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February 10, 2011, 01:13:53 AM - ORIGINAL POST -

Tonight I realized that it takes about 3 sets of 7s for me to warm up to the point that I don't hurt myself playing 9s and above, and I can't help but think that there's gotta be a better way. So... what do you guys do to warm up for dance games?
Read February 10, 2011, 02:07:23 AM #1

My first set is usually like... a not easy 9/10 I enjoy *LMLGB, Liquid Moon, etc* a solid 10/11, and then a streamy song that isn't too difficult like I can Walk on Water or Lolituma or something equivalent.  After that i'm pretty much up for anything. Smiley
Read February 10, 2011, 02:15:21 AM #2


nah but really, It goes something like this.

In west Philadelphia born and raised
On the Hustle Beach was where I spent most of my days
Chillin' out maxin' relaxin' all cool
And all shootin some Bloodrush outside of the school
When a couple of guys
Who were up to no good
Startin making Pandemonium in my neighborhood
I got in one little fight and my mom got scared
And said 'You're movin' with your auntie and uncle in Redmond, WA'
Read February 10, 2011, 02:38:49 AM #3

Hmm.. Redmond used to have a nice little arcade called Quarters =/
[/random tangent]

Typically warm up on the SN2 at Acme for a couple sets of 7 to 9-footers, before approaching the ITG machine. Don't yet have the stamina to consider Max songs anything less than draining the intensity of my very next song to a slight degree. If it's at home or some other ddr cab, I still start with 7 or 8s for casual initial play. Songs like R3, Superstar, 革命 Kakumei..

For PIUpro2, same deal, but down a notch. 5 to 7s for the first couple sets. Usually by the 3rd round, I'm ready for whatever my challenges/goals for the day are.
Read February 10, 2011, 04:28:21 AM #4

I warm up with 9/10's (on itg) with the range of bpms of 100-150 for about 2 or 3 sets and then move on to long version songs (10's to 12's) to get my heart rate up and then just do whatever.

I recommend not playing 11+ right off the bat for warm ups or anything that you think is too much for you to handle without a proper warm up (in general this could be bad, at least for me anyway). (Of course that's what warm-ups are supposed to do- warm you up for a more challenging chart/songs)
Read February 10, 2011, 09:12:30 AM #5

I can open with a set of 8's and 9's, possibly finishing with a 10 or easy 11, but the best way I've found to warm up is a set of Drummania before touching ITG (at which point I play something along those lines).  Usually anything seriously draining has to wait until my 3rd or 4th set to avoid irritating my knee, but I can play up through most 11's pretty quickly - taking it a little slower let's me play for a disproportionately longer time, though.

I used to be able to play pretty much any DDR chart cold, but I usually need to wait until 3rd song to play the 10's now.

On Pro 2, my first tends to be more like 9-10/11-11, and I can be playing 12's by my second set.  Pump definitely seems to be lower impact for the same difficulty, but Power Play is also in walking distance, so I'm probably warmed up from the walk as well.
Read February 10, 2011, 09:35:10 AM #6

this is how i play (we only have a crappy supernova cab down here)
1st Round: single/7's and lower
2nd Round: double/7's and lower
3rd Round: single/7+
4th Round double/8+

by the fourth round i should be able to do anything 8+ without dying.  my stamina is terrible
Read February 10, 2011, 10:12:51 AM #7

Keby just seriously Bel Air'd this thread.  Holy shit. he's the most awesome guy in the community.

Zach: I remember Quarters!  It was on Central Way in Kirkland.  I rarely went there, since I lived fairly close to Illusionz, but it was a pretty sweet place.  I'm pretty sure the deal there was that they just couldn't afford their rent. Sad

It's cool to hear that I'm not the only one who needs to warm up for a couple of sets! For some reason, like ancsik, my warmup on Pro seems to be less of a big deal than my warmup on DDR/ITG; I can usually play 10s within the first set.
Read February 10, 2011, 12:02:56 PM #8

On the note of other games.  DDR is a pretty cold game as far as walk on and play anything.  Pump illogically is too, as first sets on fiesta usually aren't anything below a 16.
Read February 10, 2011, 12:26:13 PM #9

Pump illogically is too, as first sets on fiesta usually aren't anything below a 16.

I need to go back to the waterfront sometime - I've completely forgotten the mapping between mainline Pump ratings and Pro ratings.  Beat of the War 2 is a 12 (one of the easier 12's) on Pro - I want to say it was a 16 or 17 when Acme had Pump Zero, but really do not remember.  Whatever the case, I would not normally play BotW2 in a warm up set, but I could (and have) without taking too much of a penalty or hurting myself too badly.

That said, Pump really seems to be easier to warm up on for everyone.  I think it has something to do with the general flow of the charts across the different arrow configurations - a basic crossover on 4-panels is a sharp turn in a narrow space, whereas a basic crossover on Pump will, if nothing else, give you a little more room to move around.  I can URLD all day on 4 panels without getting too tired, but such charts are very boring, so I warm up with crossover charts, and Pump simply has lower impact crossovers in an average chart.
Read February 10, 2011, 12:28:11 PM #10

Yeah... Pump.  Oddly, I can walk on a Pump machine and play anything (aside from stuff I can't pass no matter when I play it) but even with DDR, I need to play a set of 6s-7s before I can do well at 9s+.  I think this is more a matter of calibrating my timing, though?  Like, it's not so much that my stamina gives out as that I go "derp" and get over 9,000 greats.
Read February 10, 2011, 03:00:45 PM #11

I actually like to warm up far slower than most. My ideal play sessions are about 4-5 hours of nonstop play though. I prefer to play a few sets of 9's with MAYBE a couple 10's, then add 10's in, then add 11's in a few sets later with some long songs too, then do 12's after maybe even two hours and attempt whatever else after that. Basically my "warm up" time can take an hour or more. I generally focus on timing stuff first, since it warms me up to have that focus and I'm much more erratic (although better stamina-wise) later. It helps me to throw some no bar stuff in around the 9's moving to 10's area. I also will continue to play lower numbered songs no matter what the max I've set for myself is. On days like this, I eat a light breakfast and go to acme as soon as I can get there (preferably before noon, if possible that day).

USUALLY though since the machine is busy or I don't have enough time, it goes a few sets of 9's and 10's, then 11's, then 12's after 7ish sets if I feel like it that day. I don't do as well overall and I don't feel as great afterward as I would have with the above method.

My ideal workout session involves breaking myself down slowly, getting super tired and feeling like I can't go on, pushing through it, then becoming super awesome as I get my second wind and don't care anymore. If I try to warm up too fast, I just get broken down and my energy often doesn't go back up.

I really don't see anything wrong with taking a while to warm up, if that's what helps you or is the way that your body works.

I usually bring along some energy vitamin water, which actually seems to help. The key for me is to be hydrated without being too full. The same goes for me food-wise. I need to be a little hungry, but not too hungry.
Read February 10, 2011, 03:16:09 PM #12

Hollie, that brings up a great point: I struggle so much with the food thing.  Like, either I eat too much and feel like I'm going to throw up when I play, or I don't eat enough and feel like I'm going to pass out when I play.  Have you found like, the ideal amount of food to eat x amount of minutes or hours before you play?!

Read February 10, 2011, 04:25:32 PM #13

Hahah.  I have to like..make it a point to eat before I go arrowing, as the entire notion of hunger completely disappears.  12 hour tournament?  I'll be on a liquid diet for 12 hours and not even notice.
Read February 11, 2011, 01:16:24 AM #14

It all starts 3-4 hours before ITG, when i cook Kraft Macaroni & Cheese (i have let many try my mac n cheese and many agree it is the best kraft mac n cheese one can have). I usually have a protein shake then also. The Mac n Cheese gives me immense amounts of carbs and fills me up major, so having it sooner than 3 hours is a bad choice. Immense amount of energy that doesn't make me think of hunger at all, yet im very light and not weighed down by the food an ounce = perfect feeling.

I warm up with a 10,9,11 set, then follow with a 10/9/12, and usually after 2 sets i'm all warm.

Read February 11, 2011, 08:32:25 AM #15

Can't eat anything major before I play or else I get stomach problems. So, at most, I'll have a power bar if I'm feeling hungry and I know I want to play sometime in the next hour or so.

If I'm just going to play and have fun, then I don't really have any warmup routine, other than some very mild and simple stretches. If I'm planning on playing some challenging stuff that day, then my routine consists of (again, stretches) and one set of 8s or 9s. Next set is mostly 9s. Then my third set is usually 9s and 10s, then from there I start doing whatever. If I'm playing 12s, it usually takes me at least an hour of moderate playing to get myself warmed up enough to actually do them without ruining the rest of my play time.
Read February 11, 2011, 11:52:36 AM #16

This obvious one hasn't been covered...

STRETCH BEFORE YOU PLAY!!! Quads and Calves especially, but do a full body stretch, every muscle group (yes, you use your upper body too when using the bar! Chest, triceps, and abdominals especially). You'll do way better trust me!

Also, I swear by Milk. Milk is the ultimate energy drink. Milk+Clif bar = ***s  Wink

5 Hr Energy is pretty good too for those days you aren't feeling as much of a crusader.
Read February 11, 2011, 03:09:59 PM #17


Milk + Exercise = Stomach Ache
Milk => Less, but thicker, mucus => Mouth/throat drying out and inability to breathe through nose
Dry mouth => Drinking more water => Sloshing in Stomach
Dry throat => Worse asthma symptoms
Less nose breathing => Worse asthma symptoms

Some of that is obviously only applicable for asthmatics, but in general, I'd advise anyone thinking of experimenting with a glass of milk beforehand to be extra cautious.

I don't doubt it could help, since milk is filled with some good energy-giving and muscle-repairing nutrients, but definitely the unfamiliar should be careful the first time or two if they decide to try.

Also, stretching before play is more important, but stretching afterward - especially any parts that feel tight (but not damaged - stretching an injured muscle can potentially make things worse) - is a very good thing  Some of my knee problems are the pure strain of playing, some of them were tied to the fact that I'd come to a hard stop after playing and not do a lot of to cool down my inflamed knee - being better about stretching at the end (and between sets) has done a lot to make my knee more manageable, though definitely not enough to start being a hardcore stamina player anytime soon.

« Last Edit: February 11, 2011, 03:16:06 PM by ancsik »
Read February 11, 2011, 05:36:26 PM #18

@Ancsik: Of course some part of everyone's warm up routine is going to be highly personalized.  For example, I throw up when I drink milk because I'm lactose intolerant (I learned this the hard way at a DDR tournament once.  I drank 3 Starbucks Doubleshots, not realizing they had milk/cream in them, and threw up outside Narrows for half the tournament!) But I know that milk is great for most people and would probably help a lot. 

@Gerrak: Stretching is a great tip, and I could probably stand to carry some small food that won't wreck my stomach around with me.  I've never really gotten an accurate comparison between 5 hour energy and Red Bull (my normal dance game drink) but maybe I'll have to do that sometime. Cheesy
Read February 11, 2011, 08:04:47 PM #19

@Ancsik: Of course some part of everyone's warm up routine is going to be highly personalized.

True, and that's why I didn't just in and say "nobody try it".  I've heard stories regarding milk that cover a wide range of outcomes, but they've uniformly been bad until Gerrak's post.  Given Gerrak's endorsement of milk, I just threw in the warning and figured it has to just be something that works for some slice of the population, and obviously, given the existence of milk allergies and lactose intolerance, completely does not work for others.  Given that I am fine with milk normally, but would have a potentially dangerous reaction to milk + exercise, it was worthwhile to warn those who might want to try.
Read February 12, 2011, 01:39:37 AM #20

I also think milk is a great substitute for food before exercise. If you're like me, too much food in the stomach = bad. So a glass of milk is filling, but not stomach stuffing. If you down half a gallon of milk, yeah, you're in trouble. But one glass before a session is probably OK for people without lactose intolerance.
Read February 13, 2011, 04:05:09 AM #21

Starting a few hours before hand I will go on a light run to see where muscle tension is. Afterward I will stretch and load on some angel hair noodles with a bit of salt on them. I will drink power aide on my drive up there and have another one ready for gameplay. My first song set will always be an 8-8-9 then I will do 9-9-8 to get my heart rate up. Afterward I will see how good I am feeling and if I think its a good-to-go moment I will start playing tens until I am worn down. When I start to get my second wind is when I go all out and try to pass my 11's.
Read February 13, 2011, 04:01:39 PM #22

Insert quarters.
Stretch legs a little.

I'll even play right after I've eaten. heh Tongue
Read February 13, 2011, 07:18:51 PM #23

Insert quarters.
Stretch legs a little.

I'll even play right after I've eaten. heh Tongue

But would you start off with a *gasp* 12??
Read February 13, 2011, 09:50:58 PM #24

No, because DDR doesn't have 12s. Wink

In all seriousness though, Jon, you don't play ITG, only DDR/DDR style simfiles, right? Smiley
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