By Anastacia Snelleksz
Founder of Pole Princess
You may have had a squizz at our timetable and wondered what all of our classes really mean. You probably took the easy route and started with a Level One Pole Course and slowly worked your way up – that’s what everyone else does so I reckon that’s what you do, right?
We say this all the time but pole dancing is like going to the gym. When you first take out a gym membership you will tell yourself you’re going to go at least 4 times a week, right? Or maybe every day if you’re super keen beans… And for the first few weeks at least you will stick to that goal. Before you know it, you’re able to run faster, walk further, lift heavier, whatever it may be. We all know this feeling.
Pole dancing is no different. Just because a pole dancing course is one hour at once per week for 8-weeks doesn’t mean that’s all you need to do to achieve. If you leave a whole week between your pole dancing classes, regardless of what other fitness you partake in, what you’ve basically done is told your muscles to forget everything they just achieved. The good news is, the loss is just temporary but still, what’s the point in one step forward, three steps back?
Pole dancing works your muscles in different ways than a regular gym workout. To give you an example you’ll be familiar with, take a regular every day, lie on the floor crunch and then take your every day basic pole invert. Both use the core in order to execute right? But do they use them in the same way? No. When you do a crunch, you a lift your upper body and squeeze it in towards your belly. When you do a basic invert, your upper body stays still (tilts backwards but doesn’t change it’s structure) and it’s your legs that lift, activated by your core in order to get them over your head. It’s an entirely different movement. Do you know how heavy your legs are? Damn heavy! Full on stuff.
We often hear of people wanting to take a break from pole to work on their strength in the gym before returning as they’ve hit a plateau. This is literally the worst thing you can do. Again I come back to the same thing – the only way to get better at riding a bike is to ride the damn bike! It’s the same with pole dancing. Don’t go to a gym to get better at pole and work your muscle in the opposite direction. If that’s all you take from me for as long as I live, I consider my job done!
Unfortunately I don’t get to train on the pole that much these days but when I was full on into my training, I came up with the best class mix that supported my growth as a pole dancer and prevented any chance of injury. It is the reason I have structured Pole Princess the way I have because we only exist to support your growth – that’s it! If you’re not growing, we’re not doing our job.
But you gotta turn up.
Here’s the perfect class mix
For optimal progress and body recovery, you need to be doing the following at least once a week:
o A pole class (for this one it’s preferably twice per week so that you’re building on muscle memory every time)
o A workout class (Princess Workout, Core Conditioning, Sexy Legs etc.)
o A stretch class (Stretch n Flex, Bendy Back, Just Splits etc.)
o A dance class (Strip Tease, Burlesque, Seduction etc.)
Now you have the what, here’s the why.
Your pole classes are the obvious ones, already explained earlier, you really should be leaving less time than 7 days between pole classes so that you can progress faster and not hit that plateau. This is what leaves you feeling unmotivated through lack of progress.
The workout classes designed at Pole Princess are not just a workout class you can do anywhere. The exercises within these classes specifically emulate the movements contained within popular pole tricks so that you can work on them repetitively, without having to worry about sweaty hands. This makes you stronger for pole.
Your stretch classes can be used for two reasons and can be interchangeable weekly depending on what your body is feeling. Always listen to your body! A stretch class can be used to work on increasing flexibility but it can also be used as a recovery session to help repair sore and tired muscles. Recovery is just as important as working out.
Dance classes, whilst being rather fun, they serve a much bigger purpose than that. By continuously learning new choreography you challenge the most important muscle in your body – your brain. Yes we dance in pole class but it’s not the whole class. By taking up additional dance classes you will learn to pick up choreography faster & exercise your brain.
Ready for the when?
How are you going to fit all that in?? I feel you. I got you! Stay with me. Here’s how I coped with maximum progress and having a life outside of pole (and a child in a single-parent household… it’s all possible, trust me!).
The secret is double sessions. If you wanna be hardcore like I was, you can follow my script. Otherwise you can mix it up, whatever works for you.
I would train only 3 days per week and this is how I fit it all in:
Session One: Pole Class followed by a Workout Class
Session Two: Dance Class followed by a Stretch Class
Session Three: Pole Class followed by a Stretch Class
I would always start my week by fatiguing my muscles with the hardest classes possible – pole and work out. I would do this because to continue to train under fatigue prepares your body to be strong on demand (that is, to not need a warm-up first). When on stage, the rush of adrenaline can make you feel weak so training this way helped me combat that. It’s an athlete’s mentality and it doesn’t work for everyone so if it’s not your thing, switch out session one with three weekly, as you then have the weekend to recover. I would also try to have a day of recovery between sessions and I attribute this to a 20-year dance career without serious injury. As great as pole dancing is, nothing is worth injury.
I followed my dance class with a stretch class because it left me super warmed up and ready to push my flexibility. My second stretch class of the week was a recovery session to wind me down for the weekend.
Ready to take on the perfect class mix challenge?
Look, I get it. I was lucky enough to own my own school and dance for free during my peak pole time. But that wasn’t always the case. When I started pole dancing, there was nowhere to do it. I would go to the park and practice on kids play equipment until my boyfriend at the time bought a piece of steel and drilled it into the middle of my lounge room. With pole dancing as advanced as it is today, that’s probably not the way to go about it (I did severely wind myself once when I was home alone and thought I was going to die! Not worth it). But I recognize this is a sport that needs regular attention for maximum benefit and I’ve designed my company around that.
How can you achieve this?
We created term passes to assist people in making pole dancing their only necessary fitness choice. With a term pass you can cut out yoga classes at $35 per class for flexibility. You can cut out personal training for $75 per hour. You can cut out jazz classes for $25 per class. You can do it all with us and in the long run, it works out so much cheaper for (dare I say it) a much better result.
To follow the same pole fitness journey, you need a Results Term Pass. You can get one starting at around $96 per week (prices change per location, please check that first), which will give you access to 40 classes within a term in addition to 16 practice sessions! This works out to be around $20 per class and you can use them as you please – choose as many pole courses as you like or casual classes or a mix of both. You can do more some weeks and less in other weeks. They are totally adaptable to your lifestyle and you can also get them cheaper than that if you’re able to pay upfront. But it comes with this warning:
Don’t put your health and well being in the back seat to everything else in your life. You come first.