A new study from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) and the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) suggests that the prevalence of the most common type of bodybuilding “dance” — which involves wearing body armor and holding a belt — has declined by almost 50% since 2000.
The authors, led by Dr. Mark T. Ristow, a professor of medical sociology and director of the NCCAM’s Center for Fitness Science and Analysis, concluded that the dance had become less physically demanding and less physically taxing for most people, and that it provided a valuable tool for improving body composition.
The study was published today in the Journal of Applied Physiology and showed that while bodybuilders in the study had increased their overall muscle mass and strength by more than 50%, their body fat percentage increased by less than 15% as well.
“It’s interesting that they didn’t increase their strength or muscularity in the muscles themselves, but their percentage of muscle,” Ristowski said in a statement.
“This suggests that some of the gains they had in body composition were due to more intense exercise training.”
This was a pretty good sign that there’s still room for growth in the dance, he added.
Rista said the study could be a starting point for more research on the topic.
“There are some really interesting things happening in this study, and I hope it will be used in future studies,” she said.
“People are just trying to figure out what works for them, so it’s really exciting to see that there are people doing it in a way that’s not as stressful.”
Ristows study also showed that bodybuilding’s most common dance moves are now being taught to people in the U.S. “They’re teaching them how to dance properly, how to do proper moves, and there’s a lot of interest in incorporating bodybuilding into a variety of fitness programs,” Rista told The Huffington Post.
“I think that’s really great.
I think people are looking for it in fitness and they’re also really excited to see it being practiced by athletes and coaches in the fitness world.”
While bodybuilding has become increasingly popular as a sport for both men and women, the study found that the popularity of the dance has actually declined in recent years.
In 2010, only 1.9% of the American population was a bodybuilder; by 2016, that number had fallen to 0.7%.
That’s a significant drop for a sport that was considered a niche past its prime in the 1990s and 2000s.
“A lot of people in this country and around the world were watching the UFC, and the UFC was doing well, and people were seeing how strong and well-conditioned they were and were taking a lot more pictures of themselves,” said Ristowsky.
“And it was like, ‘Oh, my gosh, I’ve been looking at these pictures all these years and now I’m taking my shirt off, and my shirt is so hot, I’m actually hot, and everyone is talking about it.'”