Water Cycling – High Intensity, Zero Impact

So there’s this thing called “Water Cycling” – and last Sunday, we decided to go give it a go.  A friend of A.I.P organised a session for a group of us through local Sunshine Coast Company “Water Resist”.


Let’s Answer The First Questions Straight Up

  1. Is there actually a bike in the water?
  2. How long does it go for?
  3. Is there an Instructor?
  4. How hard it is?

and Answer Mode:

Question 1:

Water bike.jpg


Yep – there is specially made, marine-grade aluminium, bikes that sit on the bottom of the pool that you spin on.  Unlike normal exercise bikes, they don’t have variable resistance, but more on that later.  You also do a fair bit of exercise using the bike as an apparatus, but not actually “riding” it.

Question 2:

The class that we did was about 30 minutes long – and if you were to ride this workout as instructed (with effort levels in the 8 to 10/10 ratings) – then you absolutely don’t need longer.

Question 3:

There is an instructor.  Our instructor Anita, had accompanying music and provided clear, concise instructions on what the variety of riding styles and other moves were and how long they were to be for.

AIP Crew
Our crew about halfway through

Question 4:

This is an interesting one.  We spent the first couple of minutes getting used to the balance in the water.  The moves can range from sitting, to standing in a variety of different positions, to completely hopping off the bike and power kicking using the seat as a stabiliser.  Our particular favourite was the no-handed low rider.  Keeping your feet in the pedal stirrups, you lower yourself behind the seat and then pedal using your arms to swim and keep yourself from floating back away from bike – an epic core and upper body engagement.

But that doesn’t answer how hard it is, does it?  So if you were to cruise along and just turn the pedals leisurely, then no, it’s not challenging at all.  However, as you increase the speed, the water resistance increases exponentially and at a high turn rate, the effort level is MASSIVE.  Big Muscle burn, lots of sweat and deep breathing.  So depending on the instructors guidance, and your own willingness to push yourself, this can be one HELL of a workout.  Add on the element of taking your hands off and having to paddle at the same time, engaging the entire upper body and then also activating the core to initiate counter-balance.  It was a full-body workout in the entire sense of that statement.


Who’s it for?

Well just about everyone – provided you can swim.  The two big standout groups for me are:

  • Those with joints that can no longer withstand high-impact training but still want to engage in cardiovascular training.
  • Athletes that want a High Intensity Workout with zero impact to enable the body to still recover from previous workout trauma.

Personally, as a trainer that specialises in high performance and intensity-type training, this is a fabulous tool for certain clients.  Going hard in the workout – we approached maximum muscle fatigue a few times and were breathing hard.

If you were someone looking to start your first foray into fitness, this would also be a great introduction with the right class.  Lower intensity, support of the water and zero impact on joints that are not yet acclimatised.

In fact – I just recommend this to everyone to give this a go.  On their website, they claim this matrix of elements as benefits – and now having given it a go, I’m definitely inclined to believe it.

Matrix of Benefits – Source “waterresist.com.au”

Sounds Awesome – Where do we Book it In?

Well as in most things – a quick look through the internet will sort you out, but if you’re on or near the Sunshine Coast, we would VERY MUCH recommend getting a session in with “Water Resist”.  They visit a few different pools and you can see their availability here:








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