What to expect?
I teach a lot of beginner pole fitness classes and I am always meeting new students. I even remember my first pole class, back in 2010 in the Radisson Hotel in Galway City.
After my son was born I was over weight. I went from size 8-10 to 12-14 in clothes. I lost my confidence and I hid in over-sized clothes for a long time. So deciding to do something about it, I went looking online and discovered pole fitness. I was amazed and instantly though I have to try! I was so excited and nervous of course, I had no clue what to expect. I signed myself up online and took off to go to my first pole class all by myself.
We started with a warm-up. Then took to a pole sharing with two others at the time. There were only 3 poles in the room. I remember my first fireman spin. It all looked straight forward when the instructor showed us. I tried and was very confused, I went right to the floor. Knowing that it was harder than it looked, it set on a challenge. Using arms, shoulders, legs, feet, co-ordination and some brain power, to figure what went where?
None the less I loved it so much, and I still do. It wasn’t long after I bought my first pole, an X-pole sport (static 45 mm).
Now I am all grown up. I run and teach classes myself. I see a lot of people just like me, come along to try their first pole fitness class and they are nervous and excited too. Trust me, its not as scary as you might think. If its new to you then you have the exciting challenge ahead but the rewarding feeling of accomplishment when you master that trick or spin, it has to be the best feeling ever! Developing a sense of achievement, over coming the fear and realizing that its a really fun way to get fit, toned and flexible. In time you will develop a positive body image that is realistic and not this media image where everyone is perfect, let me tell you, there is no such thing as a perfect person or body!
What I am trying to say is that you learn to love your body for what it can do. You accept yourself as you are and realizing that your body is an amazing machine. I suppose I have gained an appreciation for myself and my body.
Let’s warm up.. We start with a warm-up to loosen the joints in the shoulders, arms, hips, legs and warming the spine. We include active and dynamic stretching, some flow movement and co-ordination. Adding in movement that we will learn in class, so that it’s not so new when the time comes to try it. This is all done to the beat of the music.
Making new friends.. there is normally 2 max to a pole so that everyone gets a chance and has enough time to practice and getting one to one attention from their instructor. Group classes are always the best fun. It is encouraging to have a friend cheer you on.
Feeling the burn.. Getting the feel for new spins and tricks can cause some bruising, which is normal. It can also cause a burn sensation on the skin, but this will go away by the time you learn the next new trick, that sensation will be gone. Beginners normally experience burns on the forearm, back of the knee and feet. By the time the student learns the next trick they will discover that the last one they learned no longer hurts. You will also feel the burn in your muscles for at least two days later. You may feel stiff as is normal with a body weight exercises. Remember to keep a moving so you over come the stiffness and gentle stretching.
You won’t be naked.. I know it can be intimidating stripping off in front of people that you possibly don’t know, but be assured as a beginner you won’t need to bare all. The most exposed will be legs, when learning to climb and sit. And think of it this way, what about Swimmers, Volleyball, Tennis players? They have their legs exposed and nothing is said about them. We need our skin exposed so that we can grip the pole.
Putting it altogether.. We spend some time learning spins, tricks and floor-work, yes floor-work, you might be wondering? As we don’t spend ALL of our time flying around in mid air, its nice to have a break in between and learn some moves on the floor, floor work is fun to play with too. When everyone is feeling comfortable we then take what we have learned and add it to a choreography. This is the part that will make you sweat, like cardio. It will also test your memory thinking what comes next.
Having fun.. The only person that will be watching you is your instructor, so don’t worry about anyone watching you. Everyone is different, don’t compare yourself to anyone. I always tell my students to lift their heads and smile when they try their very first pole walk. Take it at your own pace. Its not boot camp, but if you want to go beast mode, then I will be happy to help you with that!
Cooling down.. After we go trough the fun of dancing and flowing, linking our tricks together. We come to cool down with gentle stretching using the pole in a static stretch. There you have it, you have just completed your very first pole class. Welcome to the pole community.
Pole love from – The Pole Garage xx