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Best Of - Aqua Aerobics at 24 Hour Fitness

Celebrating my 2,000,00 page views with a classic post -

This article was posted on 06/2009

To discuss working out in the pool, I had the Logo jpeg opportunity to speak with 24 Hour Fitness Master Instructor Doris Dodge-Thews.   Doris has over 25 years of fitness experience, has run the Boston Marathon, the Nike Women's Marathon and teaches group exercise classes such as Aqua Aerobics at 24 Hour Fitness clubs throughout Orange County.


If you’ve never tried a water exercise class, select 24 Hour Fitness club locations with pools nationwide are giving you the chance on Saturday, June 13. As part of “Open Door Saturday” 24 Hour Fitness clubs nationwide are opening their doors to the public for free workouts. Non-members are invited to try all the amenities 24 Hour Fitness has to offer, including the group exercise classes such as Aqua Aerobics offered at select clubs on Saturday. Check-out to find a club location near you offering the Aqua Aerobics classes!

Joel:  First off tell me a little bit about yourself and how you got interested in the fitness industry?

Doris Dodge Thews(2) Doris Dodge-Thews:  I was a high school and college athlete and just never stopped.  I started instructing when I was in high school and have continued through today at age 42.  Over the past 25 years, I have seen companies like 24 Hour Fitness serve the community and promote health and fitness. I travel around the country teaching 24 Hour Fitness instructors different group exercise classes.  I’m passionate about helping others reach their fitness goals and I’m fortunate that 24 Hour Fitness allows me to do so for a living!

Joel:  For someone who has never attended an Aqua Aerobics Class what should they expect the first time in the water?

Doris Dodge-Thews:  They’ll be pleasantly surprised by the environment. They'll learn that the best thing about Aqua Aerobics is its variety.  Each class is different and so much fun.  You can't help but smile when you are in the water!  You’re constantly propelling through the water, and it’s a great non-impact way to improve your cardio while increasing strength and flexibility. Anyone can do Aqua Aerobics - runners and marathoners, basketball  players, swimmers, weight lifters, walkers and anyone looking to build muscle and burn fat quickly.  Members and guests should come to select 24 Hour Fitness clubs with pools on Saturday, June 13 to check-out an Aqua Aerobics class. It’s free!  

Joel:  What are some of the benefits of doing an Aqua Aerobics class?

Doris Dodge-Thews:  When you are working in water at every move you are facing resistance.  It's a fun challenging aerobic workout.  The body is facing hydrostatic pressure which allows one to exercise more vigorously with less strain.  You have drag at every turn which gives you the resistance for strength training.  Aqua Aerobics is a cardio workout that has no impact on the joints, and you reduce your risk of injury compared to other forms of exercise such as running or weight lifting.  

Aqua aerobics is a group exercise class at 24 Hour Fitness. It’s great because you’re working out in a group that is supportive and it motivates you to work hard. We encourage all of our members to work out in a group exercise class or with a partner.  It’s a way to hold you accountable and you’re more likely to stick to a fitness routine if you’ve got someone to work out with.

Joel:  Can you give the readers one basic Aqua Aerobics routine that they can do on their own?

Doris Dodge-Thews:  One all around exercise is Flip and Kick.  Grab a kick-board.  Hold it out in front of you with face down and kick 6 times.  Flip on to your side still holding the kick-board.  Scissor kick 6 times then flip on your back.  Kick 6 times holding the kick-board over your head on the water then flip to the other side.  Kick 6 more times still holding the kick-board above your head on the water.  It’s a great cardio workout and by holding the kick-board you are getting an upper body workout.

Joel:  What got you interested in Aqua Aerobics?

Doris Dodge-Thews:  Its variety. And I wanted to cross train.  After running a marathon it takes 26 days for the body to recover.  Aqua Aerobics doesn't impact the joints so it's great to be working out and be in the water.  At triathlons you see the participants always getting back in the water after the race to allow the body to recover faster.  Plus I love the environment of these classes and it's a lot of fun!

Joel:  You also instruct 24 Cycle Classes.  Now that is a whole different level of intensity then Aqua Aerobics.  Or are they?  Can you compare and contrast the two different activities?

Doris Dodge-Thews:  When you are in the water you have constant drag.  When you are on a bike you have gravity to deal with.  24 Cycle has a high caloric burn rate.  In a class you can burn anywhere between 600 and 1,000 calories depending on your intensity and how fast you sprint.  But both are important for a healthy lifestyle

Joel:  In 24 Cycle Classes the instructors always give the cyclers a guide to level ones intensity.  With each instructor having his or her own unique way of describing these levels.  One instructor I know uses "ordering at a bar" and how at different intensities you can only order so much.  How do you describe these levels to your cyclers?

Doris Dodge-Thews: That is called RPE, Rate Perceived Exertion, and 24 Hour Fitness instructors use it in all group classes.  Each bike and person is different so it is what each person perceives.  The RPE can be broken down into four zones:  Easy, Endurance, Edge and Elite anaerobic.  I use ordering at Starbucks since I love coffee.  At the Easy level, I can tell you for an extended period of time all about coffee including what beans I favor. At the Endurance level, I can talk but I’m working harder. I can order my vanilla latte non-fat with two pumps of vanilla for 12-20 minutes at the Endurance level. During the Edge level, for 5-7 minutes, I could only tell you “yes” if you asked me if I like coffee. At the Elite level, I’m breathless and can only shake my head, I can’t talk, for 1-3 minutes. 

Joel:  What type of music do you like to use in your classes?

Doris Dodge-Thews:  In my 24 Cycle classes I play high energy music with a strong beat.  My music will reflect my drills.  Hill drills will have slower music while speed drills will have faster music.  Then I also have recovery music.  I try to have a variety of music that at the end of the class I've played something for everyone. In the Aqua Aerobics class I play either just background music or some cadence tempo music depending on the class.

Joel:  Finally for those 24 Hour Fitness members which locations can they find you at?

Doris Dodge-Thews:  I teach across Orange County at the Laguna Niguel, Irvine Center Drive and Irvine Spectrum 24 Hour Fitness clubs.

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