closeup of an outdoor thermometer registering a high temperature

Beat the Heat

As temperatures rise, you might notice some changes in your circus training. While we consider ourselves lucky to have a nice, climate-controlled studio (go ahead, ask us about the good old days when we trained outside at The Vortex), the summer heat still takes its toll in a variety of ways. We get worn out more easily, there’s an increase in chafing, and depending on our apparatus of choice, we’re either trying to keep from sliding off the pole or we’re unsticking the fabric from our sweatiest places. What’s an Austin circus student to do? Here’s our advice to keep you from experiencing summer meltdowns.

Be the Best Dressed

For summer training, we recommend breathable, moisture-wicking fabrics. Cotton is great for breathability, but it absorbs moisture, leaving you nice and damp at the end of class. Nylon and polyester keep you drier by wicking moisture away from your skin, but their breathability varies, and they retain odor. If possible, opt for bamboo — it allows skin to breathe, wicks away moisture, and repels odor.

As tempting as it may be, don’t cut down on clothing in the summer. Backs of knees and armpits are just as sensitive in warm weather and still need to be covered. Find light coverage that still keeps you comfortable as you execute skills. If you want to be less covered in the studio, consider switching to pole for the summer (but note the aforementioned slippage issues).

Clean and Mean

Whatever workout gear you decide on, don’t hang around in it after class! Sweaty clothes are a favorite hot spot for bacteria to thrive. Stay healthy and keep those around you happy by cleaning up and changing clothes as soon as possible after class.

Also, we all know that sweat (and its accompanying odor) is a fact of life. Do what you can to practice good hygiene, but know that your teacher doesn’t expect you to smell fresh as a daisy after your third round of pull-ups. (If you do smell fresh as a daisy, we’re actually gonna ask you to put down the body spray, as some of us are highly sensitive to heavy perfumes.) If sweat is affecting your grip or otherwise impeding your training, bring a towel with you to absorb some of the excess.

Seriously, Hydrate!

All that sweat you’re producing during class needs to be replaced. When you’re well-hydrated you have more energy, you’re more focused, your muscles and joints work better, you have better endurance, and you’re in a better mood. These are all things you want to have going for you when you’re in class! Drink water beforehand and bring water with you in a non-glass container. You might be surprised at the difference it makes in your performance and your experience.

Above all, be gentle with yourself. Extreme weather in either direction isn’t ideal for physical training. When it’s hot, you might be slippier or stickier than normal. You might feel weaker or wear out more quickly. That’s okay. Try not to get frustrated. Take frequent breaks and rehydrate as needed. Remember, your classmates and teachers are struggling right along with you. And just like at the end of a long, hard class or training session, we’re really looking forward to the cool down.

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