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The use of ergogenic aids - please reda even if you don;t understand what it means
By Ballet_Baibemember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Mon Oct 12, 2009 05:34 AM

Ergogenic aids are performance enhancers - I'm sure your minds all jump to illegal things like anabolic steriods. Well you right but it can also be totally legal things like caffiene, sports drinks or even things like acupuncture. Here is some more infor if your interested: . . .

I'm doing an assignment studying the use of these, you have to select one or a few similar ones to study. I'm studying improved endurace and the use of sports drinks like lucozade - mostly because I have a lot of first hand experience in this.

I was just wondering for a bit of background if anyone has used any ergogenic aids themselves or if they have heard of anyone using them?

Most of my classmates are doing the use of steriods in body building or creatine in rugby but I'm more interested in dance, but I haven't really ever heard of anything other than caffiene (Which we can't study) and energy drinks being used. Does anyone know anything legal or illegal which they've seen being used to enhance performance?

I'm just looking for some anecdotal evidence that there are things used in dance.

Thanks very much for any info.

3 Replies to The use of ergogenic aids - please reda even if you don;t understand what it means

re: The use of ergogenic aids - please reda even if you don;t understand what it means
By toroandbruinmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Tue Oct 13, 2009 09:18 PM
I looked at the list given at your link, and here are the ones I've used:

* Mechanical Aids
o Altitude Training -- I live a mile high; so when attending a dance or exercise class at sea level I feel like Superwoman.
o Heart Rate Monitors -- My daughter gave me one as a present. It was fascinating to see that my heart performed exactly as it was supposed to. Basically, it confirmed that what felt right to me, aerobically, was indeed right on. So I didn't need to use it anymore.
o Weights - develop strength -- Yes, I'm fending off osteoprorosis (successfully) so I work out a lot with free weights.
o Elastic cord (restraining) - develop strength -- I sometimes use these, too.
o Weighted vests (5% to 8% of body weight) - develop strength -- This, too, one summer when I was doing a lot of walking.
o Sports clothing, footwear and equipment -- Of course, doesn't everyone use these? I would think that dance clothing and shoes also count.

* Pharmacological Aids
I use Glucosamine/Chondroitin capsules for joint health. This wasn't on the list; however Prortein Supplements were listed. And here's the Wikipedia definition of Glucosamine:
Glucosamine (C6H13NO5) is an amino sugar and a prominent precursor in the biochemical synthesis of glycosylated proteins and lipids.
Calcium wasn't on the list, either, and of course I take lots of calcium to keep my bones healthy.

* Physiological Aids
o Sports Massage -- Does rolling a golf ball under your foot count? It should, and of course I've used this.

* Nutritional Aids
o Sports Drinks -- To keep from getting dehydrated I love diet Gatorade or, when I really need the extra calories, the sugar-sweetened Gatorade .

* Psychological Aids
o Imagery -- Is there anybody on earth whose dance teachers haven't given them a lot of images to help keep the body aligned and moving correctly?
o Music -- Well, duh!
o T'ai Chi -- As a matter of fact I've been taking weekly Tai Chi classes for a few months now. I'm not sure I'd place this under Psychological Aids but it does contribute to better movement in general.

I can't believe that caffeine was on the list! In the long run doesn't it cause more minuses than pluses in terms of performance? I do drink coffee in the morning but if I were preparing for some serious endurance event I'd consider switching to decaf!

Also, under the "Psychological Aids" category I notice "Hypnosis" listed. I don't know if this counts, but, here's an example. When my daughter was dancing she reached a stage where she was taking classes along with students who had studied for many more years than she had. At that point she had a hard time remembering complex combinations as well as the rest of the class (though she could perform them just as well). So I looked for, and found, a psychiatrist who was a sports therapist. He had not worked with dancers but had Olympic-level ice skaters with the same problem. He happened to be a hypnotherapist. I didn't care if he was a Freudian or Jungian or Hypnotherapist or whatever approach he felt comfortable with as long as he was good at helping with this problem. After working with him weekly over the course of one summer, my daughter was able to see a combination demonstrated once and she had it! Not only that, she relaxed and her jazz dancing improved 100%. Equally remarkable, she could focus like an eagle's eye and her ballet (pirouettes especially) also improved 100%. A bonus: when school started, classwork and homework were also much easier.

If you're looking for something easy to study the effects of -- try music. Studies have shown that people who work out to music work longer, more energetically, etc. than people who don't use music. It doesn't matter what their taste in music is. Or maybe this has already been too thoroughly proved to be a good subject.

Another good subject is "imagery". When it comes to dance, the teachers' forum here on DDN has many good threads on the subject. If you need to broaden your scope to include sports, maybe there are sports forums where coaches discuss the same thing.
re: The use of ergogenic aids - please reda even if you don;t understand what it means
By Ballet_Baibemember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Wed Oct 14, 2009 03:43 AM
Thank tou for your reply.

As to your comments on caffiene, thats the main subject we are studying as a group then this is a personal project.

I know I very often use caffiene when I'm performing - not so much in class, but when I'm working I've usually been up late at night performing and rehearsing then up early in the morning for my other duties. So During evening performances I would be drinking lucozade and caffine drinks like red bull and relentless. I also would take pro plus tablets. Apart from anything else it gets me pretty hyped up to do the show, and I'm pretty sure gets me to the end.

Here is the science, the effects of caffiene aren't well known so most of what I'm about to say is suspected and not yet confirmed, research into this is going on right now.

Caffiene mobilises energy stored in fats for use by the muscles and so gives you an energy boost. The reason your are unlikely to have noticed the effects is; the effective dose is 6mg per kilo body weight. One cup of coffee has about 100mg (Depending on how it's made) so unless you weigh 16kilos it's not going to have any effect on your muscles.

It also dilates the blood vessels getting more oxygen to the brain quicker - this is one of the ways it keeps you awake but also has some effect in reducing pain which is why caffiene is in some painkillers.
re: The use of ergogenic aids - please reda even if you don;t understand what it means
By Arakmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Oct 14, 2009 09:44 AM
I would say sports massage would be a common one, especially in larger companies who can afford to keep a therapist or two for the dancers' use. There are specific massage techniques designed for use before and after an event - or in a dancer's case, a rehearsal or a performance.

The pre-event techniques are for warming up the body more quickly than otherwise. It is not a replacement for the warmup; it's more of a kickstart. The strokes are vigorous and there is a lot of focus on joints and tendons rather than on muscle bellies, as these structures don't get as much blood supply as muscles and don't warm up as quickly, and therefore are more susceptible to injury. It also gets the circulation going and is generally stimulating and energizing. For best results, the massage should happen as close as possible to the physical activity that is going to be done, and no more than 45 minutes beforehand.

Post-event massage is for bringing the body back down to a passive state. Strokes are longer and more calming. There is usually passive stretching involved, although with dancers, this is probably not as much of a priority as it would be with runners or sports players, because dancers already stretch themselves pretty religiously. The long, deep strokes help to push metabolic waste out of the muscle tissue and into the bloodstream to be carried out of the body. Metabolic waste is responsible for your muscles feeling sore and heavy after vigorous use, until the blood carries it away. Post-event massage helps to speed up this process. This should not be done immediately after coming off the field/track/stage; the body needs a period of about 20 minutes to cool down and lower the heart and breathing rates before being manually relaxed like that. During this period, the athlete should focus on rehydration. Cooling down and drinking water will help to prevent muscle spasms while on the massage table.


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