Its clichéd but lets face it there is something about the start of the year that makes us want to re-evaluate things, take positive steps and set goals.
Setting goals can help us to have a clear mindset and provide motivation, but there can be pit falls.
We need to set realistic, specific goals rather than trying to change everything at once.
For pole related goals – we can get a bit lost because we want to be good at everything!
Surely everything needs to improve!
But this tends to actually slow our progress down as we jump from goal to goal, usually when we stop seeing progress in a specific area.
So we are going to play a 'Goals Game' to help narrow things down :)
- Start with 10 goals
- What would you love to achieve/do this year in your pole training?
- Then check your list and get down to around 5
- Are there any that could be classed together? Are any of them unrealistic? Which goals do you want to tackle first?
- Now take your reduced list and ask your self “why?” for each one – 3 times.
Compete in a pole competition
Get more flexible
Take a workshop with…
Goal: To compete in a pole competition
Why: To challenge myself
Why: So I focus my training on a specific goal, increasing training sessions per week
Why: Flexibility has needed improving for a long time but have been focusing on tricks instead
The goal of a pole competition actually ends up encompassing 3 goals – It brings together a number of goals but makes it specific and measurable. The time frame is set (when the video entry needs to be in) it’s easily accountable (you can tell people of your intent to enter and they can hold you to it) and you can tie in a targeting training schedule to improve your flexibility.
*Goal Tip: You will never really feel 'ready to compete', the process or entering and preparing for it gets you 'ready'. Take the step to commit and its the perfect motivation.
Goal: To get Stronger
Why: So I am able to get tricks easier
Why: So I don’t become frustrated in training
Why: Because I lose motivation and find it hard to track improvement.
This one is harder as its not specific – what is stronger? How will you be able to tell if you are? The tricks all require a different level/kind of strength so it will be hard to see improvement and you might never feel like you’ve reached your goal.
Goal: To be able to perform an aerial shoulder mount.
Why: It’s a trick I’ve tried to achieve for a long time
Why: Because I haven’t been training it enough…
Why: Because it’s a difficult trick and I don’t feel strong enough.
This exercises makes you be honest with yourself about why you might not be able to do something yet.
So how to you reach this goal?
*Goal Tip: Breakdown what’s been holding you back and then you can make changes towards improving it.
Are your biceps strong enough to hold your body weight in a hang?
You can train this from the floor so you are confident when you get up the pole
Is your core strong enough to lift your hips into the shoulder mount position?
Could you do some off the pole conditioning to progress this without the stress of the move itself?
Is your technique on point?
Could you book in a private with your instructor to dial in your technique with the safety of spotting so you can commit to the movement and check your not forming bad habits?
Now instead of just simply ‘I’m going to keep trying’ – which can be very disheartening, you can form a solid plan and keep chipping away at your goal until its achieved.
Make sure you reward yourself mentally with any improvement – it’s not just the end goal, it’s the process and the fact you’re sticking with it that will actually be benefitting you hugely and cross over in to many other areas of you pole training and life in general!
Sneaky Tips on deadlifts and Iron-X Goals....
I have a feeling these 2 are going to feature heavily in many people’s lists! So here is my 2 pence on what to look out for.
If you’ve only learnt Twisted grip handspring/Ayesha – you’ve only really strengthened the top position/the Ayesha so your body has no training at the bottom or middle positions. Gravity is a cruel mistress and hoping that she’ll switch off one day and allow us to hover effortlessly in mid-air is unfortunately unrealistic (damn her)
Work on your true grip and cup grip handsprings/Ayesha’s – they require more shoulder stability, are much better for your shoulder alignment and will improve your strength where the twisted grip will not.
Strengthen your shoulders/scapular and oblique’s – this can be done off the pole or in other pole conditioning exercises to mix up your training and target those specific areas.
Try lowering/lifting in an attitude leg position – this helps you to engage the glutes of the top leg and help ‘lift’ hips from your oblique’s.
Get to a good instructor! Although they look like all out strength moves – there is a LOT of technique involved, and sometimes the smallest adjustment can make the world of difference.
Hope you've found this helpful and look out for Part 2 which will be breaking down different areas we can improve on.