After 10 years in this business there is one subject that ALWAYS pops up at this time of year! To take some time out over Chirstmas/New Year or not! The concerns are always the same - "how I am going to feed my addiction?" and "am I going to lose all my strength?"
I found a great article written by Selina Tannenberg, "The Pole Physio" which covers this subject very well and I wanted to share it with our readers here!
With Christmas holidays fast approaching I thought it would be a good time to talk about the scheduling of training. From what I’ve gleaned from my patients (pole people and non-pole people alike) there seem to be two schools of thought. One is to train as much as possible because you have the time to play, and the other is do as little as possible because you have the time to chill. Both of these are reasonable plans for one’s holiday, but each also carries its own concerns.
Train! Train! Train!
Whilst it is exciting to have more time to train, a sudden increase in training frequency and intensity can end all the fun very quickly. If you want to be active and do something everyday, then plan ahead and make sure you can have the fun that you want without your body hating you for it.
Pole is predominately an upper-body activity. Poling everyday for hours on end is like going to the gym and doing a heavy arm session everyday. Gym goers know that that’s a no-no but pole dancers don’t seem to get this concept. Yes, some people can pole everyday, but it takes a LONG time to condition the body to be able to do that. If you systematically increase the frequency and duration of your pole training over a few years, you can get yourself to that point. Yes, pole is that intense on the body. The pros didn’t get to their level of pol-ability (ability to pole) overnight. If you try to get there in just a few months to a year, you will break.
A simple way to moderate your training load is to do pole every other day at the maximum, and less if you are relatively new to pole. On the off day, do something that is not strength based or upper-body heavy; it’s the perfect time to work on your flexibility and dance, or do other activities you enjoy. Here’s an example of what is bad:
- Monday: Pole
- Tuesday: Aerial
- Wednesday: Handstand
- Thursday: Pole
- Friday: Rock climbing
A much more body-, and in particular, arm-friendly schedule looks like this:
- Monday: Pole
- Tuesday: Pilates/Yoga, but probably not Ashtanga
- Wednesday: Pole
- Thursday: Dance
- Friday: Pole
We also need to be smart about what we train on our pole days! Drilling your Iron X hours on end, day after day is sure to end with you at your physio’s office! Some examples for you:
- An arm-breaking training session: Handspring + Dead Lift + Phoenix + Iron X
- A shoulder-popping training session: Iguana + Bird of Paradise + Bondage Split
- A back-breaking training session: Yogini + Cocoon + Needlescale + Rainbow Marchenko
- A leg-splitting training session: Jade + Chopstick + Machine gun + Spatchcock
- A spine-twisting training session: Ballerina + Allegra + Janeiro + Eagle
A much more body-friendly training session will look like this:
- Handspring + Yogini + Broken Barbie + Floor/Transition + Dance
- Eagle + Phoenix + Floor/Transition + Dance
- Jade + Dead Lift + Ballerina + Floor/Transition + Dance
Can you see what I’m getting at? We need to balance the load on the body and “spread the love”. Moderation is the key. In each training session you should do things that engage different muscle groups and require different skills. Train on both sides and spend a reasonable time on each trick, baring in mind that something new and difficult will wear you out faster so you will be able to do less repetition compared to a trick that you can easily do and are refining and polishing. In each training week you should space out your strength sessions and intersperse them with flexibility, stability, cardio, movement sessions, and most importantly, rest days.
Variety is your friend. Mix things up, spread the load, rest when need and both you and your body will pole happily ever after.
Rest! Rest! Rest!
It is sweet music to my ears when my patients tell me they are going to rest their body a little! As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, Training and Recovery, rest is the single, most important aspect of any training schedule. However, it is important to remember that after a period of rest, one must ease back into activity and NEVER jump straight back into the intensity and frequency of training before a break! Doing so generally ends with you at your physio’s office. When we take a break from any activity, we will lose a bit of strength and flexibility, which is why we need to ease ourselves back into the swing of things. It is important to remember that we also lose a bit of skill and awareness! In other words, things are meant to be a wee bit awkward that first week back, but the benefit of resting and rejuvenating your body is too great for the “but I’m going to be so weak and won’t be able to do anything anymore so I can’t rest” excuse to stand. The longer the break, the more graduated the return to training should be. Personally, I have found that when I take a few weeks off after a comp, it’s not so much strength and flexibility that I lose, it’s my awareness and coordination. Everyone is different but by taking a sensible approach, you’ll be back doing what you were doing pre-break in no time, and mostly likely doing them better.
ABOUT SELINA - Selina has been physio-terrorising Brisbane since 2000, and started specialising in pole-dance injuries since taking up pole dancing herself in 2007. Selina is the official physio for the International Pole Championship (IPC). She has special interests in chronic, complex and stubborn problems, Pilates and flexibility training. Selina is available for physiotherapy at Fitness Wonderland in West End, Brisbane, Australia.
And on that note ladies (and gentlemen) I wish you all a very Merry and Safe Christmas, and here's to an AWESOME 2015 for all of us!
Lots of Pole Love & Hugs