And next on the fitness adventures, we tried SwimSanity – it’s a High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workout, in the water. And in the water, it’s will be easy on our joints. They say Aqua classes hare the most joint friendly exercise there is, due to the weightlessness in the water. But this is more than an aqua class, in fact the SwimSanity website warns us, this is nothing like standard aqua aerobics 😮. So keep on reading to see how we got on.
Where we found it?
Luckily, Banatynes Russel Square (in Central London) host SwimSanity at their gym, and double luckily they also do day-pass membership passes to their gym (£15). Meaning we could have access to do this class (despite it being a membership gym) and no huge pressure to become a regular member. I think this is great, as some other gyms have no day-pass options, and if you want to try a class that is exclusive to a gym (like BLAZE at David Lloyd) you have to be a member.
On the day of the class, I forgot my towel at home, and I only realised around lunch time. I know gyms often have towels you can use, but I didn’t want to be caught out. So, I called ahead to ask about towels, and it turned out you had to rent them, costs £4. Sod that, I ended up nipping down to Primark and bought one for £2.50. What the girl on the phone forgot to tell me was that the showers were broken at the gym, and only had cold water. I hate showering in cold water, so it would have been good to know that before I splurged that £2.50.
We arrived, had our photo taken by the front desk lady, and I paid the £2 for a locker key fob/bracelet thingy (which was lovely and easy to use, I do love an easy locker situation). We changed and ambled out to the pool area. It was hard to tell who was the instructor, but eventually he came forward (in the yellow budgie smugglers 🍌). Thankfully, as the class was in the pool, we didn’t have to spend too long looking at his dodgy swimwear choice.
The class was a good mix of people, between late 20s and late 40s, people of different fitness levels, and about 30% men and 70% women, the best bit is that most people seemed really friendly. The instructor had music playing, but it wasn’t great music and it wasn’t a great sound system, but I supposed it filled in the background splashing (and panting) with noise, although sometimes I found it hard to hear him giving instructions.
We were taught some basic moves with our arms, and then started running in a circle. Then the instructor switched it up, and we ran the other direction, fighting through the force of the water and momentum we had built up 🌊.
We then went through different exercises:
- Arms – pumping water back and forth with your arms – and we used the paddles as well (see picture at right)
- Legs – kicking like a maniac at the pool edge
- Abs – doing crunches with your legs anchored on pool side
- Cardio – more of that running and some squat jumps
- Shoulders – push-ups on the pool edge
The water resistance made some things seem easier – like the push-ups and squat jumps, and some things harder, the arms and the running. The kicking legs sessions were tough, 3 minutes with your arms anchoring you to the side of the pool (body face up) and non-stop kicking (see picture, which is of the US Marines doing this exercise, so it must be tough 💪). Water was flying everywhere and I quickly realised that if you rested your head back, then you got less water flying 💦 into your face (and eyes).
I also understand the concept that the harder you push in the water, the harder it pushes back, in turn making your work out harder. The instructor made sure to stress this at several points. However, the harder I pushed in the water, the harder I found it to hold my position and stay in place. So, some of the exercises I would have liked to have done quicker and harder, but I couldn’t hold my body position.
There was a cool down, and at the end we hung around in the pool for a little while, then we decided that we were ravenous, and although we half-heartedly planned to have a little gym session, the lack of warm water in the showers and the lure of food was stronger.
SwimSanity was something totally different, and I loved it for that. I’ve not done a normal aqua aerobics class, but I have seen them at my local pool, and it doesn’t seem to cater to my demographic (mainly older ladies). But I think after doing this I would like to try a water aerobics class to see how it compares.
So, the workout was good and the class was friendly. It was something different and fun to try. I didn’t have any muscle soreness in the following days, but I know it was a decent workout, as I was out of breath and found parts of the class tough.
Would I do it again? Probably not. I will probably try to incorporate some of the moves the next time I go to the pool with my kids. I mean why not? As long as I don’t draw too much attention to myself kicking around and doing crunches on the edge of the pool. I’m also going to try a aqua aerobics class at my local pool, as it was nice to do a low-impact activity, and I like the idea of working out in a pool (and not swimming lengths).
Would you like to try it? Find a SwimSanity class near you.
What’s next? We’re excited to be trying Psycle for a new take on spinning.
Read about our all our other fitness adventures here.
Have you ever done an aqua based fitness class? Please share your experience.