by Vrushabh Sikarwar (Elevatte Fitness)
Looking at fitness trends across the country today, there seems to be a common misconception that gyms, weight rooms, and training centres are industrial body building factories. Resistance training is majorly viewed from this one-dimensional aesthetic lens, negating the wonderful benefits of the added external stress we place on our internal systems, which in turn creates adaptations. Okay wait hold on, stress? Adaptation? What are all these terms? Bear with me a couple more minutes and I will simplify this for you.
As humans, the greatest gift we have is that of adaptation. Imagine yourself on your first day of dance class. Replay the memory, picture yourself trying to perfect the first ever routine you did. Would you not say that today you are a “better” dancer than when you started? Looking back, it seems pretty obvious right? Of course you were going to improve! Every time we do something new, it starts off as difficult, and requires a lot of attention and focus. But as we continue to do it consistently and progressively, we become better at it.
At a base level all our bodies care about is survival. Everything we do outside of fulfilling those basic survival needs are external stressors. Whenever we are faced with this external stress for a prolonged period of time and in the right doses, our bodies’ internal structures update and upgrade themselves to be able to better handle this external stress that is being placed on it.
Dancing also places external demands on the body, requiring it to control and coordinate all the skills you are trying to learn and instill in yourself. As a dancer you have probably achieved a certain level of fitness as you have moved forward in your journey. That two-minute routine is not as exhausting anymore. You have more awareness of your body in time and space. Your legs, core, arms don’t get as fatigued anymore – you get the gist.
Understanding this fundamental concept will allow you to make better decisions regarding your training and physical exercise choices. As a dancer you do not need to do what a bodybuilder does. With respect to weight training, you first need to understand what stressors dance places on you, and then provide the body with those stressors in a controlled environment with graded levels of exposure and difficulty. Expanding on these and more on dance specific training next week. Until then, keep moving!