Reply To: Dance vs. Power Question

Institute of Motion Forums General Dance vs. Power Question Reply To: Dance vs. Power Question

Derrick Price

Hi Penelope, copying my email response here for others to see in case anyone is curious:

I think one of the places we can start this conversation is understanding what Power is from our perspective so we can be clear as we communicate to each other.

Power is about Explosive Movements… Not fast movements, but Explosive. So Squatting and Lunging in the traditional sense are not Power-based movements/exercises. You’d have to modify the intent behind these movements to make them explosive, i.e. a Squat Jump, or Lunge Jump.

With that said, you now have to consider the Metabolic demand of a Power Exercise. Explosive movements demand energy from our ATP-PCr system, which is the fast-acting anaerobic energy system. This system can foster a ton of energy quickly for muscles to produce explosive force, however, they have very small gas tanks that take time to replenish. From a programming perspective, maximally explosive exercises can only be repeated for about 10-20seconds before the power output begins to diminish considerably. Once exhausted, we’ll need at least 2-3 minutes just to replenish half of our ATP stores, and longer rest to recoup more (5 minutes or even more).
Submaximal Power efforts primarily utilize the anaerobic glycolytic energy system which can allow us to repeat submaximal power efforts for approx 60-90s max (for most people) before rest is needed and a similar rest period is required. Aside from ATP replenishment, we also produce a lot of metabolic waste which will interfere with muscle force production which is another reason our power output diminishes and fatigue sets in.

One of the most explosive dance routines is the Floor Routine in Gymnastics. They typically last up to 90s!

So for endurance-based dancers, they may have an occasional bout of explosive movement in their routine, but if they are dancing for long periods and for hours at a time, I might say they spend very little time doing maximal or submaximal explosive movements in their routines. In other words, they move with much lower Power outputs as to not exhaust their anaerobic energy systems which would lead to fatigue.

Have a think on that and come back to me with your thoughts. Because your dancers require minimal rest times in their training, the tradeoff is they move with much lower Power outputs as a result