Training outside of lessons can be really hard! How many times to you get to the studio and have zero motivation and no idea what to do?
Here are my top tips on how to plan and have a great training session:
1. Plan your week. This doesn’t have to be super detailed but an outline of what you want to do on each day will really help shape your training week. I personally like to designate certain days to certain types of pole – one day for strength training, one for bending, one for combos and so on. I know I can’t do a crazy bendy day followed by a strength day so I make sure there’s a gap in between.
2. Plan your session. Even if it’s a quick plan written before you start, knowing your goals will focus your session. Here are the elements I plan:
Warm Up – warm up is so important. Start with some generally mobilisation, and then focus on movements that mirror the rest of your training session. For example, if you were focusing on splits moves, warm up your whole body and then focus on hamstrings and hip flexors to make sure they are ready! Aim for at least 10-15 minutes.
Floorwork / Flow – using floorwork and flow is a great way to ensure you are really warmed up and it helps get the creative juices flowing (of course this could be a training session alone). You can experiment with movements you already have, linking different ones together. Alternatively, put a track on, move to the music and see what happens. Why not set a challenge, like keeping one limb on the ground at all time?
Stretch / Strength Training – now that you are super warm, turn your attention to the moves you want to train. If you need to stretch or train your strength, now is a good time.
Tricks / Combos – which tricks do you want to train today? I personally like a mixture of old tricks that I’m perfecting, and new tricks to challenge myself and keep it fresh.
Cool Down – make sure you do a cool down to allow your body to recover. A gentle stretch session is so beneficial.
3. Have a long term goal. Whether it’s a performance, competition, level of fitness or a particular trick, a long term goal will keep you driven and motivated.
4. Write notes from your training session. What went well, what do you need to work on Use this to plan your next training sessions.
5. Build in rest days. This one is so important. Overtraining is as bad, sometimes worse than not training at all. Your body needs time to recover from your session so make sure you build in rest days and recovery time to your plan. There is nothing more demotivating that having no energy to train.
6. Learn to walk away from a bad training session. This is my best tip and it has taken me along time to learn! Sometimes, for whatever reason, your training session just won’t go to plan no matter how hard you try. It’s okay to walk away from it, to stop training or to train something else. You don’t have to stick to your plan. Listen to your body, if it’s not happening, there’s probably a reason for it. It’s okay to leave it for that day and come back to it another time.
7. Progress pictures. So, not really part of a plan but taking “start” pictures will really help you see how far you have come and will motivate you to go futher!