I Feel Stuck, How Can I Progress In Pole?
I'm going to be completely honest with you, it may seem blunt but I'm not going to beat around the bush about it.
Progression is merely down to you as an individual, are you training enough? Are you doing all the right things? Are you saying yes? Then lets look a bit further to figure it out
Think as progress as baking a cake ( we all love a bit of cake, well I do)
Main Cake Ingredients
You whack it all together, but only put 10% of the flour required into it. Are you going to see that cake rise into the best cake it can be?.... No of course not... der, all the ingredients is required at it's right measurements to achieve that yummy sponge cake. Changing any part of the ingredients is going to change the end results
Now what has cake ingredients got to do with pole... well I'm so glad you asked.
The beauty of pole is it is so unique to us individually, what we want for our end results will dictate what ingredients we need.
Let me give you an example, student Jane is in higher beginner classes and has been for a while, she is so desperate to be able to level up into intermediate however she just hasn't quite got enough strength to hold her self upside down.
Janes Current Ingredients
X1 Pole Tricks class
X1 Aerial Hoop Class
Jane has been attending x3 classes a week for months, she's frustrated that she's not progressing up to the next level.
Now we know Jane hasn't got the strength yet to go into Intermediate classes but she also tells us she doesn't have time or money to be able to attend more classes/ do more training.
So what should Jane do ? Well her focus should be on conditioning, after all learning more tricks is great and will totally increase her pole knowledge but it isn't conditioning
What is conditioning?
A series of exercises which will develop strength, speed & endurance, essential not only for pole progression but for reducing the risk of injuries too.
Conditioning consists of repetition of moves which will aid muscle memory to get you stronger to do more advanced tricks, increase endurance so you can hold moves and work out for longer, for example being able to transition into other moves without stopping and getting off the pole.
So what should Jane do? Jane needs to challenge her body to make progress, so her week could go something like this!
Janes Ideal Ingredients
X1 Pole Tricks
X2 Pole Conditioning
So you know I said I was going to be brutally honest.. well this is where it comes out to play.
Most people know what they should do, and have probably been told many times by their coach/instructor or anyone else they have seeked advice from... there is no magical solution I'm afraid, you have to work your butt off and do the stuff you don't really want to do.
I get it, conditioning isn't as fun as learning new tricks, it can/should be hard, if it isn't challenging, it isn't going to change you. So even if you are doing conditioning twice a week cos I'm sure 'Susan' will tell me she has. Doing 10 ballerina crunches, 5 tucks and a pole climb when you have been poling for over a year isn't pushing you self that should just be part of your warm up before then getting serious into your conditioning.
Quite often conditioning is the key element for all pole development, if it's not conditioning for strength it could be conditioning for flexibility totally depending on what your goals are!
So are you saying 'oh I'm never going to get into intermediate classes' 'I'm never going to be strong enough' 'I'll never invert' but don't actually attend any conditioning classes or even do them at home to get you there?
If that's you, then you really have nothing to complain about. I've given many students a plan to do at home and will of course help anyone who needs it, but from previous experience they may do it once and never complete it again. Now that's cool with me, it's not affecting by ability it's only affecting your progression, you have the tools you need to make progress, it's up to you to do it.
It really depends how serious you are about making progress, are you willing to make the changes you need? Some people are super happy to stay at the level they're at, but if you're not, you need to change your current workout week, spice it up!
The other thing to help progression is your diet... Are you getting enough protein to help your muscles repair and grow, getting enough nutrients to give you energy to want to work out or are you binging on a whole box of sweets and a Chinese?
That's a whole other topic but just something to think about.
Learn pole at home in levels, so you know what to do, what your pre requisites are and what you can progress to, to make it super easy to learn at home when ever you want.