The ‘Aquabiking’ fitness trend: we visit HydroFit on Northcote Road

Aquabiking, underwater spinning, cycling in a bath tub: whatever you want to call it, HydroFit is the latest fitness trend for 2015 and with a promise of burning at least 300 calories in half an hour, we wanted in on it. IMG_8283
Put simply, HydroFit is like spinning, but instead of being in a studio with other sweaty cyclists, the bike is in what can only be described as a giant bath. And why have the fitness gods decided that cycling in water is now a thing? The people behind it explain that there are multiple benefits to exercising this way. The water means that there is much less impact to joints than traditional cycling, and the jet streams (think similar to a jaccuzi) targeting your legs are said to help break down cellulite (whether the latter is true or not, we reckon you’d need to visit a LOT and cut back on booze/sugar/all sorts else to see any results too).

Our HydroDuo pod

Our HydroDuo pod

That aside, it seems gimmicky but we were keen to see what happens in a session. Through the booking process you can reserve yourself an individual ‘tank’. If you want to take a mate you can – there’s a room with two tanks which can be separated with a white curtain if necessary. You can book a 30 minute or 45 minute session. You’re left alone to change into your swimwear before a member of staff helps you into the bath, which is already partially filled with water (which, FYI is clean every time) before they start to fill it to its optimum height. For those daunted by the prospect of running an unknown machine, the staff are there to do it all for you. We didn’t need to push any buttons throughout the whole session, leaving us to concentrate on enjoying it. As seen in the picture, every tank comes with a TV screen (and headphones) so you can watch whatever you like. While Saturday Kitchen is always a good idea, we opted for music to get our legs going instead. The 30 minutes sped by. Prior to the session officially starting, staff told us that the average distance customers cycled was about 10 or 11 kilometres. Nothing like a target to motivate you, not to mention a competitive mate pedalling furiously next to you. While it felt like a complete gimmick, we couldn’t ignore the after effects. Think wobbly legs and thirsty mouths (luckily they provide water as you work out). While we ached the next day, it wasn’t to the same degree with usual exercise, so perhaps the water had its benefit after all. Price wise it’s not cheap, with peak time sessions starting from £30. However their trial offer allows you to book for half price if you want to give it a go. The staff are incredibly friendly and there’s definitely a buzz from finishing (we got 11k on the spot – phew), but we’ll be counting our pennies before we next make it along. HydroFit Battersea (also available in Fulham), 137 Northcote Road, SW11 6PX

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