top of page

Programming Part 2 - From Training to Success on the Stage

Updated: Jan 19, 2023

Jan 30th, 2021

After a year off comp training, I bet all pole and aerial dancers are itching to PERFORM! There’s nothing like that feeling you get when you get on the stage, all glammed and ready to WOW.


With comp dates released and an exciting year ahead, let’s talk comp prep for success!

Obviously, there are so many different components to comp success. There’s technique, level of difficulty, transition and even creativity components like musicality, concept and showmanship. Since the former can be addressed with training, you will likely have to train and work on multiple goals and focuses throughout the comp season.

And... what better way to plan your comp year filled with different goals and focuses than to periodise? If you haven’t read last week’s blog, then I’ve probably lost you (click here for more information). Basically, we want to plan our year using periodisation, which is a system we use to create a program that optimises results, prevents burnout and injury and enables you to work on several goals and focuses.

So, let’s do it! Here’s our step by step process:

Step 1: Important Dates

Jot down any comps, events or even showcases you want to participate in. Australian Polers you can have a look here for any upcoming comps/showcases you might want to audition for. You can also have a look at your own studio website or socials to find any upcoming in-studio comps.

Step 2: Set your Goal

Try and make them as S.M.A.R.T as possible. Check out our goal setting blog available here.

Goal example: Compete in Pole Addiction on May 9th and Hardcore on May 15th with a 4-minute routine

Step 3: Perform a Needs Analysis

This is the part where we determine what movements, strength and energy systems your body will require to perform your routine. And yes it can be super overwhelming and complex to break down so many components you are required to train for a routine.

Generally speaking a 4 minute routine requires energy from our ATP and anaerobic systems, so exercising using these energy systems will help prep you for those 4 insane minutes on stage. We can also train for specific pole moves off the stage. Check out blog 1 here for more info on how to break this process down and/or our cross training blog available here for more information.

If you’re unsure after reading these blogs, you can always check in with your friendly physiotherapist or book an appointment with The Pole Physio to get some assistance with this.

Step 4: Periodise

You usually want to plan around your competition, so I would work backwards from the date and place them within a 3-month macrocycle.

For example:

Obviously, you don’t need to start your programming at the beginning of a month - you can move it around to suit your competition date and/or social life.

Here I would place the key dates for the Pole Addiction Comp (9th May) and Hardcore Comp (16th May) in the ‘Competition Phase’. I would then work backwards to see when your Week 1 of training needs to commence.

Remember that Needs Analysis you just did? Well, make them into medium- and small-sized goals that you can input into your meso and microcycles.

For example:

Step 5: Plan Your Phases

Similar to achieving that Ayesha in our last blog, we need to plan around the 4 phases:

1. General Preparatory - Your workouts here would be focussing on endurance, foundational strength and motor control required to perform your routine.

For example: Your training week during this phase might have exercises that are tailored towards the tricks in your routine, improving your leg tension etc. Remember to keep the intensity low and volume high (i.e. low weights/body weight, high sets and reps)

2. Specific Preparatory - Your workouts here would now be focussing on the strength, speed & power that you may require for your routine.

For example: During this phase, you should increase the weight and intensity of your exercises and reduce the volume. You should have all of your tricks well and truly conquered by the end of this phase.

3. Competition - Finally in the 1-2 weeks leading to Pole Addiction, Hardcore or Frisk, you will want to reduce the volume (sets/reps) of your workouts, but make sure they are at the same intensity as the previous phase. Alternatively, since you are likely to be running your routine more frequently, you might want to switch out your gym workouts for more pre-hab and mobility style exercises instead. You should not be learning a new trick and trying to master it one week out from comp - save this one for the next one!


4. Transition/Recovery - Time to do some post-comp recovery. Cut-down on intensity and volume! Now is also the time to reflect on this macrocycle and look forward to the next!

As mentioned previously, programming can be quite complex and it requires a detailed analysis to create a programme specifically tailored to your needs and goals. So as always, check in with Simone or a friendly physiotherapist who will surely help you perform a needs analysis and design a program best suited to you!

Want to set up a tailored program to prepare for comp season but not sure where to start?

Online telehealth appointments can be booked with the Pole Physio via our ‘Book Online’ page that can be found here. Assessment and tailored rehabilitation are provided in accordance with best practice and evidence-based treatment to help you unleash your 'poletential'.

Until next time, train safe.

The Pole Physio



bottom of page