Quantifying training loads in contemporary dance

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Journal Article
International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 2017, 12 (6), pp. 796 - 802
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© 2017 Human Kinetics, Inc. Purpose: To describe the training demands of contemporary dance and determine the validity of using the session rating of perceived exertion (sRPE) to monitor exercise intensity and training load in this activity. In addition, the authors examined the contribution of training (ie, accelerometry and heart rate) and non-training-related factors (ie, sleep and wellness) to perceived exertion during dance training. Methods: Training load and ActiGraphy for 16 elite amateur contemporary dancers were collected during a 49-d period, using heart-rate monitors, accelerometry, and sRPE. Within-individual correlation analysis was used to determine relationships between sRPE and several other measures of training intensity and load. Stepwise multiple regressions were used to determine a predictive equation to estimate sRPE during dance training. Results: Average weekly training load was 4283 ± 2442 arbitrary units (AU), monotony 2.13 ± 0.92 AU, strain 10677 ± 9438 AU, and average weekly vector magnitude load 1809,707 ± 1015,402 AU. There were large to very large within-individual correlations between training-load sRPE and various other internal and external measures of intensity and load. The stepwise multiple-regression analysis also revealed that 49.7% of the adjusted variance in training-load sRPE was explained by peak heart rate, metabolic equivalents, soreness, motivation, and sleep quality (y = –4.637 + 13.817%HRpeak + 0.316 METS + 0.100 soreness + 0.116 motivation – 0.204 sleep quality). Conclusion: The current findings demonstrate the validity of the sRPE method for quantifying training load in dance, that dancers undertake very high training loads, and a combination of training and nontraining factors contribute to perceived exertion in dance training.
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