If you haven’t heard, Equinox bought SoulCycle a while ago and now everyone is trying to be the SoulCycle of ‘X’. SoulCycle of Boxing? Rumble. SoulCycle of HIIT? Switch Playground or Fhitting Room. SoulCycle of your life? WeWork. (Or that’s their hope anyway.)
So when we heard about Aqua Studio, our first instinct was that it was going to be SoulCycle: But In Water. While it’s not far off, we were pleasantly surprised to find out this place has a few other things going for it.
First, no one here is screaming, “TURN UP THE RESISTANCE. TURN THAT KNOB TO THE RIGHT.” Actually, no one here is yelling at all, because there is no knob and the water is the resistance. As a result, you’re forced to really use your core. It’s a bit harder than you’d expect and if you’re a cycling veteran, it will take a little time to get used to. But ultimately, it’s pretty fun.
Second, you are in an 84-degree heated, 4-foot deep pool, so you don’t really sweat. The gloriousness of this really cannot be overstated. Let’s be clear here: it’s totally a cycling workout. But it bears repeating—it’s not sweaty.
Speaking of speed, Aqua Studio offers four main classes—Blend, Restorative, HIIT and Interval—and the options are exactly as you’d expect them to be. Restorative is really great if you’re looking for active recovery. No matter which option you choose, the water is no joke and that resistance is real!
As part of the workout, the instructor will ask you to use your arms to make circles in the water, and the next day you might feel like you just used your shoulders for the first time ever. There’s also some sitting and standing in the saddle, as well as a seriously awkward position called “position four” that has you clutching your seat for dear life while you try to bike behind your bike. It will give you a wedgie.
The instructors here are fine and so is the music, but both get drowned out of by the noise of your neighbor splashing water in your face. It’s not a competitive place and you’ll see people of all shapes and sizes, which is almost as refreshing as being in a pool. And there are single sex classes if that’s more your speed.
Aqua Studio calls itself a “wellness sanctuary” and that might be a bit of a stretch but all in all it’s pretty nice. It's a fun place—if a bit pricey—to try something new, and if you really hate sweating or are looking for low-impact cardio, it is a very good option.
— Photo Credit: Aqua Studio.