• Dr Susan Baxter

Ok so what is ZUU?

Updated: Apr 4, 2020

Whilst presenting my PhD research at FILEX 2015; I stumbled across ZUU as the conference was officially opened. As a compete novice, unaware of what ZUU is or was, I will tell you what it was like… it seemed like a really slow break dance. It was extremely elegant to behold: it was a minimislic style exercise of course, maybe like ballet but mixed with crossfit? So I figured I would do what I do best and research for you…. Let’s start with where ZUU came from. It is foretold that ZUU Creator Nathan Hellberg started doing some cross training with his gymnast brother. Much to his confusion, he realised that despite his brother not doing the training that he was doing, his arm strength was comparable to his own. He also noticed that his brother had better mobility and flexibility, both of which are important for lifetime training and functional gains.

He thought that this was a bit of a good situation so he decided to go about creating a concept of training along these functional form and movement lines. The concept was functional movements and as such they emulate how you might see animals move in the animal kingdom. The concept is called ZUU because it uses primal moving patterns, much like what other animals do, in order to incorporate a full body workout of all muscle groups. There are bouts of high intensity for short periods, slow intensity for longer periods. In this way both the aerobic and anaerobic energy systems are targeted. Some movements are completely innovative (moving like an Iguana I think falls into this category); and some are the tried and tested methods.

As I mentioned, it uses just your bodyweight: no equipment is required, and that makes it a pretty cool concept for those on the road without access to a gym or equipment. Since inception it has been made into a class format for many health clubs, and also has been used by the British Military. In fact if you do not believe just how intense the sessions might be, the TV show “The Search for Hurt” actually featured ZUU: so that might be testament as to just how hard the sessions could be! I haven’t yet tried a ZUU class but I certainly intend to when the opportunity arises: it seems like a great way to kick back into one of those fun style workouts which certainly won’t disappoint my desire for workout intensity!

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Thank you for reading.

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