When it comes to the perception of aquatic exercise, NYC-based fitness instructor Jenni Lynn Patterson LaCour has just about heard it all. "You can't lose weight from a water class"..."It's just for older women"..."Do you even sweat underwater?"
The W Hotel invited Jenni Lynn to their podcast studio to find out how she responds to some of those very misconceptions.
On a recent episode of Scene in the City, host Dan Sparacino sat with the creator behind one of his own favorite water workouts - S'WET™ by Jenni Lynn Fitness to hear how Jenni Lynn is growing her business in NYC (and beyond), where she goes to detox and retox, and the one essential travel item she never leaves home without!
Full Disclosure: Besides working hard behind the mic as host of his podcast, Dan is also hard at work as a student in one of Jenni Lynn's classes. And quite frankly he's a walking billboard for anyone questioning the ability of aquatic fitness to help transform your mind, body and soul!
Just take a look at some of these incredible before and after photos:
"I was never a big fan of the water," he admitted. "And I really didn’t know how to swim!"
But that didn't stop Dan from showing up to class a minimum of twice, sometimes three times a week! "Jenni and Chris keep the S'WET™ classes challenging and exciting, and it keeps me wanting to come back again and again," he said.
"For the past 10 years, I’ve been walking around as a 'big guy' but not in the way that I thought was complimentary. I’ve been called 'heavy set' and 'husky,' and I just didn’t like those descriptions," Dan shared. "It was degrading my self esteem and confidence."
The real turning point for Dan happened in August 2015 when what started as a simple visit to his doctor became a life-altering wake-up call for much-needed change.
"The doctor kept asking me if I was feeling okay," Dan recalled. It was after the fifth time they took his blood pressure that he built up the courage to ask why. "He told me that my blood pressure was reading extremely high -- 200/100. He said I should be having a heart attack right then and there."
Dan's blood pressure and cholesterol were critically high, putting him at risk for a hypertension crisis or stroke. His hormones were so low his body stopped producing enough testosterone to compensate for the estrogen being released by his fat cells.
His doctor began treating him immediately, which included a plan for him to shed a lot of the weight he had been putting on but warned him, "it would take a while before I would begin seeing things reverse for the better." Worse yet, he learned 98% of patients with a similar health diagnosis never get any better.
As a former Olympic lifter, Dan needed a high-intensity cardio workout that would also help him build focused muscle groups while also shedding weight. He believes S'WET™ by Jenni Lynn Fitness was the perfect compliment to the metabolic program he begun, and credits the class with helping him stay focused on a healthier future.
"So what do you do on a Saturday morning to get the day started?" he would ask his Instagram followers. "S'WET of course!"
And SWEAT he did. (Check out the white-water waves he's making in the video to the left!)
"Dan was one of the first people in the pool, already warming up and always smiling, ready to work," said Jenni Lynn, his instructor. "He's the type of student I really love to get in class. Always up for a challenge, willing to push himself while also motivating others."
S'WET™ has been described as a Structured Water Exercise Training program combining high-intensity interval training (HIIT), advanced cardio, plyometrics, swimming drills, unique equipment from around the world...and a SPLASH of FUN!
Despite looking and feeling like a brand new man, it's ultimately Dan's latest test results that mattered most.
"My blood pressure is now 121/79, my cholesterol went from 300 to 145 and my hormones are at optimal levels," Dan proudly reports.
His body fat percentage when he started was 32%, and now he's down to an incredible 18%. "The results that I’ve been able to achieve has boosted my self-esteem and confidence beyond what I could imagine," Dan revealed.
Motivating and inspiring others to push to become the best versions of themselves is now Dan's main mission. And by sharing his story with friends, co-workers and others seeking improvement in their life, he believes he can make a real impact.
"If I have any part of people’s potential coming to fruition, that is worth its weight in gold to me."
Jenni Lynn and Dan both hope that by sharing his story of transformation, they can start to educate others on the benefits of aquatic fitness - and break down some of the out-dated stereotypes typically assigned to it. "Water based workouts these days are for everyone, all ages, sizes, shapes, genders and abilities. Water is a universal common denominator required for life to exist," Jenni Lynn said. "So it's not a coincidence that working out in it can really transform your body, mind and soul."
Jenni Lynn likes to remind her students that whatever the mind can conceive, the body can achieve with practice, repetition, determination and passion. So what are you waiting for? Ride the "new wave in aquatic fitness" and find a water class near you!
Listen and subscribe to the Scene in the City podcast wherever you get your podcasts!
Below is a roadmap of Jenni Lynn's episode:
2:00-3:00: How Jenni Lynn got her start in aquatic fitness
3:00-4:30: What is S'WET™?
5:00-6:00: Assistance and resistance of water
6:30-9:00: Future of S'WET™
10:00-12:00: Risks for fitness entrepreneurs in NYC
12:00-13:15: Advice for frequent travelers (and desk sitters)
15:15: What inspires Jenni Lynn about NYC
16:30: How Jenni Lynn detoxes & retoxes
18:30: Some of NYC's "Hidden Gems"
19:50: One thing Jenni Lynn never leaves home without
21:30: Where does Jenni Lynn travel?
23:30: Advice to travelers on where to go next