BY COSHANDRA DILLARD, email@example.com
There’s plenty of ways to get fit, and Tyler has a new one. Pole Exercise-Tyler was designed to be a fun place for women to gain confidence and improve fitness. The basis of pole fitness, or poling, involves twirling around or doing intricate maneuvers on a vertical pole secured between the ceiling and floor.
Owner Amy Price, who was athletic growing up, opened the business after being a stay-at-home mom for about five years.
She opened the 1,800-square-foot space along a row of businesses on South Broadway Avenue on Feb. 1. Mrs. Price, 29, hired eight other women to lead classes, which include yoga, strength and conditioning and belly dancing.
She said while women may experience positive outcomes from poling, they’re not worried about an expected outcome during the workout, such as the number of calories they burn or miles ran.
“The main goal is to have fun and get active,” Mrs. Price said. “It’s more like coming to a place with your good girlfriends, and you’re just having a really good time. You’re listening to music. You’re going at your own pace.”
Lacey Lafayette, a personal trainer who also offers a strength and conditioning boot camp at Pole Exercise-Tyler, echoed the sentiment that fitness goals are accomplished when people enjoy what they do.
“A lot of times women go to different exercise programs and boot camps,” she said. “They’re doing it to get fit but they’re not necessarily enjoying it every single time. With pole exercise, you’re having a lot of fun with something you’ve probably never done before.”
BENEFITS OF POLE EXERCISE
Mrs. Price, the mother of three children ages 8 months, 2 and 5, lost 10 pounds in about two months, dropped a couple of sizes and has more endurance. She said poling has been a factor in that.
“I’m definitely so much stronger,” she said. “My posture is better. It’s helped me in so many different ways.”
At a participant’s most advanced level, the body can flexibly twist, turn and support itself freely without hands on the pole.
Some poling moves look like yoga techniques; others resemble trapeze stunts. But before ladies get there, they must strengthen their upper body, core muscles and legs.
Newbies to the class just enjoy learning a new and entertaining way to work their muscles.
“It’s fun,” Jessica Odom said. “It’s good cardio. I noticed I’m getting toned, and I’m getting stronger in my arms.”
The 23-year-old has enrolled in an eight-week course at Mrs. Price’s facility that teaches the basics of pole exercise.
And if the elementary classes are too difficult, Mrs. Price utilizes other trainers at her studio, including Mrs. Lafayette. Her strength and conditioning boot camp focuses on building the strength, flexibility and endurance to withstand some poling routines.
“It’s not like your traditional boot camp where you’ll be doing just a lot of pushups all of the time,” she said.
Her classes utilize planks, abdominal exercises and other work on the pole.
Mrs. Price and Lafayette both said women have to have an open mind and forget about negative stigma associated with pole exercise.
“It’s just about bringing out your inner goddess,” Mrs. Lafayette said. “All the things that make it seem bad and negative and ugly and nasty aren’t going to be in the studio.”
CARVING A DIFFERENT PATH
Mrs. Price graduated from The University of Texas at Tyler with a degree in psychology. She’d later secure a job as a substance abuse counselor. Initially, she’d planned to pursue medical school but became pregnant with first child during her senior year.
By her third child, she was inspired to revisit the idea of opening a pole exercise studio, similar to the ones in Dallas. Last fall, her husband encouraged her to make it happen.
Mrs. Price didn’t need a lot of training. She’s self-taught.
“I’ve always been an athlete so it’s wasn’t very hard for me to jump into it,” she said. “It was more just doing the research to learn the proper techniques.”
Mrs. Price said pole fitness is for every woman.
“Every single move we do has an intense modification and a beginner modification,” she said. “It’s definitely something any lady can achieve, any fitness level, you will move up.”
For more information on classes, poleexercise-tyler.wix.com/poleexercise-tyler.