Friday, September 23, 2011
Several people at one of the private health clubs I visited said I simply MUST come to one of Countin' Bob's classes. Not so easy to do, as he only substitutes; he doesn't have his own regular class. I consulted the club's schedule and eventually found a class he was going to teach.
Countin' Bob is so called because he intentionally doesn't use any music. Instead, he gives a move to do and counts out the repeats: 8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1. I was skeptical that one could keep up the motion for an hour and a half (it's for some reason an extra long class) without a motivating beat, but the guy was so highly recommended I was curious to give it a try.
Once in the water I discovered that Countin' Bob had become Timing Bob. He now demonstrates a move to do and then gives an interval of time to do it. As I suspected, when I talked to him afterwards I found that he had made the change to allow people to move at their own rate of speed rather than dictate a pace that would not be comfortable for everyone. If you want to go fast, it's up to you to push yourself. If you need to take it down a notch or two, you can.
This also aids in another part of his approach, which is that everything should be done in the best form possible--great posture, appropriate direction, coordinated. You should only work at the speed at which you can maintain form. Otherwise, why do the exercise at all? You will lose its benefit. You can tell that he was trained and certified by one of my favorite H2O gurus, Pauline Ivens: www.aquaaerobics.com/
She's famous for her insistence that you should have a specific purpose for every exercise, and not just flap about wildly in the water, hoping you have used all your muscles by the time you're done.
Bob's workout is unique, geometric, and precise. The verdict: I loved it, and I'd go back to his class in a hot minute. I didn't even miss the music because my mind was totally preoccupied with getting the moves right. Could I duplicate what he does in my classes? No way. I can't explain it, but my mind just works differently when I'm in front of a class and I get better results when I have music that leads me and allows me to go off on riffs around my basic plan. That's why it's great to have different class teachers--cross training is better for you!