The question you’re asking yourself is “Will this experience of cycling underwater be as silly as it sounds?” The answer is yes. And y’all, we don’t blame you for looking at this one with a little side eye. Aqua Studio comes off at as a little “fad-y” at first and just straight up weird. That said, we can’t ignore the massive number of articles that discuss the benefits of water-based workouts. They are easy on the joints while providing a hella good amount of natural resistance. Also, it may be an approachable option for people trying to figure out what fitness option works best for them. We didn’t completely hate our experience – it was actually crazy fun – but, would this type of thing be our everyday workout? Nahh….
We’re just going to go ahead and address the elephant in the room: what does one wear to an aquatic cycling class? That, my friends, is the million dollar question. The answer is either a one-piece (which is super hot right now) or a sports bra and bikini bottom. The piece de resistance to top off this outfit is the hard-soled rubber loafer-looking shoes provided by the studio. We’re just going to leave that mental picture with you for the moment.
Now that you’re suited in this oh so stylish outfit, you’re ready to climb into a pool that is shoulder height and filled with spin bikes. Setting them up is a very similar process to regular spin classes, except the resistance is preset. Don’t get all concerned about the lack of control most of the resistance is provided by the water. Our suggestion is to take that time during the intro to practice pedaling underwater. It feels a little funky at first, but other than that, everything is pretty familiar: standing positions are called 2 and 3, you’ll climb hills and sprint, and you’ll work on removing the bounce for isolation. Disappointed….? Don’t be, because there’s def some “weird factor” in this class. There’s a TON of arm work using the resistance of the water and the secret “position 4” where you keep your feet in the pedals but float your butt back behind the seat and hold onto the seat with your palms. We certainly felt the burn, but supposedly the water massages your muscles so there is no soreness the next day.
Despite the bizarre setting – a pool room with the lights dimmed low and candles burning – JC, or “Zjjjaay-Cee” as he introduced himself, brought the same energy one would bring to a HIIT or boot camp class into the pool. This endlessly upbeat, lean, muscular Frenchman has high expectations for each of his students and will constantly remind you that he can “ceee zyour leeeaaggs” even though they are under water. So, you better be pedaling! Did we mention that he is french? Throughout class, he threw in a variety of “Ça va?”s, “attention!”s and “très bien”s. Between that and all of the splashing, it took us a good while to get the goofy AF smile off of our faces. All in all, JC was incredibly motivating, gave good count downs, and provided the right amount of challenge to push us to our limits. He was also a super active and hands-on instructor. One minute he’s on land, next he’s in the pool, and somehow he pops up right in front of your bike when you need him.
At first appearance this studio comes off as more of a spa environment than a sweat den. It is VERY quiet everywhere but the pool room and the front desk attendees even greet you with hushed gentle tones. You may question if you’re in the right place, but when trying a bizarre workout such as this, the zen vibe actually calms your nerves a bit. In keeping with the high end theme, your $42 does go a long way with ultra luxurious locker rooms spacious enough to accommodate incoming and departing class crossover. And since this is a pool-based workout, the showers are crazy nice and large. That said, the line can get long so if you’re going to take a more indulgent shower, let those pressed for time go ahead of you. The wait will be well worth it since all of the vanity stations are wide open for a hair drying/insta-stalking sesh. Oh and the best part: they have an area to hang your clothes (perhaps that silk blouse you usually shove into your gym bag pre- or post-work). Yea girl, they were looking out for you.
78 Franklin St, New York, NY 10013 Tribeca Spin $$$$$
AQUA Studio NY
Tribeca Spin, $$$$$
78 Franklin St, New York, NY 10013
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