How to get back to the Pole after a longer pause

It’s not easy to train regularly. In my 5-years of Pole, I’ve gone through various life stages in which I haven’t always managed to train consistently.

I discovered Pole when going to Uni and when, obviously, I had a lot of free-time at hand. Highly motivated, I went to Pole class 2-3 times per week, participated in performances and, of course, always practiced by myself. Then came the first semester abroad, part-time jobs, teaching classes as an instructor, up to my current situation with a 40-hour job and a second job as an instructor. I don’t even know what consistent training means anymore.

Do you know the feeling of finding yourself in a downward spiral of missed training, guilt, and a small pinch of fear (if I go back to training now, it will be horrible)? I feel like that could be the title of my last two years and far too often the conclusion was: Oh well, being off for so long, it really doesn’t matter if I skip training again.

Here are some personal tips that always help me to get back to the Pole:

(tomorrow, but really tomorrow!)

  1. Don’t be too harsh on yourself: 

    Honestly – damn it. It is as it is and there is not much, we can do about it now. It doesn’t do any good if, on top of everything else, we are now super mean to ourselves. This website recommends an interesting experiment to listen to all your inner voices. Divide yourself into three personalities – the critic, the criticised, the mediator. As the critic, you can give air to all your frustration and really tell yourself off. As the criticised defend yourself and tell your mean self how this criticism hurts. As the mediator, you mediate between the two previous positions. Would you give it a try? (more information here)

  2. Bring something new:

    Depending on how long your break was, you may have lost strength, endurance, or flexibility. You might not be able to keep up with your last training session and, of course, this can be extremely frustrating and might even deter you from resuming training. In this case, it always helps me to bring something new to the training. This way, it does not feel like a continuation of the last training, but rather like starting fresh. By new I mean, for example, creating a new playlist, buying a new Pole outfit, or starting a whole new choreo or trick.

  3. Do not try to make up for your missed training:

    Under no circumstances, you should risk overwhelming your body by trying to make up for your missed training sequences. If you’ve missed a training session, don’t train twice as long or intensively in the following training. Depending on how long the training was, be gentle with your body and listen to it carefully. Maybe start with a floor flow or some old moves that your muscles remember well.

Last but not least, some good news. This interesting study shows how your performance actually decreases in the case of a missed training and it is not as bad, as you might think. When you do not train for 1 week, this might even lead to a new performance high, as your body is optimally regenerated. However, even after a 10-14 days training break, the study demonstrated that your performance rate only drops by 6% and even after 63 days only by 25%. Another source indicates that your muscle memory allows you to return to your old high-performance level relatively quickly.

Do you have longer breaks in between your Pole training? How do you motivate yourself to get back and how to you make sure to stay injury-free?