Class 2 of 30 Recap: Pole Fitness (Yes, it’s for men too)
2 down, 28 more to go in the 30 Classes in 30 Days Challenge! Admittedly, pole fitness is the class that terrified me the most on the schedule, and I wanted to get it out of the way early. So, mission accomplished. I have the bruises and soreness to prove it.
Why was I terrified?
1. Well for starters I was an engineering major in college, and I have an understanding of the forces involved in getting my 6’6″ 230 pound frame to do anything acrobatic, much less on a pole. Essentially in the picture shown, I am pulling my entire body weight with my top hand and pushing my entire body weight with my bottom hand to even out the forces. This is harder in a stationary position because there is no centrifugal force moving outward to relieve some of the stress on my arms, which is why spinning on the pole feels easier.
Okay, enough of the physics lesson.
2. There is a bit of a stigma associated with men doing this, but I can affirm that this can definitely be a manly activity. The strength required in your shoulders, core/abs and hips must be massive. There are things that are easier for men to do than women, such as inversions where significant upper body strength is required, and there are other things that men will have a harder time with due to having more mass, like holding your entire body on the pole using only your thighs (ouch!).
So, why did I take this class? According to Google trends it is a fast growing trend, and it is something else I could do to expand the diversity of things I have tried. I even learned toward the end of the class that I can do a headstand, which I have not tried since I was a kid.
My Pole 101 class was at Boston Pole Fitness with instructor Stacy Hamilton, who has been a certified instructor for 5 years. She was great at helping adjust positioning and grip so you can use your muscles in the most efficient way possible. As the only male in the class, she also made me feel very comfortable (and even served as my willing photographer after class). She even showed a few more advanced moves, at one point going into a full body flag (pic below) and beyond to an inversion.
Ultimately, it was a great experience, and I would do it again. It is something challenging and fun to do with friends, especially if you get into more advanced classes where you will need a spotter to keep you from crushing your skull. And besides, it is a great conversation starter!