Here’s what I love about Spinning classes: they torch calories, fun music, and it more of a party than a workout. I get to dance, move my legs so fast I feel like I’m flying and generally get off the bike feeling like a rock star.
Here’s what literally “pains” me about Spinning classes: they make my muscles tight, they can cause undue stress on your knees and make your backside feel like you’ve been riding horseback with John Wayne at high speeds for a week straight. Especially if you do the classes back to back, which I sometimes do.
Complaints of this nature led my dear friend Dina Fierro to turn me on to Aqua Studio here in New York’s TriBeCa neighborhood. It’s a spinning class in a pool. No aches, no pains, all calorie burn and fun. And you’re in a POOL. I love pools.
Let’s also talk about the other benefits of the studio that pretty much everyone in Europe already knows:
- It increases cardiovascular performance without impact
- It can burn up to 800 calories in 45 minutes
- No soreness, no aches
- It relieves stress (I repeat, you’re in a POOL)
- Evidently, the water friction creates a massage against the legs that can battle cellulite. Those are their words, not mine, but it makes sense because the water helps drain the lymphatic system. The tone of my legs looks pretty smooth right now, and my skin has had the appearance of the rind of brie for almost a year. I’d say something’s working in my favor.
I was instantly in for this one.
So, if you’re here in New York and you want to try this wonderful workout, I’d love to give you some tips for how to enjoy one of my new favorite fitness finds:
What to Wear/Bring
- You’re in a pool, so you need something that resembles swimwear, but it’s a Spinning class so you still need — shall we say? — athletic support. Swimsuits always work, one-pieces are always effective, or you can go my route and wear a sports bra and a yoga short.
- If you tie your hair up, only the nape of your neck gets remotely wet; you’re only submerged in the water from the torso down, and at the end above the neck. I’d also recommend saturating your hair with a deep conditioner before class. Your hair absorbs the conditioner rather than the chlorine. Add in the heat of the workout and it’s a salon-worthy treatment that can save your hair from chlorine damage.
- They have amazing mint body wash to help cut the chlorine, but I’d suggest bringing your own shampoo and conditioner if you need to wash your hair. You also need to bring body lotion if you have dry skin. There’s a LOT of chlorine in that water to cut all that sweat, so it will dry your skin out pretty fast.
- They rent water shoes for $2, and you need them. You can bring your own as long as they’ve never touched the ground.
- They give you a towel, but you need to bring your own wet/dry bag to store your soaked items. There are gigantic showers there. They’re working on the lockers, but there are cubbies to store your stuff in the actual pool area if you’re skittish about tossing your goods in the lockers. But the studio is super secure, so I don’t worry about it.
How to Ride
- If you get a chance to take Lucie’s Interval class, please do. She’s a sweetheart, a great instructor and a doll of a human being. She will also kick your ass over the course of 45 minutes and leave you quite breathless at points.
- The instructor will walk you through your bike positions. Be sure to secure your feet into the stirrups because if they go flying out, it’s a really awkward experience. Hi, this happened to me. So, yeah, don’t do that.
- I’ll also help you get the hang of riding the water bike a little easier than I did. You know when you were learning to roller skate vs. ice skate, that rollers work by pushing back with the foot and ice skates work by pushing the foot forward? It’s kind of that concept with the water bike. Regular spinning bikes work by exerting force downward with your legs and pushing back with the foot. If you think of lifting your thigh and pushing your foot forward and up, you’ll become lighter and get the hang of it quickly.
- If you get tired, sit down and keep pedaling. You’ll get the hang of it.