057 Pole Fitness is a Real Thing

Pole Fitness

Pole Dancing for Fitness?

When listener Emily M. asked me to talk about Pole Fitness on the show, I was skeptical. 

And then she sent me this

I mean, WOW. And while Pole Fitness has obvious roots, well, ON THE POLE, as I looked more into it, I was surprised to learn there’s a lot more to this story. Some things I did not know about Pole Fitness:

  1. It’s an internationally recognized competitive sport 
  2. It obviously requires a great deal of strength and coordination – and it’s a good cardio workout, too
  3. There are pole fitness training studios popping up EVERYWHERE! – you can take classes just like anywhere else
  4. It’s not just for chics in heels and hot pants, but for all shapes and sizes …and not even just for chics!
  5. It can be a huge confidence builder
  6. It looks REALLY fun. And hard.

So We Went Looking For An Expert 

Kylee City Pole

Kylee Sallak & Team

Enter Kylee Sallak. Kylee is owner and founder of City Pole, a Pole Fitness studio in Tribeca, New York. Kylee’s studio teaches people just like you and me how to build strength, flexibility and confidence through pole fitness workouts and coaching. Here’s one of her instructors Sam, working with a client:

We really wanted to talk to Kylee because she is holistically focused. She approaches wellness, mindfulness and fitness through a unique lens. Here’s her story:

I have always been a dancer.  Growing up in Portland Oregon, I danced throughout childhood and competed in high school dance competitions. It’s a passion of mine through and through.  I have never been the type to enjoy the gym.  The gym, for me personally, is synonymous with torture. Dance was a way for me to be getting a great workout while actually enjoying myself.

A few years ago, I found an article about the history of pole dancing, which I found fascinating. It was describing how other cultures have been using a vertical pole of one sort or another for centuries for exercise, dance and expression. After an afternoon of research, I found myself signing up for a pole fitness class at a studio in midtown.

I fell in love at my first class.

The potential for strength training, the muscles that I worked which had never been pushed before, the beauty of the lines my body as I made my way around the pole – it was all very inspiring.  Over the course of three years, I took classes and ended up teaching as well. What I observed in those three years was what motivated me to open City Pole.

Pole fitness aside, in my personal life, I have gained so much from meditation and from various personal evolution exercises, some self-guided, some done with close mentors. I knew in my heart that it was a natural and nourishing fit to marry pole fitness and mindfulness. 

You can learn more about Kylee and her successful studio here, and she’s all over social at @citypoletribeca.

What We Talk About 

In this episode, we debunk some common myths about Pole Fitness, and share some useful tips if you want to give it a try!

Kylee’s “ONE HABIT” to try for one week: POSTURE. Stand tall!

Kylee’s “RESOURCE” that she loves: The super cool Class Pass network app- allows you access to a huge network of fitness studios under one subscription

Want More?

Watch some beginner basics here (it still looks tough to me!):

And, this is one example of a workout session:


You can watch these when you’re ready for the big time 🙂

Are you game?

Give Kylee a visit when you’re in New York for a new, fun way to get your fitness on, or look up a studio near you in this directory – next girls’ night out??



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050 What Motivates Me?

Q&A Time!

What Really Motivates Me?

This is a quickie! I answer Emily and Mary’s questions about what truly motivates me to maintain a healthy lifestyle. [Hint: it isn’t health, longevity or weight loss!]

Article Mentioned:

Why Getting Fit Isn’t the Best Exercise Motivation (and 10 Better Reasons to Move Today)

More on motivation from Mark’s Daily Apple:

What Really Motivates You to Be Healthy

Share your question for my next Q&A episode. You can connect with me here, or leave a voicemail. Just click on that button over there on the right – the one that says -> RECORD A MESSAGE. Boom.


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040 Dr. Kelly Starrett on Sitting, Standing and Being Human. Like a Leopard.

Dr Kelly Starrett

First, Meet Dr. Kelly Starrett

 Source: CBS 60 Minutes Sports

Questions that Kelly Answers in this Episode

  • What does it mean to “Become a Supple Leopard“?
  • JULIA: I have a desk job and my husband is police officer. What are we supposed to do? What tips do you have for people who get up, drive to work, work, drive home and sit?
  • PHILIP: I have a full time office job and I am a distance runner. Isn’t my activity level enough to balance out the sitting?
  • JAKE: We now hear that “sitting is the new smoking.” Are we supposed to stand all day?
  • SARAH: I hear mixed reviews on barefoot shoes. What’s your take on minimalist or barefoot shows for every day use and/or running?
  • ELLA: What functional movements should every BODY at every age be able to do?
  • JAMES: I fly a lot – at least 8x a month, and I’m not a superfit guy. I am not at all flexible. What tips do you have for me before, during and after plane travel?
  • ELLA: What can people do to “perform basic maintenance” on themselves?
  • (more…)

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