• Kacie D.

Are You Pushing Yourself Hard Enough?

(https://weheartit.com/entry/122299830) <<fun site

I’m pretty sure the general consensus is that dancers have banging bodies. Obviously everyone wants to look slim, chiseled, and toned from head to toe, am I right? Unfortunately for most of us, being a full time dancer is simply unrealistic so we commit to the next best thing - dance fitness. 

Dance fitness companies have boasted all over the internet about how you can burn up to 900 calories in just one class! and drop 2-3 pounds a week! Obvi you’ll be looking like Julianne Hough in no time. So...how come I don’t? I’ve been going to classes for months now and have only dropped a handful of pounds. Dance fitness must be a sham. But let me ask you something, are you pushing yourself hard enough?

Dance Fitness is so much fun you almost always forget it's a workout. When you leave class are you drenched in sweat? Are your lungs burning? Do your legs feel too weak to walk to your car? If not, you may not be working your body to it’s maximum potential.

It is important to understand heart rates when it comes to an aerobic dance class. In order for your body to burn a significant amount of calories it needs to work harder than your average rate. More specifically, your heart rate needs to rise to a rate between 70-90% of your max and this zone should be maintained between 20 and 40 minutes at least three times a week if you expect to see results.* Now you may think you want to hit your peak and stay there the entire class, the harder you work, the better the results, right? Wrong. Alternating short bursts of intense cardio followed by short periods of recovery are a sure fire way to work your heart rate to it’s full potential. You want to fluctuate within this range. This is why most dance fitness classes are structured to begin with a warm up, move into a medium intensity routine then to a high intensity one then back down to a medium routine and so on. 

If you haven’t been maintaining the correct heart rate zones during your workouts you are more than likely not going to see results. I suggest getting yourself a fitness watch with a heart rate monitor. They range from super cheap to insanely expensive. Unfortunately in my experience, the more money you spend the more precise your data will be. I currently use the Fitbit Versa and love it.

During each work out it tells me what my heart rate is and what zone I’m currently in. (This is why I’m always checking my watch in class, FYI) It helps me know whether to push myself more or take it down a notch. 

If you find your heart rate never quite maintains an aerobic fitness level you may want to go harder on some of the moves. When marching get your knees all the way up, use your arms more, make side steps wider, squat lower. Of course this works in the reverse as well, if you’re trying to bring your heart rate down, take smaller steps, use less arms, etc. Another random tip that gets my heart rate going? Singing. When you’re belting out the lyrics your heart is working double time to take in more oxygen and pump it through your system. So don’t be shy girl, sing that s*** at the top of your lungs. 

I typically average about 143 bpm in my classes. My maximum heart rate is 190 (your maximum heart rate can be found by taking 220 minus your age) which, by the percentage range noted earlier means I should be maintaining 133-171 bpm during exercises. Here’s a screenshot of what a typical dance fitness class looks like for me:

Once you start to understand the level of intensity your body needs to achieve during class you will start seeing results. 

But you know what? F*** that because you shouldn’t need physical validation to tell you you’re beautiful anyway. You should feel it. Even coming to class once a week and doing all the moves at a moderate level will make you feel better, healthier and happier, that I promise you. So, you do you boo and f*** the haters.  

*Source: https://www.iadms.org/page/303

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© 2019 By Kacie Davis