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How Do We Bring More Men to the Pool?

by Chris LaCour

How can we attract more men to our aquatic fitness classes? I get that question a lot here at S'WET™ ... and the answer??? Honestly, there isn't just one. I believe a few factors play a role in luring men to your class; some you have some control over and others you don’t, but taking advantage of either situation is the key to retaining men in your aquatic classes.

I have the privilege of being a male aquatic fitness trainer living in one of the most densely populated cities in America, New York City. I fortunately don’t need to consciously work as hard to get men into my class, but even so, I have noticed there are some specific things that will lead an otherwise unlikely male participant into the pool to give an aqua class a try and even more importantly, keep them coming back.

Here are the 3 of the most common ways men ended up in my classes.

1. Men come into class willingly/unwillingly with their partners to try it out. Their partners have usually tried the class before and want their partner to experience it too. This can be a good introduction if they are both serious about working out and not there to frolic in the pool together.

PRO TIP: Challenge your class to invite their partners to join them and throw in some partner drills like those seen in our Pool Power Duo short available here.

2. Lap swimmers interrupted by class taking over the lanes. You’re already in your Speedo, right so why not take class?!

3. “I hurt myself doing ……. and I heard water classes were good for rehabbing.” I always introduce myself to the new participants, ask them their physical situations, and tell them that I understand their hesitancy and once shared the same feelings about the workout as them once upon a time.

Concerning the workout, I let them know they’ll feel slightly awkward and that their body may not move the way they want it to and that all of this should be expected the first time. If they have no coordination issues then they are ahead of the game! I’ll also quickly make a statement about how I’m the only one who can see them moving underwater which I believe aids in their ability to relax and not feel like all (women’s) eyes are on them.

These quick conversations allow men the ability to workout and freely make mistakes without feeling self-conscious in the water. Once class has begun it is your job as an instructor to give a class that MAKES THEM WANT TO COME BACK!

I’ve also found that for most men, hard work(outs) = breathing heavy/heart rate+/muscles burn, so if you can incorporate as many of these elements into your water class, you will have a man who is more willing to give water classes a second, third and fourth try.

How do I do that Chris!? Structure! Structuring your class to ensure these elements of work are included is very important, not just for keeping men in your class, but anyone who is serious about fitness and improving their overall health. This is why the S'WET™ program is so effective, because it teaches you how to STRUCTURE (the "S" in S'WET) your water exercise training in the most effective way possible.

Here are three of my favorite basic moves that push your new aqua men to make waves.

Wall Work:

  • Tempo’d Flutter Kicks (add a push up @ the wall if advanced and capable)

  • Wall Taps (Open-Close legs for advanced participants)

  • Push-Off w/ High-Knee Run or Tuck-Swim

Stationary Work:

  • High Knee Run w/Hooks

  • Tuck w strong Shoot Out

  • Power Jacks

Getting men to take the classes can seem difficult because it is, so focus on what you have control over which is good communication as well as knowing how to ramp up your class’s workout when needed. Make it challenging and know ways to intensify moves and give level options. Finding the best way to intensify your workouts will give you the best chances at keeping men in your classes.

Need some additional ideas to bring in the dudes? Check out Chris LaCour in DUDE MOVES DEEP, available here.


Christopher Lacour is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer, AEA Certified Trainer, ACE Group Fitness Instructor, Aquastrength Master Trainer, and a S’WET™ MASTER TRAINER teaching aquatic fitness in NYC.

Chris was first introduced to water workouts after a snowboarding injury and subsequent spinal surgery. He saw first hand the benefits of aquatic fitness – improving his strength, cardio and overall recovery. Chris incorporates swimming, boxing and mixed martial arts into his S’WET™ classes to give his students an incredibly intense

workout with little to no impact on the joints.

Contact Chris:




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