Updated: Feb 23, 2021
Powerlifting and Pole-dancing Hi there! My name is Emily or Princess for those who know me and I’m the mobility and stretch teacher on the team. I have two sports that I love- one is Powerlifting like most of you. The other is Pole-dancing- but probably not the type that you think.
I started Powerlifting 3/4 years ago and Pole 2 years ago. Pole isn’t the heels and dancing that you see in the night clubs. It’s a combination or strength, flexibility, stability and mobility. I use my body as a weight similar to calisthenics but use a stainless steel pole that can either spin itself or stay stable. For me Pole dancing is a very empowering feeling of pushing my body to do tricks from going upside down and performing a split up the pole, to performing an Iron X (Human Flag) or flipping off the pole and landing. It’s incredibly varied and depends what you as a person want from pole.
I personally enjoy all three elements I explained above, I love teaching it and inspiring my students to get stronger and more flexible through classes and their own practice. I also compete in pole dancing competitions all over the country- it’s pretty different from a powerlifting one! You have to create a routine with a theme which has to be 4 minutes in length at least- you have to use spinny pole, static pole and floor work and have a plenty of tricks that combines strength and flexibility and it has to be entertaining too- quite a lot of categories to fill.
Competing in both Powerlifting and Pole both come with their benefits to each other and their negatives. Having more than 1 sport is hard to balance but it does really help GPP- General Physical Preparation( generally preparing the body for any need that it might meet). I personally feel they compliment each other due to having to work on my mobility and stability in my joints and muscles for pole it means that mobility for my 3 main lifts comes easier for myself than others for example those who have seen my bench range of motion is about 2 inches due to thoracic and shoulder mobility helped by pole.
Having to balance time between the two sports is hard - one week there will be more gym, one week there will be more pole but that’s life and it’s about finding the right balance for me depending on where my energy and focus is at. Another negative is how fatigue can build up depending on what I’m exactly training and if coming up to a pole comp my strength for lifting won’t be at it’s peak- and the risk of injury is higher too- in either sport. And as for coaching someone who does both Powerlifting and Pole dancing I can only say it just be tricky doing my program. Here is Coach Chars insight on how it differs from usual powerlifters.
Firstly the biggest consideration is being flexible/accommodating for what potentially can be various levels of external fatigue week by week. Being open minded that sometimes data won’t necessarily always correlate due to my secondary sport. Secondly- Seasonal goals - As any power lifter would have in their competitive season and off-season. Rather than that being around when purely powerlifting comps are- it’s being fixed around both Pole and Powerlifting.
Lastly with doing pole dancing regularly this is a stimulant for my body that does create an element of fatigue, which needs to be accommodated. Pole is a sport that requires high flexibility and so my mobility routine needs to be prioritised even more than a powerlifter. Most powerlifters don’t have necessarily have the need for full range of motion within a their hips for example in an ATG squat, however I will for pole dancing moves. Therefore, my accessories are based very much around end range work rather than solely improving compound strength to improve my powerlifting.