June 04, 2013

Spin class hits the pool at Aqua Spin Tribeca.

You've never seen a girl so excited to jump in the water. Pools are a rarity here in NYC and I'm not  into  dumpster swimming… eww (I know that they are clean, but just the thought gives me the chills).

AquaSpin's studio is gorgeous, the lobby and locker rooms feel like walking into a sexy spa. Complete with rustic wood trimmings and  chic dark painted walls, the space is cozy and inviting. The pool its self is dimly lit and surrounded by candle light. If I didn't know I was here for a spin class I might try and take a relaxing soak.

So far, check-in is the same as any other spin class, only here you get these cool water shoes (which are extremely comfy, I am currently souring the internet for a pair). These rubber babies are so much more comfortable than those scuba material water shoes you had as a kid.

Upon entering the pool room your first thought is WOW, this is so strange and cool at the same time. It's odd to see spin bikes submerged in water. Apparently they are made of super light  and rustproof stainless steel… those smarty's, what will they think of next? So far it's just like any other spin class I've taken (you know, minus the pool) with setting up the bike, and slipping your feet in the peddles (no clips, just the little toe baskets which the water shoe fit oh so perfectly).

Since there were a lot of first timers the instructor demonstrated how to do the basic moves, which were the usual: hands at 1st, 2nd, 3rd, seat back, seat up, and push-ups on the handle bars, nothing new here. And then we were off. It's a strange sensation your first time peddling in the water. You can only go so fast (think of trying to jog in a pool) but you certainly feel the resistance of the water. Instead of having wheels and a resistance dial, the water bikes have little paddles on the peddles which increase resistance as you try to peddle through the water. It's similar to those goofy looking peddle boats minus the goofy.

Once you get into the ride you find that it's not very different from the dry spin classes. You ride to the music, switching from higher to lower intensity adding upper body. But the upper body moves are where there is a big difference. There are no arm weights, not even those foam water aerobic ones. Instead you paddle with your arms and hands against  the water using upper body muscles you never knew you had. Some times big paddles, some small ones, doggie paddles, freestyle swimming paddling, there are a number of upper body resistance moves that are really fun to do. At one point the instructor was going around having everyone splash him. He happened to be really animated, a little too cheesy for my taste but the woman next to me was LOVING it.

So, Why spin in water when you can spin on land???
Well besides the excitement of being in a  pool (Yay!) the water has a ton of benefits you wouldn't normally get on a spin bike:
"Aqua biking can also reduce the appearance of cellulite. By pedaling underwater, your movement creates a constant whirlpool massage along your legs and helps to break down the “orange peel” appearance of cellulite. This underwater massage also stimulates and increases blood flow in the legs. Finally, aqua exercise causes less stress on the body’s joints than traditional open-air exercise, resulting in a pain-free workout!"

At no point did I ever feel I was pushing myself to the limit. Just when it started to get hard he would count down the last 10 seconds. But that doesn't mean a thing because apparently  the water  masks the intensity, so you're muscles are actually more tired than you can feel. Afterward my body felt like I had just spent the last 45 minutes in a hot tub, completely relaxed and exhausted. All I know is when I got home, all I wanted was a glass of wine followed by my bed.

Another great thing about spinning in the water is  you aren't completely gross after words. I hate when you're still sweating AFTER your shower from SoulCycle. It takes my face at least an hour to return to it's normal color (which is not lipstick red). The water keeps your body from over heating, so you don't really sweat (or at least the chlorine washed it away). You can just do a quick rinse afterwards in fresh water, touch up your make up and throw your hair in a pony or bun. You don't even need to take any sneakers or workout clothes. You literally only need to bring your swimsuit (or sports bra & shorts,  tank & bikini, bikini, or speedo… I saw it all in the pool). Which makes this the perfect lunch workout, or pre-happy hour.

The only gripe I have with this place is the price, $40 is expensive for 45 mins, oh and the shoes are a $2 rental. At that price I should not have to bring my own basic products (lotion, hairspray or hair ties), they should have way more toiletries with the addition of swimsuit dryers. Also, the music could be a tad more interesting, but that’s the instructor, not the studio. All in all, I think this is a great workout option 1- if you have prior injuries 2-want to reduce cellulite (you'd have to go all the time for this benefit) 3-are tired of the same old spin scene 4- just want to jump in a pool on a hot day (damn near 90's lately).

Rating- out of 5 Sweatbands
Studio- 5
Instructor- 3
Sweat Factor- 4 but difficult to judge
Amenities- 3 1/2
Pricing- 2

No, AQUA-scuse you!

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