Cardiovascular demands and training load during a Zumba® session in healthy adult women

E. A. Marques, J. Ferreira, J. Carvalho, P. Figueiredo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective The physiological changes that occur with an episode of exercise have been used to characterize the physical demands while exercising. The aim of this study was to analyze the training load and cardiovascular response to a 50-minute continuous bout of Zumba in female adults. Methods Forty-two adult women aged 18–64 years old performed one session of Zumba® Fitness in a gym setting. Exercise intensity was quantified using heart rate (HR) and expressed as the percentage of maximum HR (%HRmax), and the amount of time spent in each exercise-intensity zones during the Zumba session. Banister's training impulse (TRIMP) was used to quantify the internal training load. Results The average HR was 135 ± 19 bpm, which corresponded to 73 ± 8% of HRmax, accounting for a total TRIMP of 56 ± 24. Three clusters were identified based on time spent in each intensity zone. Clusters 1, 2 and 3 exercised most of the 50-min session in light, moderate and vigorous intensities, respectively. Similarly, total training load was significantly different between clusters, where cluster 3 registered the highest values (81.5 ± 18.6) compared to clusters 1 and 2 (25.7 ± 8.9 and 55.2 ± 13.1, respectively). Age was positively correlated (P < 0.05) with time in very light (r = 0.47) and light exercise intensity zones (r = 0.43), and negatively correlated with vigorous (r = −0.49) and near maximum (r = −0.33). Conclusion Findings from the present study support that Zumba® provides sufficient cardiorespiratory demand for enhancing aerobic fitness mostly in younger adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e235-e243
JournalScience and Sports
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Cluster analysis
  • Fitness classes
  • Heart rate
  • Physical effort

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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