A few months ago, I thought that the only thing that prevented me from becoming the next Pole Art competitor was not owning my own pole. If I had a pole at home then I would pole every day. I could freestyle whenever I want to and dance my heart out without anyone watching (I’m still a bit shy). I would watch every single online tutorial and try it out. I could finally work on the routine I had in my mind and keep recording it until I was happy with it. Not to mention saving on the money I used to spend on pole lessons.
There was basically no limit to what I could become if I had a pole at home and worked hard every day. So eventually, I saved up the money, bought a pole (named it Chloe) and transformed the biggest room in my new apartment into my home studio.
Do I pole everyday? Am I anywhere near a pole professional? Of course not. I have glorious excuses. One week I was abroad, the other I practiced aerial hoop for my performance, the third week I didn’t feel well and there are always good old excuses such as “I am too tired now”, “It’s too late” and “I don’t have time now”.
Don’t get me wrong, all of those excuses are valid. I don’t have enough time. Something else is always a priority because the pole is always there and available, so I can postpone my pole time and do something more urgent. When I am tired, I don’t need to go to the class because I paid.
Don’t get me wrong, I love pole dancing. I LOVE training (sweat, bruises and everything) and once I start I find it difficult to stop. I just need a kick in the butt to start. So I came up with these 10 techniques:
1) Invite a friend or friends over and train together
This one proved to be the most efficient. Especially if you invite people who are enthusiastic and can’t wait to get their hands on the pole. Be careful if you invite very good friends whom you haven’t seen in a while. You might get too immersed in exchanging news over the cup of coffee and forget to train. You don’t need to limit it to your friends who are polers – the friends who are willing to do a bit of stretching and conditioning can also be useful.
2) Skype pole date
I haven’t tried this one yet. But if all of your friends are busy, you can arrange a Skype pole date with someone you know online. I planned to pole with Kiki, but I can’t login to my Skype account, so I can’t tell you more about this. It might be fun.
3) Make a list and track your progress
Write down your short-term and long-term goals on a big piece of paper, include moves you need to work on or groups of muscles and track your progress. Make a weekly/monthly schedule and put it on a very visible place, so that it stares at you all the time and you feel guilty and uncomfortable when you skip your training. The point is – make your plans visible and present.
4) Friendly reminder
Ask a friend to remind you to do your leg raises/crunches/push ups/etc. Me and my friend had a deal to message each other daily and check whether we did our ab workouts. At some point we just stopped doing that, but I picked up the habit.
5) Have shorter and longer alternatives
I often skip my training because I don’t have enough time to do EVERYTHING I want to, so I postpone it for the next day. It’s wrong. Even a bit of something is better than nothing. Sometimes you even don’t need that much – 5 minutes of abs exercises can do wonders to your inverts. Some days you’ll have 2 hours of your pole time, the other days 15 minutes or half an hour, but everything counts. Make a plan of different things you can do based on how much time you have.
6) Buy DVDs
The problem with training alone is that you often don’t know how to structure your training. I want to work on everything – on my lower abs, on splits and back flexibility, I’ve got to strengthen my bad left side and do 10 inverts on the left side, I need to revise tricks I know and make combinations out of them, I want to do the new ones (of course I need to do a warm up and cool down) and there isn’t enough time for everything. Sometimes I feel like I don’t know where to begin and what to do next. It takes some time to plan and research, which you might not have. That’s when you leave it to the professionals to plan out your training. There are many DVDs out there, ask me if you need the list of all the ones I’ve heard of.
7) 30 day fitness challenges
Start doing one and you’ll have a plan and a goal.
8) Or any other pole challenge
They are addictive and fun, and they will force you to climb the pole every day. You don’t want to miss posting that day’s pole trick!
9) Hide all telephones, tablets and other distractions
I love to check if I have a message on Facebook in the middle of the workout. Then I usually need to reply to that message and do a bit of scrolling down the news feed. Then I completely cool down and spend 2 hours doing something that could be done in half an hour. That’s why I turn off my computer and play the music on my mobile phone via Youtube –> so that I have to stop the music if I want to do a bit of networking in the wrong time. Cunning.
10) HAVE FUN
This tip is really general, so unfortunately I can’t tell you precisely what to do, but one day, as I was trying to take a pole selfie and laughing at my unsuccessful photos, I realized that I can pole for days when I am having fun.
Hmm anything else? I hope this helps!