In 2011 Frenchman Alain Lellouche launched an exciting new concept on the fitness world. This concept known as ‘aqua spin’ is simply spinning, but in water. Aqua…spin. Geddit? This exercise trend has only recently hit the UK and with a number of classes now available in swimming pools, I took the plunge with Aqua Fit Pro; one of London’s most popular aqua sports providers.
many all of the exercises i’ve tried during my time here at Groupon, aqua spin is a concept totally new to me. With no prior experience of spinning classes (I only know that the word ‘spinning’ bring most of my friends and family to the brink of tears), I figured doing it in water might be a nice, fun, easy version of a notoriously tough workout.
Considering I would be exercising in the water and sitting on a bike saddle, I was surprisingly well prepared in terms of outfit choice and in hindsight I am unbelievably grateful that I opted for something practical. Bandeau bikinis/man-kinis (gents) are a definite no-no, unless you are an exhibitionist or somebody who (without going into detail) has an extraordinarily cushioned derriere. I wore a gym top and shorts, which did feel a bit strange as it reminded me of lifesaving lessons at school where I had to leap into the pool in my pj’s to save a rubber brick from a watery grave. As well as saddle friendly attire, my instructor Ross gave explained I would need special shoes to grip onto the pedal. Equipped with a pair of the pink, rubbery variety I was ready to go; eyeing up the line of bikes in front of me.
Colour coordination was crucial. It was only right that I should partake in the class on a bike that matched my aqua shoes, and so I did. I jumped in and clambered onto my faithful fuchsia steed, testing out the resistance of the water with enthusiastic peddling. Much to my surprise, the pedals went round ridiculously fast and conned me into thinking this class would be a breeze.
The class was split into 5 parts, with different combinations of ‘normal’ cycling, standing up (uphill) and ‘sprinting’; all to very loud dance music. For the first five minutes I felt quite competent, sitting on the saddle, swishing around in the water, and peddling with ease. As soon as we got to the standing up section, my thighs withered and my calves burned as Ross beamed down from above, willing us all to push through for ‘4….3…2..1’. Within 10 minutes I already had a flushed face and was panting and desperate for water. Once i’d quenched my thirst with an entire bottle of water, I got into a bit of a rhythm and began to enjoy the burn of my muscles working harder than ever before. Ross happily encouraged us to keep going, legs zooming round with his feet in the pedals firmly on dry land and zero resistance. No wonder he made it look so easy.
After 45 minutes or so, once the spinning section of the class was complete, we jumped from our bikes into the pool for 15 minutes of water aerobics. Splashing, stretching, lunging and leaping around weightlessly in the water was really enjoyable post ‘spin’ and as the class came to an end, I felt a much revitalised version of my former self.
It wasn’t until I clambered out of the pool and attempted to walk that my legs wobbled and I felt the full effect of the spinning. Crikey. ‘Ohmygawd my legs!!’ I exclaimed as Ross giggled and explained that once you’ve been to the class a couple of times, you begin to build up muscle and it becomes a lot easier. I bloomin’ hope so. OK, so it wasn’t the easiest workout but it certainly did the trick. So if you’re tough as old boots and determined to get fit quick; this will bust some serious bulge, burn a helluva lot of calories, and give you the legs of a Greek god. Fact.