Earlier this year, I was invited to try Aqua Spinning. My initial reaction was, what the blimmin EFF is AQUA spinning????!!??
I'd tried spinning.. Once... Years ago... It was only a 30 minute class and I almost hacked my legs off after to avoid ever having to go through that torture ever again.. The only thing that stopped me was the small inconvenience of never walking again, and the fact the spinning class was followed by a 30 minute yoga class. So a) I didn't have time to stop and hack my legs off and b) savasana solves the majority of life's problems.. FACT.
Though, being someone who prides myself on having an open mind and being willing to try (just about) anything once, I thought I'd give it a go. I'd recently survived Metafit, what's the worst that could happen??
I was unsure what to expect when I was given the chance to try out this new health and fitness craze. Organised by Simply Health, who teamed up with the Royal Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh.
I attended regular spin classes a few years ago to prepare for a cycling challenge for charity, so I had some ideas of what to expect. However, Aqua spinning although similar creates an overall experience that is very different.
Obviously the first and major difference is the fact there is water involved. Before you ask, the bikes are submerged in water which straight away creates a very different environment to train in.
The bikes are raised up out of the water to allow bikes to be adjusted in the same way you would for a regular spin class. I will admit this was very cool process to watch, almost mesmerising as you watch the water disappear.
The set up process has one major difference, this is in relation to the set up process for the resistance on the bike. That you have set for the entire session.
This is either, easy, medium or hard. Although this does not mean the resistance will remain constant throughout, because when you pedal faster the water causes extra resistance. So this meant every time we did tabata style interval sprints (as fast as possible for set times starting with 30secs on 30secs off) the resistance considerably increases.
We were all kitted out with special aqua shoes and we also had the option of webbed gloves (which we were told was to add extra resistance at the end of the class).
This may sound daft, but the first technique we had to master was to pedal smoothly. The bikes don't have a flywheel to assist, so you have to apply equal force with each foot to allow for a smoother ride. This was fairly straightforward, just requires a little extra thought.
As soon as we got started you can feel the difference and one of the major differences between this and regular spin sessions is the fact we can work the upper body as well as the legs. This adds an extra dimension, especially as this is achieved by becoming a child again, only difference is that you are actually encouraged to splash each other.
This added dimension means that you almost forget you are working out.The added resistance with the webbed gloves does make a difference with the upper body training in particular through the shoulder joint, and utilising both chest and back muscles.
The smooth consistent resistance caused with the water means it is low impact so would benefit anyone.I would definitely recommend this as a great way to workout for all the usual benefits associated with exercise but this is also great fun too. I think its important to keep variety and enjoyment in any training plan, so why not give this a shot and see what you think?
So there you have it folks..
To be honest, I'm now quite keen to give it a go!! Will have to look into getting along to a class when I'm back in Edinburgh.
Many thanks go to Simply Health for the invitation and the chance to try Aqua Spinning!
Check out their blog post here.