Saturday, August 21, 2010

Team Orca (aka Water Aerobics Review)

Between Lakewood Rec Swim Team, high school and college diving... I've spent a good chunk of my life in the water. I think my sophmore year of high school we figured out that we easily spent 1/3 of our life swimming laps in the pool. Kind of depressing LOL.

One of the things that always cracked us up was the group of "old ladies" that would come to the pool for water aerobics. Seriously? There was no way they were getting a workout. 1.) They never looked like they lost weight and 2.) splashing around in a pool is not a real workout.

Fast forward to junior year of undergrad. Part of our core requirements was two credits of health and physical education. As pointless as it seemed, it was kind of fun. For my HPE requirements I took racketball, dance, camping, and swim conditioning.

Okay, being on the swim team and having our coach teach the class.. I admit I took it for the easy A. It was fun! We swam laps, we played water polo... fun in the pool for college credit. For one of the classes our coach's awesome wife came and ran a water aerobics workout. That was the last time I ever made fun of water aerobics.

Don't get me wrong... we had a blast splashing around in the pool with the fun noodles! However, directly after the class I had diving practice. I started jumping on the board and my legs gave out on me. The workout pretty much killed my calves and practice was a disaster.

Ever since I hurt my back last January, I've been trying to figure out what type of workout I can do that strengthens my core without causing too much pain to the back. I know that in order to relieve the back pain, I need to strengthen my core muscles. Of course focusing on my core is difficult because my back starts to hurt. Mean trick.

Ever since joining the gym I've been looking into attending one of their water aerobics class. Thanks to my friend Jon, I knew it would be interesting since he nicknamed the group 'Team Orca." Heading to a class... it didn't take long for me to understand the nickname.

Let's just say the class was interesting. Many of the participants seemed to be looking for a "quick" fix to their weight issues. The instructor was kind of annoying, but putting that personal opinion aside, she did give a good workout. The Saturday class was mostly a strengthening and resistance training class for those willing to put the effort into it. Unfortunately, the people in the class didn't necessarily take advantage of the workout. Most of the people seemed to think that by moving around slightly and half-assing the moves meant they were burning calories. Like anything else in life, what you put INTO the work is what you get out of it.

Curious to see how classes were with another instructor, I attended the Tuesday night class even though with my fall class schedule I would never be able to make it. This class was filled with many people looking for an easy workout again, not realizing that THIS instructor was more nuts than the other. The difference between Tuesday night and Saturday morning was that this instructor lead a fast past 45 minute cardio workout in the pool working different muscle groups but focusing mostly on legs and abs. She was totally into the workout herself, screaming out instructions as she stood with her back to us in her own world. She never turned around or she would have noticed that most of the class was unable to keep up after 10 minutes. I broke into a sweat, which even as a competitive swimmer always made me feel weird. There is something about sweating in a pool that just doesn't feel right!

Overall, the two classes were good for those willing to put the effort into the workout. It wasn't 100% easy on my back, but it also didn't completely aggravate the pain either. I would like to go back, but the hard part is going to be the annoyance factor of dealing with the instructors who lead the class. Unfortunately, on those mornings that I'm lying in bed trying to motivate myself to get up and head to a class... the annoying instructor is going to lose to the cushy comfort of my body pillow.


  1. you are too funny! I totally get the bad instructor ruins the class thing. even if this class is better for your back, it does you no good if you don't go. What other classes do they offer? Maybe give others a shot. Kickboxing is way fun. what about more body jam?

  2. The body jam class is two nights a week and I was hoping to find something with more strength training to do some other nights of the week. Body Pump is on my list, but right now the times aren't going to work with my fall class schedule! Stupid grad school... ruining all my fun!