This Underwater Workout Will Seriously Up Your Spin Game

by Gigi Engle

I can't even imagine how much pee must be in this pool. This was my first thought upon submerging myself into the 4-foot-pool at Aqua Studio in Tribeca.

My co-worker Celine snapped away on her camera, taking pictures of me floundering about. “It's like a real ocean!” Celine said about the saltwater pool.

This was my second big adventure with Celine this week, and we were on quite the roll for finding weird workouts.

Celine Rahman

Meanwhile, all I could think about was the pee. But I put the thought from my mind when I looked at the clear water and reminded myself that this wasn't some public pool or an outdoor water park; it was a beautiful, immaculate studio in fancy-ass Tribeca.

When Celine and I entered Aqua Studio, my jaw dropped to the floor. The amenities in this place were un-f*cking-real. It was like a five-star spa. It smelled like eucalyptus, and the soft, melodic tune of the ukulele filled the space.

I have to admit: Auntie Gigi was very nervous about this class. Why? Well, for me, this class was going to be my personal challenge not to get my hair wet.

Down in the locker room, Celine and I found lots of old ladies. Old ladies are my favorite kind of people; they take no sh*t, and they always want to tell you what they think about things. I was definitely excited.

When I voiced my fear of getting my hair wet, one of the old ladies told me her hair gets wet when she's in the class. She said not to worry, because I'm a "giant," and she's five feet tall. While I am by no means a giant, I do have four inches on her, so I felt a bit more relaxed as I stepped into the pool area on the bottom level of the Tribeca studio.

It gave me the overwhelming feeling of being at the bottom of a well, which is all at once invigorating and disconcerting. I felt like Leonardo DiCaprio in "Romeo and Juliet" when Romeo falls in the pool.

Thirteen stationary bikes sat inside the pool in straight lines, three-quarters underwater. It was a little like we were in the bottom of a sunken cruise ship. The classes were divided into male and female classes. I consider the gym to be the place where women are more vulnerable than men. Adding a swimsuit to that vulnerability only intensifies this fact. So I was digging this ladies-only crew.

By the way, I would suggest a nice but full bathing suit, like a one-piece. Not a bikini. You're going aqua cycling, not to the Jersey Shore. The little fashion suit Celine let me borrow rode up my asshole like G-string on an episode of "Degrassi."


Our instructor, Ed, was hot. And really nice to the old ladies. Safe to say, I was immediately down with him. He's my favorite kind of instructor: He pushes you but doesn't become power-drunk psycho.

As class got underway, I was amazed at how we used the water around us. It wasn't dead space; it was part of the studio experience. Ed instructed us to pull back and forth on the water in a variety of different motions, from treading to paddling. It was a fantastic upper-body workout.

My favorite move was called "fourth position." It's where you slide off the back of the bike into the water. You hold onto the seat with your hands and keep peddling. This way, you're submerged to your neck.

Celine Rahman

It was a trippy leg experience as well. Even when sprinting on the bikes, everything feels like it's in slow motion. You can never seem to pedal fast enough.

It definitely wasn't the most challenging workout I've ever had, but it certainly got the job done. I was WIPED afterwards. But NOT SWEATY! YAY!

The thing is, it is technically a spin class, but not once did I feel like I was going to die. It was challenging without being completely miserable. It was like being at the spa while also getting a workout in. I had a unique and blissful feeling afterwards. I left with a feeling of calm relaxation instead of the usual endorphins.

Celine Rahman

It was a lot of fun and definitely a unique experience for anyone in desperate need of something different from the same old elliptical and hand weights.

Underwater cycling is truly the best way to get toned while also essentially becoming a mermaid in the deep lagoon.

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