Studio Spotlight: Aqua Sculpt

We spoke with Nina Hirschfeld, the owner of Aqua Sculpt, who has created an extremely unique pilates experience on the water.

 Exclusively in Sydney, Aqua Sculpt provides classes in swimming pools on the water's surface on top of an aqua board exercise platform, transforming and sculpting bodies in a fun yet unique way!

Tell us about Aqua Sculpt?
Aqua Sculpt is a unique fitness experience using water to transform and sculpt the body. We use a floating exercise platform, our Aqua Sculpt board, and we conduct our classes, not IN the water but ON top of the water’s surface. Our mission is to create a playful and inclusive workout that is beyond the confines of traditional studios and is unique and accessible to everyone of all fitness levels.

What was the inspiration behind it?
My inspiration came when I was overseas in Dubai. I was with my sister-in-law at the time and she found a float fitness HIIT class at a beach club. It seemed different and I’m always up for trying new things, so why not? We thought, why exercise in a studio when we’re on holiday when we can exercise on the water? Immediately after finishing the class, I just knew I had to bring this idea to Australia and make it a fitness experience that was doable, inclusive and one that people would love.

What makes Aqua Sculpt so unique to other Pilates studios?
Firstly, we are not your typical pilates studio because our studio is a swimming pool. Unlike any traditional pilates mat, we use a floating exercise platform to conduct our classes. Due to exercising on a floating mat, you are working multiple muscle groups simultaneously to stay balanced, resulting in your muscles working harder than a regular pilates class.

What type of pilates do you practise/ teach at Aqua Sculpt?
We commence the class with classical mat-style pilates and then fuse it with our signature Sculpt Wave and various balance teasers. This gives you a full-body workout where you can feel the burn and then incorporates the balancing component to add an element of playfulness. We then conclude all our classes with some relaxation to calm the nervous system and take a moment to enjoy the floating sensation, which is super calming. You’ll leave the pool having had a great workout but also feeling zen and wanting more.

What can people expect when walking into an Aqua Sculpt class?
Expect lots of energy, some laughter, to be vulnerable, to experience something different and to meet a diverse range of authentic and open-minded people.

How do you tailor your classes to suit all experience levels?
We currently have one class for all levels as our concept is still very new and 90% are beginners to float fitness. We use layering and modifications to give options should people want to advance in the classes. Most expect it to be harder than it looks; they soon realise that the boards are super sturdy, and it’s difficult to fall off.

Our instructors are also observing throughout the class so they know who they can push and who might need some encouragement. Our intimate class size allows our instructors to build relationships with each person in the class and understand their fitness needs.

What type of activewear/equipment is needed to attend an Aqua Sculpt class?
Great question! So, being in the pool, we have a mix of attire. Some wear swimsuits and others wear activewear. The only thing you need to bring to the class is yourself! We provide everything for you, including our Aqua Sculpt boards and all the fun toys! We use resistance bands, pilates balls and water weights.

How would you describe the overall vibe and experience?
It’s such a great vibe when the pool is full! Everyone comes with a positive mindset and an open mind ready to try something new and comfortable, being an absolute beginner at something. Bringing a group of people like that together brings a huge amount of positive energy, and I think that’s what people love about it. Everyone gets to know one another at the beginning of the class whilst on their boards waiting for the class to start and by the end, everyone leaves with a huge smile on their face.

What are some challenges you have faced with bringing Aqua Sculpt to life?
Launching a startup business is hard enough, but starting something completely different from what everyone else is doing comes with numerous challenges. There are not many competitors, so I’ve been having to figure a lot out as I go, which has been difficult but rewarding at the same time.

The biggest challenge is building awareness of this new concept and encouraging people to come and try it. I know many are skeptical and are worried they will fall into the water or that it’s really difficult. Without seeing the boards, it’s hard to appreciate the firmness of the boards and it’s extremely difficult to fall off. So on that note, if you’re on the fence about whether to come and try it, please come and see for yourselves, I promise you that you won’t regret it! Because no one has yet!

Learn more about Aqua Sculpt here.

Follow @aquasclupt on Instagram.