(Antigua) Review: Floating fitness in the Caribbean sea as aquaphysical HIIT classes launch at Elite Island Resorts

This week = FLOATFIT: A 40 minute HIIT workout on water. The low-impact, cross-training class uses an inflatable floating platform to give you a fun, full-body workout that includes burpees, lunges, squats, mountain climbers and planks with added core-strengthening wobble.

Detox|Retox (far right) reviews the Aquaphysical floatfit class at St James's Club in Antigua pic: Casey Omar Jerson

Detox|Retox (far right) reviews the Aquaphysical floatfit class at St James's Club in Antigua

pic: Casey Omar Jerson

WHO?

Full disclosure: I got to try the Caribbean version of these brilliant floating fitness classes as part of a new season wellness launch for Elite Island Resorts in Antigua last month (and while there are plenty of classes in the UK coming up for you to try I can't guarantee that the water will be quite as warm if/when you fall off).

The holiday resorts, including Galley Bay and St James's Club in Antigua as well as  St Lucia, Barbados, BVIs and the Grenadines, are introducing the classes as part of their winter activity schedule as a way for guests to try something new and stay fit on their hols (if/when they are able to drag themselves away from the rum punch at the all-inclusive bars).

And so my floatfit classmates were a rather random mix of wellness gurus, journalists and slightly bemused holiday makers, which was actually a brilliant group to road test the new workout with, because every shape, age and fitness level was covered, and it really put aquaphysical's claim that their aquabase boards are suitable for anyone to the test.

Laughing at your classmates falling in is actually a great core workout (but also quite bad karma) pic: Casey Omar Jerson

Laughing at your classmates falling in is actually a great core workout (but also quite bad karma)

pic: Casey Omar Jerson

WHAT?

A HIIT workout that definitely doesn't feel like a HIIT workout, mostly because you're too busy concentrating on not falling into the water to notice your muscles aching or your core flexing like a demon as it works continuously to keep you steady on the board. The class (usually 40 minutes, but shorter in the Caribbean due to high temperatures) starts with a warm up that also tests your balance, and then moves into a pyramid-style training mode incorporating everyone's favourite circuit moves (or not?!)... with added wobble.

As well as the fun factor the 'wobble' is actually brilliant for improving stability and strength as pairs of muscles are forced to work together, making it great for anyone with a low level of fitness or even recovering from injury.

If you are already pretty fit you'll need to be prepared to push yourself if you really want to feel the balancing benefits, as it's easy to stay in the safe zone of the less challenging exercises.

WEAR?

  • A bikini - underneath your Lycra, or by itself for the ultimate motivation :)
  • Sports gear that you don't mind getting wet. Leggings with high-stretch content seem to work best (we wore marl cropped M&S leggings - £14
  • Nothing loose (flappy wet clothes are not fun) 
  • A towel and a change of clothes
Unfortunately this is not me. It's actually super yogi and Fat Buddha founder Jessica Skye putting the aquabase through its paces at the launch event pic: Casey Omar Jerson

Unfortunately this is not me. It's actually super yogi and Fat Buddha founder Jessica Skye putting the aquabase through its paces at the launch event

pic: Casey Omar Jerson

#MMR: floatfit by aquaphysical

FITNESS LEVEL? 1/5 

This really is a class for everyone. All fitness levels are welcome and catered for with three different versions of most exercises. You DON'T need to be super fit to enjoy - or benefit - from this class. You DO need to be able to swim, and have a good sense of humour.

WILL YOU SWEAT? 5/5

You won't actually sweat much but you WILL be soaked, which is why we've given it a five. There's no going straight to work with a quick Wet Wipe swipe after this class.

The boards are also used for gentler stretch sessions - seen here in the pool at Galley Bay -  which are a lovely way to end the day and ease your way into happy hour pic: Casey Omar Jerson

The boards are also used for gentler stretch sessions - seen here in the pool at Galley Bay -  which are a lovely way to end the day and ease your way into happy hour

pic: Casey Omar Jerson

STUDIO STYLE? 3/5

With classes held in gym and hotel pools as well as on lakes, rivers and Caribbean beachfronts the floatfit experience varies according to location. We would - of course - recommend trying it out in the Caribbean Sea (*smug alert!) but closer to home there are classes across London and the South East. 

MUSIC: 0/5

Not necessary. The sound of your class mates sploshing into the water around you is all the motivation you need to tighten that core.

FRIENDLY OR FIERCE? FRIENDLY

Totally friendly. It's actually impossible to be fierce while doing a cat/cow stretch on a wobbly waterboard.

Elite Island Resorts in the Caribbean are introducing the classes as part of their winter activity schedule as a way for guests to try something new and stay fit on their holidays pic: Andre Phillip

Elite Island Resorts in the Caribbean are introducing the classes as part of their winter activity schedule as a way for guests to try something new and stay fit on their holidays

pic: Andre Phillip


DETAILS

floatfit Caribbean classes are launching this month at Elite Island Resorts in Antigua and will be available at other resorts on St Lucia, Barbados, BVIs and Grenadines from 2017. 

In the UK, aquaphysical floatfit classes are held regularly across London and the South West

aquaphysical.com

Hayes & Jarvis is offering a seven night holiday to Antigua with prices from £1,999 per person (and savings of £404 per person) departing on 16 May 2017. This trip includes a seven night stay at Galley Bay Resort and Spa by Elite on an all-inclusive basis, transfers and return international flights from London Gatwick with Virgin Atlantic