So we know that exercise is important for everyone, right? But how to we get everyone addicted to it (in a healthy way, not a scary way), like, how do we get folks started? I think you have to take what you really enjoy, and use that to jump you into working out. Am I making sense?
Case in point. I started going to Zumba classes with my younger sister when I was like 16. I was instantly hooked. We went every Tuesday afternoon that we could. And I fell off of the Zumba boat when I went to college. Toward the end of college, when I started feeling a little self-conscious about my body (I wasn’t working out or eating well at all) I picked up going to classes again, and decided that I was going to get licensed. And the decision to get licensed completely changed the trajectory of my life. Zumba was my “gateway drug,” and I explored different class formats that I may not have even considered. I yoga, I run, I run, I run, I cycle, I zumba, I dance, I lift, and I wouldn’t have begun to do any of it without Zumba.
Pole fitness is the same for a lot of women.
I teach off-the-pole classes at a local pole fitness studio, Aradia Fitness in Cary, NC. On this particular day last week, I was supposed to teach a Zumba class, and it was a perfect storm. My classes are normally pretty packed, but no one showed up. Not a soul. It happens. I’m not offended. Heather, an extremely experienced pole dancer and teacher, invited me to stay at the studio and jump in on her Pole 1 class, an intro of sorts to pole fitness. I was apprehensive. I don’t know how to do any of that stuff, and what if the other girls laughed at me and told their friends that their Zumba instructor had transformed into a buffalo and crashed around the room, breathing heavily, and sweating all over everything? But I figured it was nice of Heather to invite me, and instead of being a weirdo, I’d take her up.
First things first? Heather is an incredible teacher. I’m gonna toot my own horn here. I’m a good teacher. And it’s only because I learned from the absolute best. I had Koh Herlong, I had Lindsay Gilvin, I had Austin Samples. All great teachers. Good teachers recognize it in others. Heather had it. We started with a cute warm-up, and as the class progressed, the workout turned a little more sexy. Sexy walks, hip circles, hamstring stretches. We took it to the floor. Push-ups, more hip-flexor warm-ups, warm ups for our wrists, for our necks. It was funny, everything Heather did and taught looked really sexy, especially when she did it, but everything had a purpose.
Next, we got on the poles.
We started with a little dance, and each move was cued by Heather. Then, we did some pole work. Spins, climbs, and even some more advanced work. My poor knees were so banged up, but on the pole, my arms, my quads, and my legs were getting an awesome workout. And the next day, my abs, my arms, and my legs were sore. In a great way.
So my review? If you’re having trouble getting motivated? And you have the funds? Try a pole fitness class. It’s a great confidence builder. Unlike other group fitness classes, there are no mirrors in the studios, and the classes are much smaller. Where some of my classes have held upwards of 100 people, there were about 6 of us girls, which allowed for individual time with the teacher, and if you’re feeling awkward, you don’t have to stare at yourself in the mirror. Heather, speaking of, was so talented, and obviously had benefited from her time in pole fitness. She was jacked!
So this place gets at A+ from me. Facility is gorgeous, classes are great, and I felt so pretty after! And if you’re feeling apprehensive, like you feel like you’re just going to some skanky stripping class, think again. Every single move in the class had a purpose. There wasn’t a dance, there wasn’t a spin, there wasn’t a move that didn’t have a specific purpose, which I only picked up on because I teach. But to the untrained bod, you may just think you’re dancing around. And hey, if you can burn calories just thinking you’re dancing around with 6 of your friends around a pole, then more power to your workout, right?