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Unleash your animal instincts

12 Mar 2014

Virgin Active brings high-intensity full body workout phenomenon exclusively to the UK.

ZUU, the Australian-born fitness sensation based entirely on "primal" movements will be exclusively available at Virgin Active Health Clubs throughout the UK late summer.

Designed by fitness enthusiast and expert in human movement Nathan Helberg, ZUU combines high-intensity interval training with exercises grounded in the seven primal and most natural of human movements – push, pull, bend, twist, squat, lunge and locomotion. Popular with international athletes, sports teams and the military, ZUU’s mix of strength and energy system training creates an exhilarating and intense full body workout that can burn up to 600 calories in 30 minutes.

ZUU has over 100 unique moves, with each one working the aerobic and anaerobic energy systems and named after the animal from which it’s inspired, for example 'Gorillas', 'Bears', 'Iguanas' and 'Frogs'.

Virgin Active's Head of Exercise & Wellbeing, Andy Birch says, "The beauty of ZUU is that whilst it's a new concept, it's based on the most basic of principles – human movement, in addition to inclusivity, positive culture and reward. Programmes like ZUU will help our members rediscover the basic principles of movement that come so naturally to us as babies and children, but are often forgotten as teens and adults due to the sedentary lifestyles of modern living or the fact that as we get older, we tend to focus on only one physical activity.

"Helping our members of all ages rediscover the joy of movement, and become more proficient in it at the same time, is the focus of many new concepts and classes that we will be introducing this year. Our goal is to help our members move better, feel better and ultimately live happily ever active."

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 works using a range of full body movements that combine multiple  large muscle groups and smaller stabilising muscle groups at the same time, pushing the human body's neuromuscular control and joint stability and mobility to the max.

More experienced gym-goers looking for an even tougher workout can use the unique Ankorr system that allows them to attach themselves to a fixed point or their Personal Trainer and work using resistance bungees that facilitate a fluid 360 degree movement based resistance workout.

ZUU founder Nathan Helberg comments: "Before ZUU I was 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 didn'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."

"Since 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. It's an exhilarating workout and I am extremely excited to be working with Virgin Active to introduce it to the UK."

Andy Birch continues, "Virgin Active prides itself on being at the forefront of innovation and being first to discover and bring our UK members the latest and best fitness discoveries from around the world. ZUU has enjoyed huge success in our clubs in Australia, a nation known for its love of innovative forms of exercise, and we are thrilled to be bringing it to the UK."