Sunday, December 6, 2015

PhD in Pole

Tammy and I have volunteered to be participants in a PhD candidate study on pole dancing as a form of physical activity. That's right, a pole PhD, certainly cooler than my final year project.

The study involves four sessions where we take part in a typical advanced pole class including a warm up, skills, a routine, and a cool down/stretch, all while wearing heart rate monitors and periodically having our blood lactate levels measured (by way of pricks behind our ears and blood testing).  Each session, one of the three participants in the class wears a Darth Vader/Immortan Joe looking mask to measure air flow which is recorded by a computer mounted on their back, all while looking like some sort of crazy pole dancing robot machine. The location is the brand new pole studio at Roar Fitness.

The first session was an equipment acclimatisation session where we got used to the mask, heart monitors, blood lactate measurements, and brass poles (my god those grippy suckers burn). Today we just finished our third session, so one more to go. Tammy wore the mask this week, and I wore it last week.

Pole Study

Pole Study

I have to say, the whole experience has been really fun! Claire (the instructor) has been an amazing teacher, and an absolute trooper since she has to teach the exact same class three times a day (for each of the three sessions), three weeks in a row. Wearing the mask was not the funnest experience, but by the end of the session we managed to get used to the feeling of restricted air flow. The worst part was that by the end of the session, all the sweat that had built up in the mask throughout the class started pooling to either side as I inverted and spun... not too gorgeous. The feeling of taking that mask off (and releasing the pool of sweat into a bucket filled with disinfectant) may have been worth it.

I really hope that Joanna (the PhD candidate running the study) gets results she's looking for, and I really can't wait to see what she comes up with. It will be really interesting to see some actual numbers about pole dancing as exercise, because up to now it's only been a guess. From results it's pretty obvious that pole helps build muscle, increase fitness, and burn fat, but Joanna's study will help get some facts and figures to back up our sport. Good luck Joe!

Also look what arrived today, I love them!

Flying High Business Cards

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