Endurance training for breakers is no easy task. As many methods as there are, the harder it is to decide which one is the most suitable for you and your dancing goals. Is it the classic “go-for-a-run”, and, if yes, there are so many more variables to consider: the duration, the intensity, pace, intervals and the frequency.
At HE4DS, we have aggregated the knowledge from our own experience as professional dancers, from treating and coaching high level dance-athletes and from scientific reserach to provide you with established findings to create your very own individual endurance training plan.
THE PREQUEL: A QUICK CALCULATION
First things frst: WHY? This calculation will show you how important endurance training is for breakers, movers an dance athletes. We’ll just do a quick summation for you using the examle of a b-boy or b-girl in any given breaking battle.
We’ve got the preselection, where you normally have to dance 1 or 2 rounds. Given that you actually want to make it through that, then you’ve got top 16 until the final, with each at least 2 rounds, which will leave you with 8-10 rounds in total. In the final, you need 2 or 3 more.
This counts for standard battles. In the WDSF Breaking Championship or the WDSF World Urban Games, you’ll need 20 and 16 rounds respectively.
So while having the moves will bring you quite far, you won’t be able to show them if you are running out of breath.
STEP 1: THE THEORY
We’ll keep this short, don’t worry. There are three basic things you should know.
- Breaking endurance is acyclic. This means: Instead of having one continuous load over a long time period, breaking is more like sprinting in intervals. You go hard for approximatily one minute in your set, stop, then go again. So endurcance training for breakng is different from training for, let’s say, a marathon.
- Training breaking endurance wors best when you actually break. Running is fine, dancing is better, as obviously we want to get as close as possible to the load in the actual high-performance situation.
- There are several methods to train endurance for breaking. They are not interchangeable, but rather help to rain different types of endurance: basic endurance, interval breaking endurance and competition performance. You definitely need all three to perform well, one or two is not enough.
NEXT UP: THE PRAXIS
The sad news: There is no one-stop-shop to train endurance. As a highly complex topic that needs to be approached individually, we can’t possibly bring you the ultimate recipe in a tiny blog post. This is something we work on with you, for example, in our INDIVIDUAL COACHINGS in order to build your personal training plan.
According to Weineck (2019), we propose to organize your training cycle in a 3:1 load-rest-ratio. Meaning that in a 8-day-streak, you got 2 rest days.
For now, let’s focus on competition endurance. Again: This does not mean you can directly jump to training only that, just because your goal are competitions. You will need to build basic and interval endurance first and concurrently!
These are the … rules to effectively train endurance for dance:
- Train your maximum or even above than your maximum. A battle will impose many unfavourable factors on you: Stress, fear, sweat, a bad floor, you name it. These may negatively impact your performance, so in order to give 100 % in battle, your usual form must be above that. That means: Use longer sets and more repetitions as in the actual competition.
- Use music around 120 bpm. This is a fast enough beat that will challenge you enough to evoke an actual improvement in endurance for dancers. Bonus: It will provide you with a realistic setting closer to the actual competition.
- Go in cycles. As Breaking is acyclic, frequent changes between rest and load are recommended. For a start, use equal-lengh sequences of doing your sets and rest. Repeat this pattern a couple of times, then rest. Bonus: Decrease the break between each cycle a bit each time you go again. This way, you’ll slowly increase the intensity and develop your endurance effectively!