This question pops up every day. “Aerials look so fun – but I have no strength! Should I try?”
The answer is yes. No matter your age, fitness level, gender, ability. The answer is always yes!
But let me elaborate. Aerials is a fantastic sport for people of all ages, at any strength. Through my own personal training, i’ve seen children as young as 3, all the way up to 74 years old! I’ve seen people come in with a body building background and people that have never had a strength background at all. You may think you don’t have enough strength, but funnily enough, that bodybuilder you see over there has likely NEVER used the muscles required for aerials either. Muscles do not necessarily give them a head start – promise!
Years back, I contemplated starting Aerial training. I’d seen it in concerts, circuses, performances, and always thought it would be AMAZING to do what they do! I contemplated for about two years. I had no strength, was overweight, and couldn’t jog down the street. I enquired and kept backing out – everyone looked so strong and able and I thought i’d be hopeless.
Until one day I decided to take the leap.
I was a ball of nerves and could barely get through the warm up without losing my breath and having headspins – I was THAT unfit! 10 minutes in and i thought “What have I gotten myself into..” My introduction class consisted of about 10 very different people, including some mid aged women, a very strong looking mid aged man, two very fit and slim girls in their 20s and a female personal trainer.
Throughout my class, it surprised me that we all were at exactly the same level. We all struggled with the same things and succeeded at the same things. No matter our ages or abilities, your first aerial classes will always consist of JUST enough to show you you’re capable and JUST enough challenge to build you. You come out feeling success, motivation, and equal.
Many aerial moves you see are not at all difficult, and you’ll achieve some things you never thought possible in your first class. Through the first two terms, we all progressed at the same level too. Me, at the same level of a PT who’s already established so much strength? Surprisingly, it didn’t matter. Aerials uses so many new muscle groups in new ways that are hard to replicate in any other way that aerial itself.
Many people in my first aerial group stuck around and we still train together to this day, and yes, at very similar levels still! My weight or lack of strength did not hinder me at all.
Here’s some tips to help on your first day:
– Just sign up. Worst case scenario is you’ll have a lot of fun!
– Take a friend with you to ease into a new environment more easily.
– Take plenty of water
– Avoid slippery tights – they are not fun, trust me.
– Trust yourself. You are more capable than you think. I will honestly say over 50% of things I struggled with, were because of my mindset and my brain registering aerials as ‘too hard’, ‘too dangerous’, ‘too scary’.
– Find a good headspace before you go in.
– Try to meet your teacher beforehand – they will definitely help motivate you to take the first step! Many studios offer open days or introductions.
– Allow yourself to feel safe. It’s VERY HARD to injure yourself in the early days of aerials – you will always have crash mats, spotters, and many beginner moves are super secure. You won’t fall!
– See if your studio has strength classes if you’re feeling hesitant. Strength classes are designed to use aerial apparatuses to build your strength in a way that normal weight training doesn’t.
I hope this has helped convince you to give aerials a go! Now go and see what you’re capable of!