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Swimmingpool as Aquatic Gym

Dry Gyms

You may have been to a gym or fitness centre and spent good money on monotonous repetitive exercises. If you simply flap your arms about you may gain some extra muscle after a long time. You could use some weights to get faster results. Increase the weights over time and your results get better, until you get injured or terminally bored.

Alternative to Gyms

Swimming pools are a safe alternative to repetitive gym training with less risk of muscle injury. You can adapt a variety of gym exercises for use in the pool, using the weight and drag resistance of clothing layers in the water instead of gym weights.

Clothing Layers

We use clothing layers instead of gym weights. Clothing spreads the load more evenly over your body. It's a bit like weight lifting, you can just go up or down a notch by adding or removing a clothing layer. Adjust your kit to suit your fitness level.

Pool Training Gear List

You should be somewhat comfortable in the water fully clothed. Swim in your workout clothes before lifeguard boot camp to make sure they fit well and you enjoy swimming in them. It is important they fit well. Nothing is more annoying than the wrong swimming clothes.

Appropriate Swimsuits

Men: Wear a T-shirt or polo shirt with a pair of swim shorts.

Women: Wear a T-shirt or polo shirt with shorts over a full one-piece swimsuit or sports bra. No bikinis, please.

Pool Workout Clothes

During most of the training you'll wear unlined clothes over your swimsuit, like a long sleeve top and long trousers with waist band or belt. You'll also need a poncho or hiking cape for some of the exercise and as warm-up shelter.

Clean Canvas Shoes

You'll wear them all the time, even when swimming. Simple canvas shoes with drain holes are best. Socks avoid chafing. You'll be doing a full shoes workout.

Slip-on Swim Fins

Fins are required for some exercises. Get those with a full foot as they fit better. Again, socks may avoid chafing.

Goggles or Mask

You want to be able to see underwater for some of the exercises. Get well fitting goggles or a snorkeling mask for this.

Workout Mat (optional)

There will be exercises performed on the pool deck or on the beach. If you want to be comfortable bring either a mat, poncho or a towel. Fold it up as needed. A poncho also makes a good warm-up during the breaks.

Reader Comments

Aquatic Gym is Awesome!

I hate the gym, and I get bored with workouts easily. Here every day has a different form of water torture, but I feel amazing when I walk out (if I can even walk out!). I've been doing the program for 10 weeks now and have not only lost 8lbs, but my endurance and energy throughout the day has tripled. ~ Torin

Not Grandma's Water Aerobics

This is tough and definitely not your grandma's water aerobics. This training will kick you hard all the way across the pool and back. All the exercises have to be done fully clothed, both in the water and then wet and heavy on the poolside. Incredible. Never tell the instructor it was too easy. You'll regret it next class. ~ Martin

Swim Club

Our swim club started aquatic gym sessions and it's tough because of the heavy wet clothes. The combination of poolside moves, swimming, and random exercises in the pool was exactly what I needed to get into a habit. I always feel energized afterwards. ~ Sandra

Fast Paced Workout

The workouts are fast paced, challenging, and incorporate a good mix of water work and poolside exercises in heavy wet clothes (no boring lap swimming). If you enjoy being in the water but are not particularly motivated to pump irons at the gym, you need to try this!! Just when you think you have no more to give you get back in the water, swim more sprints. And the wet clothes are so heavy. ~ Marcelo

Better Than Boring Pool Laps

As a keen swimmer I always looked for something more challenging than endless boring laps in the pool. When a few friends of mine stumbled across this website, we decided to give this training a go. To save money we went to the local army surplus shop and bought simple field uniforms with rain gear and ponchos. That was much cheaper than swim shorts and tracksuits.

We now swim every week for two hours in a local pool where we can do these exercises. Layered clothing helps to vary the exercise level. Between lengths we climb and jump a lot, and do the poolside drills. It's a lot more fun than boring swimming clubs.
~ Eddie, Vancouver, Canada

UV Sun Sensitive Skin

Thank you for a programme I can use and get fit. I have to swim fully clothed with the hood up because of my light sensitive skin and high sunburn risk, so your training is just right for me. The aquatic gym idea is a powerful exercise and much more fun than a dry gym.

Up to four times a week I jump into the local outdoor pool and do cross training in hooded sports kit or casual clothes. At the beginning I do the warm-up exercises, then I do several laps of resistance swimming. Between the laps I do the strength training.

Then I go running in the wet clothes which makes it much harder. By the time I get home my clothes are almost dry again and I enjoy a shower to rinse the chlorine and sweat out of my kit. Great fun. ~ Andrew, Brisbane, Australia

Lifeguard Team

Our team does this workout every week. My favourite part is how much they mix things up so you don't get bored! Each class typically consists some swimming laps for cardio, dry land abs/stretching, pull/kick drills for more cardio, hoodie swimming for strength, on the wall drills for added abs/strength, and more. We wear different clothes each time. The heavy wet clothes make it really hard. This is so much more than doing laps on your own and the farthest thing from water aerobics. ~ Corey

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