At the beginning of the year, I was very kindly offered to take part in an Aqua Spinning class in association with Simply Health as part of their Healthy Habits campaign. I woke up to an email about 'Aqua Spinning' one morning and had to re-read the email a couple of times - cycling underwater?! At first I thought it sounded really cool, but many thoughts popped into my head. How do the bikes sink to the bottom of the pool? Does the workout hurt? To be honest, I'm not much of an exercise enthusiast. I remember visiting the gym once last year and spend most of my spare time either blogging or generally doing everything else that doesn't involve exercise, but if there's one physical activity I do love, it's to swim.
My summer holiday memories are packed with episodes of 'Aqua gym' sessions every morning and afternoon. I LOVE these activities abroad and I've always fancied doing something similar back home. So, when I was contacted, of course I couldn't miss out on the opportunity.
My Saturday evening at the Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh consisted of meeting a whole group of lovely bloggers and a 45 minute underwater spinning class. I absolutely loved every minute of it!
I must admit, before the class I was extremely confused about what to wear. It would seem silly to ride a bike bare footed, and of course my trainers would get ruined underwater. I also wasn't certain how far underwater the bikes would be. I imagined the bikes only half-submerged into the water - enough to just give our legs a good workout. It turns out, they were fully submerged and a swimming costume was definitely on the cards.
We were supplied with special underwater shoes and an option of wearing some gloves to make our arm work out a bit more intense.
When we walked into the pool room, we were met with a bunch of bikes on the pool surface. We were taught how to adjust our bikes - there were certain requirements such as adjusting the saddle to meet our hip to make it more comfortable when it came to the spinning class. We were also instructed to choose how difficult we would like our workout to be. As a beginner, I probably should have opted for the easy setting, but I was feeling determined and propped my bike up to the medium notch.
When we were all prepared, our instructor determined the depth of the pool. This was based on the height of the smallest person in the room, 1.4 metres. The lifeguard set the pool depth and we all watched the bikes slowly submerge into the water.
We swam over to our bikes, strapped our feet into place, chose our music play list to work out to (80's hits) and off we went!
The 45 minute class didn't just focus on toning our legs, as you might suspect. We were moving around in all sorts of positions - standing up on the bike, sitting down and moving our arms everywhere (this involved episodes of 'accidental' splashing - which was a LOT of fun!). We also attempted the 'recumbent' position, which involved floating our bums behind the saddle whilst treading water with our arms to keep our heads on top of the surface. I must admit, I didn't quite get the hang of this and had to put one hand on the saddle to balance myself, but it was still a quirky way to change things up a little.
At the end of the session, we were prompted to sprint on our bikes as fast as we could for 2 minutes (we had worked our way up to this by doing 10 second, 20 second and a minute sprint interval beforehand). I started to get quite out of breath doing this and I could really feel the effects on my legs.
After our sprint, I noticed something that has made me fall in love with the latest Aqua Spinning craze. Usually when I visit the gym, I always feel a little ill mid-way through a workout. I build up a sweat and genuinely make myself feel a bit sick from over heating too much - this is the main reason I'm not a gym enthusiast. When it comes to Aqua Spinning, however, the water is constantly cooling your body temperature as you work out and I absolutely loved that element of the workout.
I'll definitely be investing in some more Aqua Spinning sessions at the Commonwealth Pool. Classes run Monday - Thursday and I would thoroughly recommend them.
For all the Aqua Spinning details and statistics, Simply Health have written a great post you can check out HERE.