The Plateau. A term that’s thrown around a lot in the fitness world, it indicates the slowing down of muscle growth in a fitness routine. How do you break out of it? Change your intensity or change your routine by using your muscles in a different way.
I didn’t set out to do other activities for that reason, I tried new activities because I made new friends who invited me to tag along while they went rock climbing last week. While pole obviously helped me, it took a while to get used to. For starters, your hands aren’t gripping a smooth, perfectly cylindrical pole. Your finger tips are digging into sandpaper coated rocks of varying diameter. Then there was just simple maneuvering. I started off with a super death grip and kept my body close to the wall for fear of falling. I have a tendency to make things much harder than they need to be, and I later learned to simply lean away from the wall which provided a rest position. “Ohhhhh……”
But man….I was a wreck the next day. I could barely put on my shirt and turning the steering wheel proved to be the most challenging task of my morning. I spent a good half hour on my “foam” roller, took an Epsom salt bath and tried to keep moving as I had class that night. Once I actually got going on the pole I felt fine, and thanks to chugging an espresso right before class I was practically bouncing off the walls. My excitement was also due in part to the fact that my instructor and I both showed up in hot pink Lululemon shorts, black and white striped Lululemon sports bras and black tank tops. Yes, that in and of itself is awesome, but, I was mainly excited because a couple hours before class I texted her asking to try a doubles move. So how perfect was that?
But back on topic.
The post workout hangover was something I actually missed. I know the pain I felt was my muscles simply tearing and repairing, and I plan on adding new, fun activities to help make me a better pole dancer. So, here are my new goals:
How can this not help? It requires extreme grip and upper body strength, creativity and fearlessness. Done.
This is another DUH. During my downtime at work I work on my rope climbing, pirouette on balance beams (not with any grace yet), practice handstands and work out on the wall bars. I’ve been showing up at 7:30am, an hour before the gym even opens, joining my coworkers in various workouts. They’ve been showing me gymnastics moves and I’ve been training them on the rope. Win-win! I am so grateful for this job, I actually did a lot of research trying to find a place around town that offered adult gymnastics classes and found nothing (because after puberty you can no longer be a champion?). Now I’m getting paid to learn.
I haven’t 100% committed to this idea yet but my coworkers are putting together a team and asked me to join. The Spartan Race does sound challenging and fun (a giant obstacle course involving lots of mud), however I’m unable to make it to their training sessions. I may try to train on my own, so we’ll see how that goes. Now, being strong doesn’t automatically make you fit; I’m going to need to start running in order to be in the shape I need to be in to complete the race. I’ve got just over three months. As soon as Spring decides to finally show up in Ottawa (I swear to god if we get one more snow storm…) I will be lacing up.
Another giant maybe on this one. My partner has been talking about wanting to do this for over a year now but his chronic elbow injury has been holding him back. I would love to give this a try as it seems to be extremely challenging. While I’m not a fan of lifting weights, Cross-Fit seems to make it interesting. This isn’t something I’d want to try alone so I’ll be patiently waiting until Pat feels better.
Aerial Silks / Lyra:
I’ve done it once and fell in love. As soon as my back is back to normal (oh god, forgive me it’s 5:30am) I will be rewarding myself with some Aerial classes. Out of everything I have mentioned so far today, this is what makes me most excited. It will be interesting to see if my flexibility has improved since November, hopefully all this time making “Pizza Legs” at work will pay off for a nice wide straddle. Pizza legs? Oh, sorry, you’re not three years old. We open our legs and make our pizza! Roll out the dough! What’s that, you want Gummy Bears on your pizza? Fucking genius.