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How to train on your own, like a boss

Tips on how to transition from classes to gym time, stress free.

I started taking pole classes about 2 years ago now, but only really got stuck into it this time last year. I remember getting frustrated when I couldn’t make a class, as they’re split by ability so you can’t just rock up on any old night. So one day, I decided to go down to the studio outside of class hours and train by myself. 

When I’d booked it, it hadn’t really occurred to me that I’d never attempted to do any pole training on my own, it was only when I got there and found myself staring at the pole that I realised I had no idea where to start. I remember thinking to myself “ok, how do we warm up in class? What do we always start with?” a few things started to come back to me and I started to move around a bit, went on to practicing a few tricks on the pole but when I got stuck and nobody was there to tell me what I was doing wrong, I realised that I was completely lost. 

This blog post isn’t about pole. I’m writing it because before this experience I had never really understood what people meant when they’d tell me they didn’t want to train on there own because they had no idea what they were doing. I guess I just couldn’t really relate, as I can’t even really remember how I got into going to the gym, but finding my way with pole training has refreshed my memory.

Here are my top tips on how to get yourself out of the class and into the gym, on your own, without feeling super lost and awkward (know that this applies to any sport, or I guess perhaps with anything).

  • Make sure that after every class or lesson you take, you make a physical or mental note of what you did.

I have a whole notepad full of moves I’ve learned from different classes I’ve been to, or different people I have trained with. There’s absolutely no shame in being a copy cat here, if you’re learning from people who are awesome at what they do you better make sure you don’t forget what they’re teaching you!

  • Practice on your own when the material is fresh in your mind.

Just going through the motions of new material that you learn the next day will help you remember it when it comes to training at a later date. 

  • Make a plan, write down what you’re going to do so that you go in prepared.

When I first started lifting weights, I went to bodybuilding.com, found a fitness model on there that I fancied looking like, found an article she’d wrote detailing her training plan, sent it through to my phone and started the next day. If I were to look back at it now, I’d probably make a load of changes to it, but at that stage of my fitness journey it was the perfect start. Within a few weeks I’d met people who were helping me, giving me tips along the way which meant that I was learning, and that was the most important thing.

  • Film yourself. Film your instructor. Film everything. Always.

I cannot even stress how important I think this is. I don’t care whether you think someone might judge you because they think you’re filming yourself for Instagram. Why let them get in the way of your progress? I also don’t care if you’re afraid because you think you’re doing it wrong… Hell, all the more reason to film it and see what it looks like. Don’t just film what you think you’re doing well, film it all. That way you’ll spot where you’re going wrong, or if you’re unsure, do some research to find out or ask an expert who can tell you.

  • Find people who are doing stuff you think is awesome, follow them (online or in real life), learn from them. Use the save function on Instagram.

We all have our gurus… right? Whether they know we exist or not. We are so lucky to have so much inspiration everywhere we look now, use it! Find people who have achieved what you’re looking to achieve and find out how they did it. Use that as guidance.

  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.

Don’t even just ask once, ask different people as more often than not, you’ll get different answers… But that’s ok. Keep an open mind, don’t dismiss ideas because you’ve read or someone has told you otherwise. Training means so many different things to different people, and there will hardly ever only be one route you can take to achieve your goals. Search to find what works for you. Learn, grow, develop skills and understanding… you’ll look back and wonder why you were ever a little nervous to start.

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