Pole Dancing for Fitness: The Physiological and Metabolic Demand of a 60-Minute Class

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Little is understood about the acute physiological or metabolic demand of pole dancing classes. As such, the aims of this study were to quantify the demands of a standardized recreational pole dancing class, classifying outcomes according to American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) exercise-intensity guidelines, and to explore differences in physiological and metabolic measures between skill- and routine-based class components. Fourteen advanced-level amateur female pole dancers completed three 60-minute standardized pole dancing classes. In one class, participants were fitted with a portable metabolic analysis unit. Overall, classes were performed at a mean V[Combining Dot Above]O2 of 16.0 ml·kg·min, total energy cost (EC) of 281.6 kcal (4.7 kcal·min), metabolic equivalent of tasks (METs) of 4.6, heart rate of 131 b·min, rate of perceived exertion (RPE) of 6.3/10, and blood lactate of 3.1 mM. When comparing skill- and routine-based components of the class, EC per minute (4.4 vs. 5.3 kcal·min), peak V[Combining Dot Above]O2 (21.5 vs. 29.6 ml·kg·min), METs (4.3 vs. 5.2), and RPE (7.2 vs. 8.4) were all greater in the routine-based component (p < 0.01), indicating that classes with an increased focus on routine-based training, as compared to skill-based training, may benefit those seeking to exercise at a higher intensity level, resulting in greater caloric expenditure. In accordance with ASCM guidelines, an advanced-level 60-minute pole dancing class can be classified as a moderate-intensity cardiorespiratory exercise; when completed for ≥30 minutes, ≥5 days per week (total ≥150 minutes) satisfies the recommended level of exercise for improved health and cardiorespiratory fitness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2704-2710
JournalJournal of Strength and Conditioning Research
Issue number10
Early online date29 Nov 2018
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019

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