Tuesday, July 02 2019

Observe most aquatic fitness classes and you will see a predominantly older and female clientele.  Not so in Chris LaCour’s NYC classes.  Here the crowd majority is often younger males.  Yes…y.o.u.n.g.er MALES!   What is the secret?


Attracting more men into an aquatic fitness class requires a more masculine approach to the moves, music and mood.  Men will likely skip a class called Aqua Aerobics or Aquacise, but could be tempted to try a class called Aqua Boot Camp or Aqua Power Challenge.  Uncomfortable in a class doing rocking horses, leaps, shimmies and mambos, men would be more interested in powering up jacks, skis, jogs and kicks.  Feeling silly exercising to Broadway music, the male species requires music with a bit more testosterone, such as good ole rock & roll.  Guys will pass on a class led by a chatty instructor, instead preferring action to words. 

And how do we know this?   S’WET by Jenni Lynn Fitness has redefined aquatic fitness and found a new audience for their boot camp style approach to water exercise.   Founded by Jenni Lynn Patterson-LaCour and now co-taught with her husband, Chris, S’WET classes are attracting NYC lap swimmers and younger males looking to unleash their athletic prowess in the pool.   Video clips of S’WET classes shared on social media reveal a rather unique brand of aquatic exercise - classes filled with men.

This shorter video (20-minutes) is part of the new Fitmotivation Express Video Series designed to minimize viewing time and double content format.  Two shorter videos will take the place of one full-length video.
Segment 1 – Dude Wall Moves
Proving that Dude Moves are totally for the ladies as well, Chris leads from deck and Jenni Lynn works the wall like a champ
Segment 2 – Dude Power Moves
Chris jumps in the pool for this segment to demonstrate a dude doing some favorite Dude Moves.  Expect lots of energy and lots of splashing.  If you don’t want to get your hair wet, this may not be for you. 

Fitmotivation:  So how did you become an Aqua Man?
Chris: After a snowboarding injury, which led to a spinal surgery, then aquatic rehab, my wife Jenni Lynn introduced me to aquatic fitness.   Thanks to training in the water, I was able to make a speedy recovery while improving my cardio and strength.  Impressed by the power of water, I was always struck by how few men were interested in taking aqua classes.   For years, I was often the only man in a class full of ladies.  However, as a younger guy I could understand how observing an aqua class from a window or the deck could easily deter a man from wanting to join.  First of all, the class is usually filled with ladies and only ladies, which is quite intimidating for any potential male participant.  Secondly, aqua workouts are deceitful looking, so unless men get in the pool, they won’t know what they’re missing!   But how do you get them into the pool?  Fortunately, for me it was an injury that got me in; but it was the ability to jump, kick, run and punch to my fullest potential without harming my knees, back and other joints that kept me coming back.  As a class participant, I started to get creative with the moves and would amplify the intensity any way I could; moving faster, jumping higher, kicking stronger.  Other guys would see me in “not so hard” classes working to a much higher level and would be enticed to join.

Fitmotivation:  Why did you make the move from participant to instructor?
Chris:  S’WET Fitness by Jenni Lynn really began taking off in Manhattan.   Jenni Lynn was getting more offers to teach than she could take on.  And since I had been attending her classes for years we felt it would be a good idea if I became trained and AEA certified so that we could expand the brand.  When I began teaching I would incorporate my more aggressive “dude moves” as an alternative to standard base moves and the participants loved the options.  Wives and girlfriends would somehow persuade their partners to come to a class and I would turn them into an aqua convert by the end.  The guys loved the fact they could do high jump tucks and not hurt their backs or feet.  They really enjoyed punching and kicking into the water, channeling their best Bruce Lee impressions.  Best of all, nobody could see what they were doing under the water.   The water gave them the freedom to workout as hard as they wanted.  It made them feel like a rambunctious kid again, while at the same time while truly getting a total body workout.  That’s any guys’ gym dream! 

Looking to amp up your classes?   Take Chris’s advice and add some Dude Moves into your routine.  Fitmotivation extends BIG thanks to Chris LaCour for coming to Florida and filming his athletic brand of water fitness.   Stay tuned for two more videos from Chris – Xtreme Aqua and Single Buoy Challenge.   Check out other Fitmotivation videos featuring Jenni Lynn and the S’WET brand – including S’WET Boot Camp, S’WET Deep, S’WET Challenge and Wave Warrior.  Jenni Lynn will also be posting 4 new videos in the coming months.   Interested in hosting S'WET workshops?  Visit the S'WET website or connect with them on Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and Twitter

Author: Mark Grevelding is the founder of Fitmotivation. He is also a training specialist and consultant with the Aquatic Exercise Association’s (AEA). Mark has been active in the fitness industry for 22 years as a group fitness instructor, personal trainer, international presenter and a continuing education provider for AEA, AFAA & ACE.