After rounding the corner from the new year and sailing steadily into spring, our dancers are feeling at their peak. It is prime training and competing time for L2D. The hours spent in the studios working hard in technique, ballet and working tirelessly on movement and style are paying off. By this time in our season, these ladies and gents seem unstoppable. They are trained and feeling the effects of endurance!
Every year they train…and then we get to July and take a much needed break. We spend the month working on our sun tans and spending time with family and friends…and then August comes! Many of our dancers comment that they feel like they no longer have the endurance they worked so hard for the previous dance season.
They aren’t the only athletes who share this “cause and effect” of training. In fact, it can all be explained with a little biology. In an article published by SHAPE.COM written in 2017 by K. Aleisha Fetters, they talk about this endurance phenomenon head on and explain it perfectly!
It all has to do with the body’s ability to deliver oxygen efficiently to where it needs to go. What causes these efficiencies is the very training our L2D dancers subject themselves to week after week. With all that practice their bodies are learning to deliver oxygen to muscles faster and more effectively. In turn they are creating endurance! It’s scientifically proven! BUT, and here’s the but…according to Chris Jordan, C.S.C.S., C.P.T.. “within as little as two weeks” of taking a break from training, “the activity of oxygen-processing enzymes in the body’s muscles decreases and the muscles begin to hold less and less glycogen…”. What does all that fancy talk mean? It means less oxygen is being delivered to your muscles and they get tired faster!
So how fast do you lose all the endurance you’ve worked so hard for? In one study mentioned in the article it says that a group of adults “stuck to regular cardio routines for four months straight, and then took a whole month off.” The result was them loosing “almost all of their aerobic gains.” That our L2D dancers and supporters, is why in August we come back and our bodies can’t do what we were doing in June!
So how do we keep our endurance? The article suggests the remedy is easy. Continued 3 days of rigorous cardio work outs will help you maintain endurance throughout July until you get back to your usual training in August. So, even though you may not be dancing in the studios, you can go for a run, take a class at the gym or find other ways to keep your oxygen flowing! You might like to know that there is a silver lining that may bring you all a little comfort. According to the article, “while it can take anywhere from weeks to months to build your cardio back up, it will undoubtedly take less work than it did the first time around.”
Good luck Luv 2 Dance and continued cheers from all of us as you prepare for recitals and continue with competition! July isn’t here yet, but it’s just around the corner, so keep working and keep training! Let the oxygen flow!