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Jazzercise: A Review

Living Social had a deal going: 28$ (I think it was) for 10 weeks of Jazzercise. I’ve never tried Jazzercise, and they have really early morning classes at the one near me (No Zumba classes seem to be held this early- what is up with that?) so I decided to give it a go. Normally, Jazzercise classes run about 40$ a month.

I went 3-4 times a week, at 5:30 am for 10 weeks. Here is what I liked:

Consistency, and variety. I had a different instructor each day and they all seemed to know the same routines, but the routines rotated, so I wasn’t doing the same routines every day. This kept things fresh and fun.

Current music. Nice variety of music.

Friendly, welcoming staff, teachers and participants. I felt genuinely welcomed and accepted. Very non-competitive atmosphere.

Clean, well lit, warm facility. I looked forward to going there every morning. (this was at a dedicated Jazzercise center)

Fun choreography.

Now what I didn’t like:

This is probably just me, but I am used to pushing myself intensely when I work out. I love to have buckets of sweat running down me. I know, I know- you don’t have to sweat buckets to get an effective workout, but I am much more satisfied when I do. Their chart of perceived exertion recommended backing off when you got to the point where you couldn’t talk and exercise at the same time, and I like my workouts more intense than this. For the other participants in class with me, they were probably just fine with it. It is a very non-intimidating environment. However, if you are looking to leave it all on the gym floor, you might be disappointed in this. It will not ask you for everything.

Also, the slavish adherence to Jazz feels dated. I think even Bob Fosse would say you don’t have to do rib isolations in every warm up.

Lastly, the kick box technique is bizarre and does not resemble any of the techniques I have taken in any cardio kickboxing format. You can look up “Jazzercise kickboxing” on YouTube and see what I mean.

Overall, I enjoyed it. Despite my criticisms, I would be interested in maintaining a membership if it were about half the price it is. Any workout you actually go to is better than the ones you don’t, and my motivation has been seriously lacking of late. Never underestimate the appeal of a clean, well lit place full of friendly people who all just want to shake it, at 5:30 in the morning.

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Jazzercise vs. Zumba

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It is no secret that Jazzercise has an image problem.I mean, it has been around forever. Just the word ‘Jazzercise’ conjures up images of my friend’s mom in sweats and a headband, and perhaps an off-the-shoulder sweatshirt? Terry wrist brands? Yet, it seems to be doing fine. Look at this video- there are plenty of young women in this room! (check out these women shakin’ it.)

But all the current clips of actual classes I can find of it on You Tube are like the above clip- very repetitive, dated choreography and rather unimaginative. And you can’t blame any of that on the individual instructor because it is all canned choreography and music.

What am I missing? Why is this so popular?

I love dancing, so if I am missing something great I want to know!

So I am going to do a scientific analysis of Jazzercise and compare it to other fitness formats and see how it stacks up.

Some criteria we will look at:
Choreography- (hope you like jazz squares…)
Superstars- (I wish I had a video game where fitness superstars faced off against each other)
Branded Clothing- (so glad I don’t have to look at thong leotards for this category)
Music- (the only cardio class I ever walked out of was one that used Hooked on showtunes)
Business Model- (the least important, but instructive as far as the “why” goes.)

Let’s get it on!!!

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