Verge were lucky enough to try out a revolutionary new workout named ZUU. Based on animal movements and getting back to the primal self, ZUU uses all the muscles in the body in different animal-esque moves; every movement works the aerobic and anaerobic energy systems. Squat, crawl and slither your way around the gym with this amazing workout.
ZUU combinesÂ high-intensity interval training with exercises grounded in the seven primal and most natural of human movements â€“ push, pull, bend, twist, squat, lunge and locomotion.
There are numerous benefits of ZUU – it develops mobility, agility, flexibility and cardiovascular endurance whilst strengthening muscles, joints, tendons, ligaments and fascia. Unlike more traditional workouts that focus on one isolated movement at a time (e.g. bench press or ab crunch), ZUU uses a range of full body movements that simultaneously combine multiple large muscle groups and smaller stabilising muscle groups to push the human bodyâ€™s neuromuscular control, joint stability and mobility to the max.
Needless to say, the class was tough, the rise in my heart rate was almost instant, but Nathan was great and motivated us to keep going no matter how difficult it got.Â We started off with a â€˜simpleâ€™ bearcrawl â€“ one of Nathanâ€™s favourite moves. This involved running forwards on all fours, this was swiftly followed by the reverse bearcrawl, with Nathan continually reminding us to push with our hands and let our feet follow naturally. Pretending to be a bear is harder than it looks, I could feel all the muscles in my arms, back and legs working (which quickly distracted me from any slight feeling of embarrassment). The workout was completely exhilarating and I felt great.
We then moved on to the frog squat; a great movement for legs and it really opens up the hips, which Nathan explained is really important as the hips are a huge source of power. This movement, combined with the bear crawl, was enough to get me near to the point of exhaustion, but Nathanâ€™s enthusiasm just about kept me going.
Nathan told us of his journey towards ZUU; he had started as a power lifter, but got concerned after training with his brother who is an athlete, and realised he had lost a lot of flexibility in his joints and his fitness had decreased hugely. Though he was strong, it was only in set planes. Nathan became determined to gain his fitness back, or, in his words: â€˜I wanted to kick my brotherâ€™s assâ€™, and VOILA!: ZUU was born.
Nathan Helberg: â€œBefore ZUU I wasÂ fit and strong but only in singular movements. When I tried exercises that worked multiple muscle groups I found my joints were weak and unstable. Channelling these frustrations, I developed a more functional style of training that didnâ€™t involve weights or machines, but used body-weight to improve the range of motion and overall strength. The results were incredible, my anaerobic and aerobic thresholds dramatically increased as did my joint mobility, flexibility and lean muscle mass.â€
Â â€œSince its conception, ZUU has been adopted worldwide by people with all levels of fitness from first-time gym goers to international athletes and the military. Itâ€™s an exhilarating workout and I am extremely excited to be working with Virgin Active to introduce it to the UK.â€
After trying the workout, it was not a surprise to find that it has been used to train top athletes. However, as Nathan explained, one of the benefits of ZUU is that it can be done by anybody, or, to quote the ZUU motto: â€˜Itâ€™s for anyone, not for everyoneâ€™. Nathan explained that there is always an easier way to do the movement for beginners until you are flexible and fit enough to progress â€“ (he proved this while double lapping me on the reverse bear-crawl). After the 20 minutes were up I felt totally tired, but also totally motivated – Â ZUU had done itâ€™s job!
ZUU can provide results in fitness and flexibility in just 2 weeks â€“ just the day after my 20 minutes with Nathan I noticed muscles that I didnâ€™t even know existed were aching â€“ and I realised this is definitely something to keep up.
ZUU is fun, different, and totally therapeutic â€“ Â it definitely has Vergeâ€™s seal of approval. If you want to change up your exercise routine and see big results in fitness and flexibility, or if you just fancy letting your animal instincts out and bear-crawling to your hearts content, get down to your nearest Virgin Active and give this a whirl. You will not regret it.
For more information about ZUU visit: https://www.thezuu.com.au
To find your nearest class visit: https://www.virginactive.co.uk