It’s not every day that you get an email asking if you would like to go aqua spinning (or indeed you find yourself looking up if aqua spinning is what you think it is), but that’s what happened when Joe Bloggers asked if I’d like to go. Sadly I was to be away in Amsterdam that weekend, but our guest contributor Sarah (who has helped try out several bars and is a seasoned taste tester for The Usual Saucepans) offered to try it in my place. Here’s what she thought:
Aqua Spinning is a real thing – who knew! It’s exactly as it sounds a spin class, on bikes, in water and when asked to give it a go I thought – why not? I’m always up for trying a new fitness class.
As a non-spinner, I’ve always found ‘land spinning’ classes, as I will now refer to them, pretty terrifying. Many a friend has told the tale of how they felt, or in some cases actually were, sick after their first class and there has always been something about the intensity that I’ve found very serious and off putting. I was therefore pleasantly surprised to be welcomed to Aqua Spinning by a very friendly instructor!
The class started with a few hints and tips and a brief explanation of how things work. We were fitted out with some rubber shoes (not as uncomfortable as I had feared) and then went through how to set up our bikes, which at this point were above water, so the saddle was the right height and distance from the handlebars. We also had to chose our resistance at this stage (Easy, Medium, or Hard) as unlike land spinning, in Aqua Spin you stay at the same resistance throughout, and the speed at which you pedal determines the intensity. Based on my fitness (I go to two cardio and one yoga class a week and also run having done a half marathon last year) I was advised that I would probably manage on hard, but I stuck with medium just in case!
Then was the fun part, we moved to the side to go through a few final instructions while our bikes were submerged! And so the class began.
It took a few minutes to get used to the motion of the pedals and into the swing of things but I soon got the hang of it. Medium turned out to be about right for me as I’m not very good on a bike so I found it tough, but not impossible. Much like land spinning the class was fairly intense, with us cycling at 65 to 75 RPM to some pretty upbeat, loud music. Unlike land spinning though, there was also the opportunity to do some arm work, using the water as resistance and it was made fun by encouraging us to splash our classmates – and instructor!
As the class got more intense, the water meant I remained at a nice cool temperature, and the splashing around definitely helped to distract from my burning muscles!! Although I’ve not done land spinning, my classmates commented that this was kinder on their back, and on their bottom too!
After about 40 minutes I was definitely tired and felt I’d had a good work out, and I left the pool with flushed cheeks, but without the usual post-workout sweaty brow – that was all left in the water behind me!
- Make sure you wear good swim wear as you will be coming up out of the water and back in a lot as you change position on the bike. I wore a t-shirt to class as I knew photo’s were going to be taken, but, whilst it meant my slightly lower than planned swimsuit wasn’t a problem, I was too buoyant which made some of the moves tricky. You really want a properly fitting swimsuit/trunks.
- Make sure your feet are strapped in tight! If you’re not sure, ask the instructor to check as once you get going it’s frustrating to have to keep stopping to tighten the straps!
- Take some water! Although you’re in the pool, you will still get thirsty as you’re working hard!
- Remember to keep cycling! At points where I was using my arms or listening to instruction it was all too easy to slow down my legs – if you want an intense workout you need to keep those quads and thighs working! Slacking off is definitely easier than in a land class but don’t be fooled into thinking the instructor can’t see – there are underwater camera’s!
All in all it was a great class and one I’ll definitely be going back to! There are regular classes with Edinburgh Leisure at the Royal Commonwealth Pool so I will be booking myself in soon!
This session was offered to us by Simplyhealth – if you want to find out more about aqua spinning you can do so on their website.