Aqua Cycling...how cool does that sound? I was super pumped up to hear that Aqua Studio opened earlier this month in NYC, so some friends and I checked it out. It was definitely the “Most Interesting Workout” I’ve ever done. Long story short – try it out to say you did it, but overall it’s not worth the money. I’m sad to confess that after my first Aqua Cycling workout, I walked right across the street to CrossFit 212 for a “real workout.” Now let me temper my sentiments by making clear that I crave intense workouts. If I’m not drenched in sweat by the end, I feel like I wasted my time. If you’re like me in this regard, save your money and hit up a higher intensity class.
On a side note, word on the street is that Beyonce did Aqua Cycling to lose her baby weight. But, let’s be real. Did you see the way she was sweating and working it out during the Super Bowl half time? There’s NO WAY she got into that shape by casually pedaling a bicycle in a swimming pool. I’m 100% confident that she worked her butt off to the point of complete exhaustion to get that body and those moves. I’m just sayin…
Now that I’ve shared my colorful commentary, here’s the real deal with Aqua Cycling:
Aqua Studio opened in NYC on April 15th – it’s located in Tribeca in a really chic, high end, boutique studio
45 minute cycling workout with the bike completely submerged in water
No resistance on the bike, so resistance is based on how fast you pedal (the faster you pedal, the more natural resistance you feel from the water)
Lots of core and isometric toning exercising are incorporated throughout the workout session. The moves are similar to water aerobics (i.e. arm strokes in the water, float on your back and do crunches)
Low impact, so a good work out option if you have knee problems
Being in water naturally is therapeutic 😉
Instructors are really nice (not mean or too intense)
Music is good. We gotta a like Drake “Started from the Bottom” jamz during my class
Studio is impeccable, like being at high end spa, really nice!
Nice change up to your usual workout routine
Very expensive ($40 for single drop in class)
Lacking intensity – I’d estimate you only burn 300 calories in 45 minutes
The class choreography could use some help. Simply doing more sprints on the bike would make the the workout more effective. Also, we did a body weight arm circuit above the water that was super easy…kind of felt like a waste of time.
Sorry Aqua Studio NY, had a good time, but not “GRITTY” enough for me 🙁
I recently bought a holiday pass to Pure Barre, $50 for 2 weeks of unlimited classes. I hadn’t tried the format before but have heard good things about it, so decided to give it the “GRIT by Brit” review. Today I finished my 5th class and now I have a decent handle on what this “barre workout” stuff is all about…
The first class was alright…I left feeling like I got a decent workout but nothing spectacular. However, the second time I went to class, my booty was on fire! Good technique is key to feeling the burn. To get the most out of this workout, you must have proper form and do the exercises correctly. The barre method is based on isometric training, which basically means that you contract your muscles and make sharp tiny movements to strengthen and tighten them. Isometric training is an effective form of resistance exercise but still requires you to do cardiovascular workouts. This means that doing barre method workouts alone, will NOT suffice for your recommended amount of exercise.
Duration: 55 minutes
Vibe: The workout is set to music (mostly top 40) and all of the exercises go with the beat of the track. I like that I can get “lost” in the music when the burn is really gettin’ going.
Instructors: Really nice and inviting. They walk around the room to adjust your form and ensure you’re getting the most out of your workout.
Format: You start by doing a total body warm up routine, then move on to working each of the target muscle groups: arms, thighs, seat, abs, lower back. You spend about 10 minutes on each muscle group.
Equipment: You use a variety of “toys” like light dumbbells for arm work, resistance tubes for thigh work and a small bouncy ball to hold between your thighs and SQUEEZE
Pure Barre IS for you if:
You are already pretty lean and just want to tone up
You work out consistently and are looking for a new form of resistance training to challenge your muscles
You’re already a fan of barre workouts but are looking for a class with hip music and a young vibe
You like dance and ballet
Pure Barre IS NOT for you if:
You are trying to lose a lot of weight. Assuming that you do not plan to workout for 2 hours per day, you’d be better off spending your 55 minutes doing a workout that makes you sweat and gets your heart rate elevated. (Also everyone in the class was pretty lean..just keepin’ it 100%)
You only like athletic workouts. Pure Barre has more of a finesse to it which may seem prissy. However, I consider myself an “athletic” type and I really liked it, so the jury is still out…
P.S. The “Pure Barre Ledge” is the little crease that connects the top of your thigh and the bottom of your seat 😉