn between 1300 and 1900 calories per day just keeping their basic metabolism (eg. breathing, heartbeat, etc) ticking over - google 'BMR calculator' to get a better fix on this number for you
* a sedentary lifestyle is generally reckoned to burn 20% in addition to BMR for daily non-exercise activities
* what you burn through dedicated exercise

Exercise is normally only a small component of your overall calorie burn. You don't need to (and shouldn't), burn all your intake off through exercise alone.


KATHYLOOP SparkPoints: (751)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 30
5/4/13 6:22 P

I know we're supposed to burn more calories then we take in...but how is that possible if we can only exercise about 30 minutes a day?

FITWITHIN SparkPoints: (442,632)
Fitness Minutes: (282,002)
Posts: 23,790
5/4/13 4:40 P

I did a Zumba fitness video taping yesterday and I burned over 1,100 calories. Last Sunday I did 2 hours of Zumba and burned over 1,300 calories. I average 500 - 800 plus during a not so intense 1 hour class.

MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 15,363
5/3/13 9:44 P

With vigorous exercise, most people burn around 8-10 calories per minute (480-600 per hour) on a sustained basis, and Spark's estimates are pretty consistent with this.

A fit person working extremely hard (ie. pushing to the top of the cardio range) might burn 10-13 calories a minute (600-800 per hour). But for an intructor to suggest that everyone in a class could expect to burn this many calories is exaggerating things at best. Someone who is more cynical than I might speculate as to whether they have a vested interest in doing so.

I don't mean to dis Zumba - it's great exercise that has made working out actually fun for a lot of people. But unless it has found a way of fundamentally altering human biology, this is the reality of how fast the body can supply energy and oxygen to the muscles.


DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (60,581)
Fitness Minutes: (15,172)
Posts: 9,707
5/3/13 4:25 P

How much of a workout it is depends on the instructor and the student in question. :) 700 is a lot... I've done some boot camp style classes, but the few times I've done Zumba, it was a much less impressive 500 or so. Given the OP's weight, 700 may actually be expecting a lot.

INNERBEAUTY78 Posts: 217
5/3/13 2:20 P

The Zumba instructor that teaches on Saturdays tells the class every time before he starts that you'll burn 700 calories. Obviously it's either more or less depending on certain factors. That's not having high expectations at all. If you've taken Zumba before you know how much of a workout it is.

DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (60,581)
Fitness Minutes: (15,172)
Posts: 9,707
5/3/13 12:57 P

How many calories for how much time did the calculator estimate for you? How much were you expecting? Often it's not the calculator that's low, it may be your expectations are high!

5/3/13 11:56 A

Absolutely agreed with the heart rate calculator, if you want a really rough estimate, during your Zumba workout, check the clock, place your fingers on a pulse point (I usually use my neck) and count how many beats you can in 10 seconds. Multiply that by 6, and that's your BPM, you can find some rough calories burned by BPM calculators online (however I stress that they are not entirely accurate but it helps to get a very rough idea if you want.)

ROXIELU0422 Posts: 317
5/2/13 12:03 P

get a HRM, it's the best way to calculate it.

SIMONEKP Posts: 2,617
5/2/13 9:28 A

I find that the calculators generally overestimate. I suggest buying a HR monitor.

BENGEC1 SparkPoints: (7,572)
Fitness Minutes: (3,439)
Posts: 32
5/2/13 9:24 A

I know that Zumba calories depend on heart rate, weight of person and intensity. I just wondered why the fitness calculator gives such a low number of calories burned for Zumba.


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