When I told my friend Sarah earlier this week that I was planning to try something crazy called AQUACYCLING today, she quite snappily summed things up by responding: "Accu-scuse me?"
It's understandable that you might be confused, but aquacycling as a phenomenon has existed in Europe long before the April 15 opening of AQUA, a luxury fitness studio in TriBeCa. AQUA's impossibly chic tri-level space boasts an airy entryway/check in, minimalist dark wood locker room and a 4' deep pool replete with 13 stationary bikes, submerged in the water to the handlebars.
AQUA is one of those unusual spaces that feels more like a spa than a gym (I found it almost ironic that it's located directly next to AIRE Ancient Baths, one of my favorite spa experiences in the city, in fact). That odd feeling continues even through the class itself, which despite being 45 minutes of almost exclusively cardio feels extraordinarily low impact, and even...therapeutic. Unlike a traditional cycling class, the water provides all of the resistance at AQUA, and as your pace becomes more intense, you almost feel as if you're being massaged by the water. Sprints and jumps are broken up by a brief abs section (yes, still in the pool - you anchor your feet to the handlebars and crunch) and some light arm work (no weights required). While today was my first time in the water, one of the women I took class with today swore up and down that she's experienced no soreness after taking AQUA classes 4 days in a row, and has felt remarkably energetic, and been sleeping better than ever.
Classes at AQUA are, however, more expensive than classes at other boutique fitness studios (the current per-class norm seems to be $32-$37, while drop in classes at AQUA ring in at $40, with 5-30 class packages available at reduced rates). Insult is added to injury by the $2 fee rental fee for the rubber slip on shoes required for class. That said, I'll certainly be back - I left today's class feeling nothing short of exhilarated!
Learn more about aquacycling, and book online here.