Place #8: UltraViolet Pole Fitness

The first time I thought I had legitimate strength in my arms was the summer I was FSD at camp. Lifting huge sacks of flour and 30 quart bowls of pancake batter on a regular basis will do that. But over the past couple years that muscle has faded away from lack of use. I have often wished that I had some aspect of my routine that maintained the strength in my arms. Not enough to actually do anything about it. Until now. Kind of.

For just over a month now, Justine and I have been working out three times a week. I joined mainly as Justine’s motivation/accountability partner but also figured I could probably use the exercise. (As much as I like to tell myself I get exercise walking to work, I don’t go into the office often enough for it to really amount to anything). The workout consists of things like squats, lunges, push ups, sit ups, burpees, and planks. It lasts 30mins.

When we first started, we couldn’t make it through the whole 30mins. After a week or so, we managed to make it all the way and it has become easier as the weeks go on. Of course, the exercises get more difficult as well. But mainly I noticed that my endurance has improved drastically. I am less out of breath every time we exercise and am getting better at (some of) the exercises.

However, endurance is not to be mistaken strength. Specifically, my arms are not any noticeably stronger than from when we started. I can do push ups on my knees, but not fully extended. So when Justine mentioned that she wanted to try pole dancing and Nicola signed us up for a class, I was skeptical.

Place #8: UltraViolet Pole Fitness, 6 Carlaw Ave, Toronto, ON, M4M 2R5

My thoughts going into pole dancing were: I don’t have the upper body strength to do this. I can’t believe I’m going to a pole dancing class. Is this going to be awkwardly sexual? Who convinced me to come to a pole dancing class?

It ended up going a lot better than I thought. Only a handful of the moves we learned actually involved hanging on the pole and didn’t depend on a lot of upper body strength.  We would only be hanging from our arms for a very brief period at a time, so it was never seriously straining.* The other moves were around the pole and on the floor. The spins were a lot of fun though. I’m sure it didn’t look graceful, let alone sexy, when I did it, but it felt cool. Not a new hobby by any means, but I had fun.

*This is not to say that pole dancing doesn’t require upper body strength. Our instructor showed us a move where she was upside down on the pole and was literally only holding on with her arms, keeping the rest of her body parallel with the bar. For more than one reason, I do not have a future in pole dancing.

No other new places this week! But, next week’s place it pretty exciting!

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