Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research


Wolters Kluwer / Lippincott Williams & Wilkins


Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA)




Nicholas, J. C., McDonald, K. A., Peeling, P., Jackson, B., Dimmock, J. A., Alderson, J. A., & Donnelly, C. J. (2019). Pole dancing for fitness: The physiological and metabolic demand of a 60-minute class. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 33(10), 2704-2710.


Nicholas, JC, McDonald, KA, Peeling, P, Jackson, B, Dimmock, JA, Alderson, JA, and Donnelly, CJ. Pole dancing for fitness: The physiological and metabolic demand of a 60-minute class. J Strength Cond Res 33(10): 2704–2710, 2019—Little is understood about the acute physiological or metabolic demand of pole dancing classes. As such, the aims of this study were to quantify the demands of a standardized recreational pole dancing class, classifying outcomes according to American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) exercise-intensity guidelines, and to explore differences in physiological and metabolic measures between skill- and routine-based class components. Fourteen advanced-level amateur female pole dancers completed three 60-minute standardized pole dancing classes. In one class, participants were fitted with a portable metabolic analysis unit. Overall, classes were performed at a mean Vo2 of 16.0 ml·kg−1·min−1, total energy cost (EC) of 281.6 kcal (4.7 kcal·min−1), metabolic equivalent (METs) of 4.6, heart rate of 131 b·min−1, rate of perceived exertion (RPE) of 6.3/10, and blood lactate of 3.1 mM. When comparing skill- and routine-based components of the class, EC per minute (4.4 vs. 5.3 kcal·min−1), peak Vo2 (21.5 vs. 29.6 ml·kg−1·min−1), METs (4.3 vs. 5.2), and RPE (7.2 vs. 8.4) were all greater in the routine-based component (p < 0.01), indicating that classes with an increased focus on routine-based training, as compared to skill-based training, may benefit those seeking to exercise at a higher intensity level, resulting in greater caloric expenditure. In accordance with ASCM guidelines, an advanced-level 60-minute pole dancing class can be classified as a moderate-intensity cardiorespiratory exercise; when completed for ≥ 30 minutes, ≥ 5 days per week (total ≥ 150 minutes) satisfies the recommended level of exercise for improved health and cardiorespiratory fitness.



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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License