Studio Review: Splash Cycle
You guys probably saw already on Instagram but I just tried aqua-cycling!! Aqua-cycling is exactly what it sounds like - cycling in a pool - and I had the opportunity to try it out with local studio Splash Cycle. Read on for more about what cycle class in the water is actually like and snag a discount on a Splash Cycle class!
Studio: Splash Cycle
Location: Arlington - Crystal City at Crystal Square Apartments
Note - They also have a DC location at the Liaison Hotel in Capitol Hill. From talking to someone who's taken classes at both locations it seems that, while the class is the same, the vibes are a little different. She said the DC location tends to feel a bit more energetic because you're at a hotel typically surrounded by other people and the bikes are closer together, while the Crystal City location is a bit more relaxed since it's not as crowded and outside the hustle of DC.
Metro: It's only 0.1 miles from the Crystal City metro on Blue/Yellow lines
Parking: Since the classes are in the evening or weekend, it's pretty easy to find street parking or you can hop into a garage and parking is free after 4PM
Bikeshare: Yes! There are two stops within a block of Crystal Square Apartments
Class Taken + Class Length: I took the Sunday 9:30 class with Christine. All classes are 45 minutes.
Good for beginners? Yes! Splash Cycle is great for anyone so long as you're comfortable sitting on the bike (and in a pool) for 45 minutes. It was easy to modify exercises and there were folks of all fitness levels in the class. Aqua-cycling is also great for people who are recovering from injuries. In fact, there were two women recovering from surgery in my class who were excited to try out this exercise since it's more gentle than a regular cycling class.
Sweat Level: This is a hard one to gauge on the bike... I definitely worked up a bit of a sweat, but it was hard to notice being in the water. I had my Apple Watch on during class and it said I burned about the half the calories I do in a regular spin class (~250) - BUT I don't really trust the watch to be able to account for all the additional movements and extra resistance of being in the water.
Sore After: Not really!
Vibe: Splash Cycle is a super fun workout and a great way to mix up your exercise routine. The vibe is pretty low key and open to people of all fitness levels. Unlike spin bikes on land that get more difficult as you increase the resistance knob, aqua-cycling bikes have weights in the wheels so that as you pedal faster, the bike automatically gets more challenging.
The flow of the class was roughly one song of spinning, followed by two songs of spinning with arm exercises (basically moving our arms in different ways under the water to work them against the resistance of the water), two more songs of spinning with some sprints mixed in, another arms song that included push ups on the bike, and then a song of abs before the final spin song. I wasn't expecting the amount of focus on abs and arms but ended up really enjoying it. Because of the way the resistance works on the bike, it was nice to do things other than spin on the bike and it was really fun and different to do ab exercises on the bike.
Amenities: Splash Cycle provides water shoes for those who need them at no charge. (Plus you get to be in a pool, which is a luxury in my book!)
What To Wear: They say it on the website, but it truly is anything that you're comfortable in. I wore a one-piece swimsuit (a J. Crew one, not a serious Speedo) and felt totally comfortable. Honestly, I was planning to keep my shorts on for the class, but the majority of women in the class were in their swimsuits. Some had a suit or sports bra on and kept on shorts or vice versa. You'll be going up and down on the bike and moving your arms around so just make sure you're in something that you're comfortable moving in and that keeps all your bits in place.
What To Bring To Class: A towel and water shoes, if you have them.
Drop-In Price: $25
Sweat Smarter Deal: Get $5 off your class with code: SMARTERSC18
Groupon Deal: Including this because it's better than the Sweat Smarter deal and I'm here to get you allllll the savings. On Groupon you can get 1 class for $19, 3 for $49, or $5 for $75. (Remember to buy the Groupon deal through Ebates to get extra cash back!)
On ClassPass?: Yes!!
Try If You Like: Honestly if you like being in the water - try this class! The variety of the exercise has something for everyone and, because it's in the water, the class is more gentle than a regular spin class so don't write it off if you normally don't like spin. That said, don't expect this class to replace your Soulcycle or Flywheel routine.
Sweat Smarter Summary: Aqua-cycling is a fun summer fitness activity that is definitely worth trying! Check it out with a friend and make sure you don't pay full price for a class. One note -- I wasn't impressed with the staff and amenities at Crystal Square Apartments (they had broken glass in the pool area and were not very responsive or concerned about cleaning it up), BUT that definitely didn't take away from the class and now has me anxious to try the DC location.
Let me know if there’s a studio that you’d like to see reviewed or if you’re a studio and would like to have Sweat Smarter come out for a review!