Tuesday, May 13, 2014

spinning my water wheels: aqua cycling.

so after breaking up with my gym last month, i have found a new lover. his name is classpass & he's the perfect fit for indecisive me. pay once a month for 10 classes at boutique fitness studios they have relationships with. the catch? you can only go to each studio a max of 3 times in a month and popular studios book up in advance, so it forces you to try new things all the time. i've realized this is kind of perfect for my fitness profile, because i get bored doing the same thing all the time.

after joining last week, i quickly booked up my month with my 10 classes at brand-new studios and workouts i've never even thought about before: trampoline dance cardio, bungee blasts, bollywood dance and other various activities. but my inaugural class last night definitely takes the cake for a new take on a workout staple: aqua cycling.

seriously though, it's spinning on a bike that's in a pool. and yes, you wear a swimsuit. and now i will tell you all about it. because that's the point of a blog. duh.

the studio is called aqua nyc, located in trendy TriBeCa because of course it is. the facility is beautiful, with a welcome lounge on the top floor, a dressing room down a flight of stairs and the pool with about 12-15 bikes in it is located in the basement.

i checked in and rented my jellies - JELLIES! - and headed downstairs to change. i had technical difficulties with my lap swimming bathing suit (i know, i'm special) so i ended up wearing bike shorts and a sports bra, which worked out fine. everyone else was in about the same. one of the great things about the class is that it was women only, so there's no worrying about what you look like in your bathing suit, which i truly appreciate. it's so hard to focus on trying to look skinny while also trying to get a good workout in.

i walked downstairs and met the very nice - and ripped - instructor who helped me set up my bike. i hopped in the pool and resisted my instinct to pee (i've never met a pool i haven't peed in. sorry mom, dad, kris, friends and guests of every hotel i've ever stayed at. i'm gross, deal with it.) and walked over to my bike to set up. these bikes are different from what you see at soul-cycle; they have no resistance gauges and have a cool thing on the bottom that pushes the water around. it's pretty cool.

i started pedaling and there's no other way to describe the feeling other than: weird. it took a little time for my body to get used to the cadence and feel slightly stable. the faster you pedal, the more resistance you create, so i wanted to try and get a solid motion going before class started.

just like in a regular spin class, there are the three main positions:
first: sitting in the saddle, back straight
second: out of the saddle, body straight up and down
third: out of the saddle, ass over seat and hunched, in a climbing type position.

aqua has what i have taken to calling the elusive fourth position, which is where you are out of the saddle, but behind the bike, submerged to your neck and still pedaling. i LOVED this position, because it reminded me of being a kid in florida making up games in the pool we had in my backyard. (this is not bragging, most normal homes in florida have pools. it's like the law or something.)

the instructor did a good job of incorporating other strength moves to keep the whole body going, doing swimming moves with our arms and engaging our core. at one point we were behind the bike in position four and doing the breaststroke. i'm fairly surprised my bike didn't fall backward on me.

the class is just 45 minutes, but i definitely could tell i got a workout. and despite the fact that i spent half the class thinking this is so weird, i'm most likely going to go back. due to my volleyball past, i have a bad everything: knees, hips, back, you name it. this is a great workout for when your body needs to get moving but can't handle the pounding of the pavement. if you can get past the weirdness (which is going to take me a time or two, for sure) and just go with the flow (of the water, get it?), you'll be cool.

plus, i can guarantee you that this is one pool i did not pee in. so you've got that going for you.