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September 17, 2019 By BridgeAthletic

Aquatic Cycling: Is it a Better Workout?


Peloton in the Pool?


If you haven’t been to your local YMCA recently, you may not know that aqua cycling is trending across health clubs. Well, we have and can confirm the hype.

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With the right instruction, you can definitely work up a sweat in a short period of time. This new study is the first of its kind to evaluate the effectiveness of the water-based workout. 

The study, sponsored by ACE, centered around 2 areas: 

  1. Cardiorespiratory Responses during Aqua-Cycling
  2. A Comparison of Cardiorespiratory Responses to Aquatic vs. Land Cycling


Based on these two evaluations, researchers concluded that absolute values for HR and VO2 are higher during land-based cycling but found the relative values are nearly the same during aqua-cycling.

This is because the max values (HRmax and VO2max) are lower in the water than on land.

In this study, HRmax was on average 15 bpm lower in the water and VO2max was on average 12% lower.

This means that, even though HR and VO2 were considerably higher on land when calculations were performed using percentages of maximal values, the participants were found to be working equally hard in both environments.


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About the Author


At Bridge, we are all athletes and coaches first. As athletes, our team has experienced everything from riding the pine on JV, to winning NCAA championships, to competing in the Olympic Games. As coaches, we have helped countless athletes reach their full potential, winning everything from age group section championships to Olympic Gold Medals.

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