Autor(es): Goran Oreb , Jadranka Vlasic , Nikola Rausauljevic
Effects of circuit training (once a week) and dance aerobics (once a week) on 41 women exercising, aged between 35and 50, were determined in the training regime of 60 minutes two times a week throughout three years. Each year, 10 programs of dance aerobics and 10 programs of circuit training were applied. In the first series, each of 6 exercises lasted 2 minutes with 1 minute of rest. In the second series, the regime was 1 ½ minute of work and 3 minutes of rest between exercises. The pulse was measured for 10 seconds during the rest. Values of the pulse and number of exercise repetitions were separately recorded.
The overall training effects were determined semi-annually. Statistical differences in the number of exercise repetitions and the pulse were determined by means of the t-test for dependent variables.
The biggest differences were obtained between the first and the third year of exercising, which was expected due to regular exercising. After one year, the exercises 4 and 6 confirmed motor improvements, due to similarities of the motor task and additional resistance, while the improvement in the exercises 2 and 5, in the authors’ opinion, was the result of training.
The authors contribute the decreased heart rate, evident in the exercises 1 and 6 during the third year of training, to demands of the exercise and continuity of training.
INTRODUCTION AND AREA OF STUDY
In the last few years more and more people encounter problems such as increase of adipose tissue (body fat) and obesity, reduced functional abilities of the organism and reduced mobility of locomotor system. Factors causing the inception of the problem relate to the introduction of informatics systems into all domains of human life, an increasing technological development. This resulted in a sudden reduction of people’s physical activity that was brought down to minimum under the influence of the abovementioned factors.
In kinesiology, there are great possibilities of developing functional-motor abilities, which can be accomplished by using kinesiological contents of various modalities. With a precise choice of work contents, modalities, volumes and intensity, it is possible to achieve quantitative and qualitative changes in the whole system of the human organism.
Exactly that reason was the motif and challenge for this research where the goal was to determine how much special programs of dance aerobics and circuit training influence some functional-motor characteristics of women in early and late middle age (36 to 45 years of age).
Dance aerobics, as a polystructural cyclic activity, where the main goal is to improve the health status of an individual exercising, represents an interesting and grateful kinesiological operator, especially in women’s recreational exercising. That is to say, specific dance styles are used for longer than 20 minutes when exercising with music, which has a motivational effect. When using different apparatus (dumbbells, step benches, balls) and motor stereotypes from different sports, it is possible to achieve positive transformation effects. That means to prepare a person for a qualitative confrontation with challenges of today’s accelerated tempo of life, where health represents means rather than a goal.
In researches so far, the transformation efficiency of dance aerobics was confirmed by many authors.
Simpson (1983) determined differences in training efficiency between dance aerobics and training with weights to the benefit of training with weights in the morphological structure, flexibility and dynamic strength. Nelson P.M. (1983) established that dance aerobics and aerobics affect the increase of general level of physical readiness and reduce subcutaneous adipose tissue. White and associates (1984) tested effects of a 6-month walking and dance aerobics on a group of 51 women after menopause, and they established that both programs were effective; they increased work capacity, decreased the pulse rate and reduced recovery time. Johanson, Berd and Latin (1984) determined that, under the influence of aerobics for the duration of 13 weeks, there was an increase of maximum oxygen inflow rate as well as the reduction of subcutaneous adipose tissue.
Čačija (1985) pointed out the increase of leg coordination flexibilities and repetitive strength with the use of the aerobics program; and Furjan (1986) pointed out rhythm, flexibilities and explosive strength.
Vankova, Tomova and Vanka (1986), with the use of the aerobics program, pointed out significant changes in the motor status and general physical condition. Furjan (1987) established, by using an experimental aerobics program and specially selected folk and social dances with high school students, a homogenisation of motor abilities. Silvestri and Oscher (1990) implemented dance aerobics in two groups of 19 female students twice a week for the duration of 70 weeks. The first group performed dance aerobics without, and the second group with dumbbells of 0,5 kg. By analysing variances, a significant difference of the influence on strength, flexibility and endurance was determined to the benefit of the dance aerobics program with dumbbells of 0,5 kg.
Fučkar (1994) determined, on a group of 30 female subjects aged between 35 and 40, with a systematic use of aerobics, a significant reduction of body volume and mass, and then improved the repetitive strength of the upper body, legs, arms and shoulder area.
Lovrenčić (1999) studied the influence of a three-month individual training of New Body aerobics on changes to some morphological characteristics, functional and motor abilities, and she established that there were changes in all measured variables.
Scholich (1967) was the first to point out practical possibilities of implementing different training methods in the circuit system. The purpose of the circuit form of work was to develop abilities such as: strength, speed and endurance. The circuit form of work, besides good possibilities of endurance dosage, also gives very good possibilities of combining with other forms of work. Kinesiological operators can be repeated with variable conditions and weights.
A very important fact is that the circuit form of work is applicable to all ages, naturally also for the age group of women subject to the experiment. Negative side of circuit training is a longer preparation of trainers and individuals exercising, who need to have necessary knowledge in order to perform each exercise correctly.
Although nowadays there is a modest number of “circuit training” effects researches, it is valuable to mention Morgan ad Adamson (1952), who carried out a number of experiments with different training systems, which resulted in nowadays known ”Circuit training”. This training modality was later on generally accepted in the world and many authors used it in the construction of new modalities of circuit training. Pavić Ž. (2000) studied the efficiency of different modalities of circuit training on the Croatian Armed Forces officers. Based on the training effects, he suggested the implementation of different training methods in the circuit system and how to influence it, so that strength, speed and endurance would develop.
Precisely all of the aforementioned applicable values of modalities and training contents in the transformation of a person’s psychosomatic status influenced the definition of the general goal of this research, which is to experimentally determine which quantitative changes occur within certain functional-motor abilities of middle-aged women under the influence of a systematic three-year training of dance aerobics and circuit training.
Sample of subjects
The research was carried out on a group of 41 female subjects, aged between 35 and 50, who voluntarily entered the program of dance aerobics and circuit training, with the purpose of improving their physical abilities.
Description of experimental procedure
The experimental procedure lasted three years with a pause of a month and a half every year during the summer period. The subjects were submitted to a systematic process of exercising 60 minutes 2 times a week. A classic dance aerobics hour was implemented once a week, as well as the strength training in the circuit training method.
During the 10-month exercising, the contents of both dance aerobics and circuit training changed every month, which means that a specific content of dance aerobics and circuit training repeated 4 times. The measuring was carried out every 7 days, i.e. 4 times a month. During the circuit training (strength exercises) in the first series after 2-minute exercises, female subjects measured the pulse rate for 10 seconds during the rest of 1 minute between stations. In the second series female subjects practiced for a minute and a half at each station, while the pause between stations lasted 3 minutes. During the pause between stations, female subjects measured again the pulse rate for the duration of 10 seconds. Each female subject wrote down in the record file her pulse rate values at each station-exercise, as well as the number of exercise repetitions.
Since the measurement procedure had been carried out in February 2005, February 2006 and February 2007, only the measurement data with the same content of circuit training in the same period of each year were taken for the data processing. Female subjects wrote down the pulse rate values and number of repetitions for the following exercises: 1st exercise (vj1): from back support (support rearways) on stall bars (Swedish Ladder), alternately go down into the sitting position; 2nd exercise (vj2): in the sitting straddle position, turned with their back to each other, circulate a medicine ball (2kg) through forward bend and backward band; 3rd exercise (vj3): in the standing straddle position, turned with their back to each other, female subjects pass the medicine ball through their legs and above their head; 4th exercise (vj4): passing the medicine ball from the sitting straddle position, facing each other; 5th exercise (vj5): rope skipping ; 6th exercise (vj6): in the sitting position facing each other, holding the medicine ball between feet, passing the ball to each other.
In order to later on easier interpret the effects of training, it is necessary to add that the aerobics classes were divided into 4 parts: 1st part of dance aerobics: warm-up for the duration of 5 – 10 minutes, in the tempo of 120 – 126 BPM; 2nd part: “high-low” dance aerobics for the duration of 15 – 20 minutes, in the tempo of 130 – 155 BPM; 3rd part of aerobics: floor exercise for the duration of 20 – 25 minutes with strength exercise, in the tempo of 135 – 120 BPM, and the 4th part: relaxation and stretching exercises for the duration of 5 – 10 minutes, in the tempo of 120 – 90 BPM.
Data processing methods
Considering the goal of this research, the measurement results were tested with the t-test for dependent samples. All data were processed by the software package STATISTICA for Windows 5.0.
The dependent t-test determined a general significance of variables-exercises differences, which influenced the development of strength, coordination, flexibility and endurance in the first, second and third year of performing dance aerobics and circuit training. A general significance of differences for the heart rate between the first, second and third year of exercising was also determined by means of t- test for dependent samples.
Table 1. Differences between the first and the second, the first and the third, and the second and the third year of exercising (number of repetitions): arithmetic mean (AS), standard deviation (Std.Dv.), number of entities (N), coefficient of the value difference, value of the t-test (t), number of degrees of freedom (df = N-1), level of significance (p)
Table 1. Influence of cisuit training on some functional and motor abilities of middle-aged women
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Based on the results from Table 1., the statistically significant difference in arithmetic means of the number of repetitions for exercises between the second and the third year of performing in the VJ2 exercises is evident: “Sitting with a turned back, circulating the medicine ball”, then in the VJ4 exercise: “Sitting straddle, passing the medicine ball frontally” in the first and the second year, as well as in the first and the third year of exercising. In the VJ5 exercise: “Rope”, a statistically significant change in the results occurred between the first and the third year of exercising, as well as between the second and the third year of exercising on the level of significance (p) <0,01.
Table 2. Difference between the pulse rate in the first and the second year, the first and the third, and the second and the third year of exercising: arithmetic mean (AS), standard deviation (Std.Dv.), number of entities (N), coefficient of the value difference, value of the t-test (t), number of degrees of freedom (df = N-1), level of significance (p)
Table 2. Influence of cisuit training on some functional and motor abilities of middle-aged women
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Table 2. shows that the statistically significant difference in the pulse rate occurred only in the variable VJ1: “Back support – sitting/stall bars (Swedish Ladder)” in the period of two years of exercising, i.e. between the first and the third year of exercising.
At the beginning, it is necessary to mention that it is possible to observe the obtained results only through effects of the overall training of three years, and not only as effects of the monthly program carried out throughout all three years in the same period, with the same contents and the same duration. That is to say, the authors’ idea was to control the training effects in the transition status once a year, i.e. halfway through the yearly training. There were two reasons for it: not to burden the female subjects too much with the frequent measuring and to see what are the results of the training at the moment when the female subjects were already used to the training and motivated enough for the training because of the forthcoming spring or rather summer season. And finally, it is impossible to attribute the obtained results of the training effects only to the circuit training, but also to the dance aerobics contents.
As it was already specified in the results, the exercise efficacy after one year in the circuit training is evident only in the “exercise 4” (sitting straddle, passing the medicine ball facing each other) and “exercise 6” (in the sitting position facing each other, passing the ball to each other by holding the medicine ball between feet). This occurrence is possible to explain firstly with a similarity of the motor stereotype and by using very similar musculature, as well as the additional resistance (Simpson, 1983). To this it is also possible to add the visualisation effect task, because the female subjects face each other and follow the movements of the medicine ball throughout the entire task execution , which contributes to a better task execution. It is possible to treat the same exercises with the same explanation (4 and 6), but also the “exercise 5” : (“Rope”), in training effects after the second year, where the number of performed repetitions for the aforementioned exercises also points out the progress.
The improvement of training effects in the third year are confirmed by the exercises 2 and 5. The authors’ opinion is that it is possible to attribute it to the practice.
Having examined the heart rate values during the training, it is necessary to mention that the obtained heart rate values were measured in the period of 10 seconds. By inspecting Table 2., although statistically insignificant, the decreased heart rate in all exercises occurred after the first year of exercising, however the statistically significant difference in the pulse rate reduction is visible in the “exercise 1” between the first and the third year. The statistically significant improvement is also manifested in the “exercise 6” in the first, but also in the third year of exercising. The authors believe that this occurred due to the physical demands in performing those two exercises, i.e. we are talking about a qualitative continuing stimulus of the heart-respiratory system. In addition, the authors’ opinion is that the continuous training during the three years also contributed to this, therefore already this created qualitative physical condition.
Studying the effects of training, dance aerobics and “circuit strength training” on a group of female subjects, aged between 35 and 50, by means of the heart rate and number of strength exercise repetitions measured during the circuit training, it is possible to make the following conclusions.
The biggest differences were obtained between the first and the third year of exercising, which was anticipated because in the time period of three years, in case the female subjects train regularly, statistically significant changes in their motor and functional status are to be expected.
After one year, the exercises 4 and 6 confirmed motor improvements; due to similarities of the motor task and additional resistance, while the improvement in the exercises 2 and 5, in the authors’ opinion, was the result of training practice.
The improvement in the functional system of the female subjects was manifested in the decreased heart rate in the exercises 1 and 6 in the third year of training, in relation to the initial condition, which authors based, on the one hand, on the demanding level of executing a motor task and, on the other hand, on the continuity of exercising throughout three years.
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