Supplementary training for dancers is a big thing and is becoming more and more important to support modern choreography and performances demands.
Because of this people think ‘gym’.
I will go to the gym and that will make me harder, better, faster, stronger - They get in to the gym and it is a totally different world compared to the studio or stage. More often than not people don’t use the gym as well as they could to support their technical and aesthetic movement training.
The gym should be seen as a designated ‘safe’ place to build our strength and fitness foundations so that we can apply ourselves more creatively in the studio and not have to worry about getting stronger for the work we are trying to create.
Apparently everyone loves lists so here are my top five strategies for dancers training better in the gym environment.
1. Get a plan.
Don’t go in there and dick around not being clear on what you want to achieve and how to do it. Know what exercises you are doing in that session, how to do them, your reps and sets, and the weight you will use. If you don’t know this info plan a session to get this info so you can attack your training effectively.If you don’t know where to start google it, ask some one, email Athletic Artist and get some help.
2. Stick to you plan!
If you have a plan for your training session don’t deviate until it is done.
See something cooler than what you’re doing, forget it.
See someone doing it different to you, don’t worry.
Your plan will keep you moving in the direction of your overall goal.
If it doesn’t, you’re still getting valuable gym face time that is prepping you in more ways that just doing your training. Winning all round.
3. Get your game face on.
You don’t need to feel the burn or have a “no pain, no gain” experience, but you do need to get your shit done. It’s not a social. You are there for a reason. Stick to the plan and achieve. By doing this you are not only working with a better efficiency in a shorter time but you are also developing mental strength and a larger capability to focus and deliver, which is undoubtedly going to help you perform.
4. Be brave.
You may not want to go in to the free-weights area where the meatheads are. Be brave.
You may not want to join in the classes. Be brave.
You may not want to push to the next level. Be brave.
You may want to quit. Be brave.
Being brave and confidently approaching the task or challenge in front of you will allow you to switch on and make the most of your session.
5. Keep you self in check.
With all this talk of having a plan, sticking to it, having your game face on, and being brave, you also have to keep your self in check and know of you should reduce your effort or stop if necessary.
As a dancer or physical mover of any genre, physically over stepping or injury is the wall we are often running towards without noticing. If you have been working out and feel a twinge or something that didn’t feel right. Check in with your self and address the next steps. If it is a new move and you have maybe done a little too much a little too soon you may want to reduce the weight or the range or movement. Sometimes it is better to cut your losses in that session for the sake of recovery and see how you feel the next day. If you are fine, bank the feeling and understand it the next time it happens.
If it is more than a twinge and you fall, pull something, or injure yourself in anyway, stop and address what is happening. Don’t get frustrated, figure it out, and allow your self to recover, what ever that maybe. Chances are you’ve neglected one or more of the first 4 points!
You have to go wrong to go right. We learn from our mistakes. So don’t be worried about asking a “silly” questions. Don’t be worried about looking totally clueless trying something new. No one starts perfect. We all start bad! (Guaranteed that however bad you think you might be feeling remember that someone else is either feeling the same or worse than you and you are the more experienced one.)