Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Does Zuzka Really ONLY Workout 12-20 Min a Day? BR Day 39

So many of you might know from yesterday that I posted a question on Zuzka's FB page about her workouts:

I'm curious Zuzka Light, since you only do short intense workouts, how did you learn to do pistols? (you showed us a 44lb weighted on once!) Handstands? double unders? pull ups? arm balances? etc?!?! Many of those things take longer than 10-15 min of practice a day for elite athletes!

Zuzka's response: Zuzka Light It took me two days to learn a pistol squat. That was back when I started doing these short intense workouts. When it comes to strength, agility and flexibility my workouts do wonders! I have a pull up bar in my bathroom so what I do and what I recommend to others is to do a few pull ups 3-5 every time you enter your bathroom. I learned this strategy just like the pistol squat from Pavel Tsatsouline. Handstands I had to learn, that's why I did the arm balance challenge and all I did was a short practice every day just to learn the skill. When it comes to gymnastics, and different physical skills, they are much easier to learn if you're already in a a great shape. Which I'm proud to say that I am.

Well, well, well - that's one conceited response if I've ever heard one and this does not make her come across as likable either - or at least to me.
A couple of you chimed in yesterday on the comments saying it did not take you long to learn pistols (lucky you!), and I doubt that it took Zuzka a long time either. She hit the genetic jack pot when it comes to fitness and I wish she would acknowledge that. Would it really be so hard for her to admit that she is naturally gifted?
For those of you who want to know how much genetics can affect your ability to squat, read this (which was written by a DR) : 

I also had a couple of other problems with this response. First - notice her sales pitch in the answer. She also doesn't answer how she learned to do pull ups in the first place. She was doing them on BR long before she got Kettlebell certitified (Pavel is part of Dragon Door where she went for her cert). Handstands I am assuming is from muscle memory from when she was a kid and did gymnastics.
She comes across so arrogant in her answer - well to me she does.
It takes people months - years to master skills she does in minutes. She could acknowledge that as well.

Lets put this all into perspective here. Zuzka's only selling point is that if you work out like her and eat like her you will look like her - PERIOD.
It is not really about clothes, fancy pieces of equipment, and it's certainly not her pristine image or impeccable customer service skills. It's her abs, arms, and butt.
Will some of us look like her if we eat and work out like her? I'm sure lots of us will look WAY better. But look like her? Maybe some will if you happen to be lucky enough to have the same body type.
 Lets face it, if her tactics REALLY worked, then there would be nearly a half a million Zuzka look a likes running around (she has gotten almost than many likes on FB).
It's just like the question - do diet pills really work? If they REALLY worked then no one would be fat! If her "formula" of short intense workouts (with body weight only or under 30 lb weights) with a carb controlled diet truly did lead to sculpted arms, six pack abs, and jacked legs there would be many more of us out there.

One of my readers (thanks CJ!) pointed this out from the Angry Trainer (he has his own web-site and FB page so if you are not familiar with him, check him out)

CJ's comments also cracked me up a little bit:

First she tells us she got her body by doing only 12 – 20 mins a day of exercises (which now includes pull ups every time she enters the bathroom). Now she was able to master pistol squats and handstands in such short time.
Not saying all saying it is all impossible, but dammit she is coming off like one of those superhuman people who not only have genetics on their side but skills as well.
Zuzka, please hire a PR person. You'll be more successful and believable when you do.

Lets note that Zuzka's sales might plummet if she publicly acknowledged how genetically gifted she is. People need to believe that they can look like her by buying her membership. Maybe you do believe it. She has transformed lots of bodies out there. You need to decide if it is worth your $10 a month.

Zuzka IS very motivating and inspires people all over the world to workout - which is a FANTASTIC thing. I love that about her, Especially since so much of the world is plagued with CVD, diabetes and obesity. GET moving. Eat better. If Zuzka inspires you to do that, then go for it. If super short workouts are your thing, then she's perfect for you. I have nothing wrong with that, and hope she keeps it up. She's good at it. I just personally do not think she is completely honest about it (its either genetics or she works out more than she says she does). Though I do suppose honesty is not a business requirement. I am however a firm believer of what comes around goes around. :)

Z posted a new 5 min workout today. It has a push AND pull exercise. She only used 8 lbs for the plank rows, and I'm sure she could go heavier. The 8 lbs are good for the overhead chair squats - that's not an exercise that you would not need a lot of weight for.
Also, it is an exercise that I would as a trainer use with caution. The shoulder, hip, and low back mobility is greatly needed for this exercise. I would recommend using NO weight at first to see how your body reacts if you have issues with any of these body parts.
For those of you who do struggle with certain exercises - like anything overhead or pistols for instance, this article might be an interesting read for you:

I did really like the workout though. Full body routine, challenging exercises and if you only have 5 minutes, only do 5 minutes! Some exercise is always better than no exercise. You could always add on to make it a longer workout if you needed to. Which is another very good thing about both Z's and BR's workouts. You can always add on.

BR posted Day 39 and it is a full body routine. This workout was a lot more like the typical HIIT Maxx workouts of the past weeks. There was no cardio in between which I like better. Lisa asked us for our opinions - to let her know if we liked it this way better. The reason why I do is because for strength - you need energy. The cardio zaps you of your energy. In order to get stronger you need that energy. Remember - the stronger you are the better you look! Use that as a motto during your workouts and you'll progress faster. Cardio has its place, don't get me wrong, but I prefer to go heavy enough that my heart is pumping without the need to jump and punch and run and skip.
Lisa uses the sandbag a lot as well as the equalizer. This routine is a good one to do by itself for 3 rounds as well - there is lots of legs, arms and abs. I of course would switch one of the pushing exercises for a freaking PULL exercise. :)
Lisa does so many push ups and overhead presses - but no chest presses. I am wondering if the implants have something to do with it. I'm not positive but I think you are not supposed to do a lot of chest presses if you have implants under the muscle.
The BR workouts use SO much equipment sometimes it gets confusing - especially for 12 minutes. I do like equipment. I would buy every piece I could get my hands on, because it feels like toys for an adult -  but it gets expensive after a while! Some of it would just collect dust too, and I know that. My next investment will most likely be a sandbag.

The dailyhiit is offering a special on a guide bundle if anyone is interested. :) Is it just me or does anyone else have trouble with the links posted on FB? Makes me crazy.

I'm trying to decide what I want for Christmas. I often ask for something fitness related -a new Lululemon outfit, sneakers, a Kettlebell...... this year I am looking into DVD's or downloads for my new parallette bars. I absolutely LOVE them. :)


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. When you have breast implants, chest presseses are not much recommended, because those moves can make the implants move further away from each other :) The space between them would be wider than you´d like.

    1. Ah! Thanks for the clarification Lena.

  3. Gina, check this video from the old BR with Zuzanna from Nov 22 2009, where she's talking about the Pavel's Grease the Groove method she was applying at that time. This way you can increase the performance of any exercise:
    Here is another workout where she she's performing a perfect cartwheel, she admitted to have a gymnastic background, which is fine. It helped her learning the handstand without a doubt:
    The third link shows Zuzka performing a weighted pistol squat in 2010:
    You can tell I'm a fitness nut, I did every Zuzka's workout from the old BR at least once and I still go back on a regular basis :)

    I don't care how much she works out, because I know she's a fitness professional and makes money the way she looks and performs. My body is similar to Zuzka's, although I'm not willing to eat that little, just in order to have a six-pack! Actually, I had visible abs before getting pregnant and having my baby 6 month ago. I adore Zuzka's body, but it's not everything in my life. I just enjoy exercising very much and try to keep my diet in check.
    Lucky me, I wasn't envolved in the old/new ZGym mess. Now I'm member of the new ZGym, because I love her workouts. That's all I need. Just give me a great workout and I'm good. I don't care about her actual diet and the amount of exercise. I just will stick to my heavy weight training at the gym and the lovely brutal finishers of Zuzka's.
    I know what works for me best.

    1. Thanks for the links! I too was lucky after pregnancy. I left the hospital both times in my regular jeans. But I'm willing to admit where I am blessed with genetics. It's great that you know what works best for you. A lot of people haven't figured that out yet.

    2. Zuzka has a gymnastic background? How on earth did Zuzka not learn a handstand? Unless her coach did things differently, a handstand is one of the few beginning moves in gymnastics. Not picking on her but to say she has a background in gymnastic but didn't know how to do a handstand is ridiculous.

    3. She did it when she was a kid for several months I believe, but her mom made her stop. I don;t know how extensive her background was in it, but she said she had gotten pretty good at it at one time. I'll have to see if I can dig that up, but it might be on the BR site.

    4. Here it is CJ - from Dragon Door:

      Also notice how she never prepared for the snatch test. I find this MID boggling. I wrote to DD asking them how she passed this test without preparing. Their failure rate for that test is nearly 30% for people who DO practice. There was a post on Zuzka's FB page doing snatches where a few of us commented on her form as well. I don't want to always pick on either, but I'd like some insight or truth or details on HOW all of this can happen for her without practice.

    5. Did DD answer your question? I'm curious about that, too. Although I wonder if they know whether she was prepared or not.

    6. They did not. People prepare for that test for months! Zuzka walks in unprepared and passes it. Did she really not prepare at all? Did DD let her pass because of who she is? Maybe she had beginners luck and just nailed it that day. I speculate! But her form is a bit off with snatches - again IMO.