Do you ever get discouraged and feel like you’re not making progress? Do you graduate from Beginner Pole feeling strong and accomplished only to feel completely inept your first Intermediate class? Do you feel like you’re stuck in a rut, like you’ve barely improved these last few months?

I started doing something last year that has really helped to encourage me in my fitness and weight loss goals. I created a Fitness Profile for myself. It has things like how many push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups and squats I can do. It records how long I can hold a plank, and wall sit. It has how long it takes me to run (haha more walking than running) a mile.  When I get discouraged and feel like I’m not getting anywhere, I look back at that Fitness Profile sheet and do all those exercises again. As I do each one I record my new total numbers and times. Each time I’ve gone back and done it again, I’ve seen an improvement. Sometimes only by doing 1 more push-up or by holding 3 seconds more on a plank, but it’s still improvement.
This month, I decided to do a Pole Profile. How long can I hold a Sit? How high can I Stand Climb? Sit Climb? Side Climb? How many pole pull-ups can I do? How many knee tucks? Pole pumps? Pelvic lifts? Reverse curls? I also took a few pictures of some moves I’d like to improve. In a few weeks or months I’ll take some new pictures so I can compare them side by side and see if I’ve gotten more flexible, engaged and confident (and desensitized).
Another good way to track progress, that I am terrible at keeping up with, is a Pole Journal. It’s a good way to track progress and new skills at every class and practice. You can review that later when you feel stuck and remember some old moves you were really good at and haven’t done in a while. You may also find that perfect stretch or conditioning exercise to help achieve the new pose you’re trying to perfect.
On a side note… Did you know that our bodies need to be constantly challenged in order to adapt and get stronger.  If you do three sets of 10 pole pull ups every day for a year…you will just be really good at doing 3 sets of 10 pole pull ups and not much else.  You need to constantly increase the difficulty of your workouts in order to improve. You also need to incorporate different muscle groups so they all work together and build off one another. If you’re looking for tips or info on that – talk with our Aerial Dance personal trainers! Wealth of knowledge bottled up waiting to help you!
So where are you at right now? I’m challenging you – at your next practice, bring a timer, camera (both of which are probably on your phone), a piece of paper, and a pen. Time how long you can hold a Sit. Write it down. Do your max number of pole pull-ups. Write it down. Do seated v leg lifts till you can’t anymore. Write it down! Ask someone to take a picture of you in your favorite move, least favorite move, and a move you want to improve. In a few weeks when you get discouraged, get to a practice and do it all over again. Then write your progress, improvement and achievements on a Gold Star Girl card!!!