The Ultimate Resistance Training Medium? H2O
By Lizzie Wilcox
Having stuck to biking on land my whole life, I didn’t know what to expect entering the WaterBiking studio on Merrick Way in downtown. I was first given a tour of the facilities, of their locker rooms, public and private showers, bathrooms and, of course, the pool, which is lined with stationary bikes. I quickly realized I was unprepared, but the studio was very accommodating, supplying me with water shoes, a lock and a towel. I changed, rinsed off in the shower, and hopped into the comfortably heated pool.
I was greeted by the instructor, Elodie, a woman from southwest France, who has been working at the studio for about a year. I hopped on the bike and started pedaling. A different feeling, to say the least, but not as hard as I expected. I have been to SoulCycle a few times on the rare occasions I felt like splurging $30 to be inspired by a perfectly toned cycling guru in a candle-lit room. WaterBiking is similar in that it is a 45-minute total body workout: legs, arms, back and core. But instead of reaching back into the bike’s basket and pulling out what you hope are just one-pound weights for lifting, you use the resistance of the water. Instead of bicep curls, you simply push your arms back and forth, across your body and in circles under water. The faster you go, the more intense the burn. The class ends with targeting the core. Yes, that means doing crunches on a bike.
Other than getting a sense of what it would like to be a mermaid, the best part of the class is you’re not sore the next day from these exercises. That’s the beauty of working out in the water. Plus, you burn twice the calories and don’t even break a sweat – at least it doesn’t feel like it, since you’re already under water.