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Calling All Land Fitness Instructors: JUMP RIGHT IN!

Guest Blogger Carly Fauth

I have always loved the water! I think it’s fascinating how a pool, ocean or lake calms me down and invigorates me at the same time. If you are a water lover as well, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Being submerged just feels good for my body, soul and mind. Thinking about my love of water, it kind of amazes me that it took me so long to actually incorporate it into my fitness repertoire.

I have been a land exerciser and instructor for many years! I have always loved the way a high intensity workout makes me feel and I love being able to help others achieve that euphoria as well. One summer day, a few years ago I was feeling a bit physically fatigued from my workouts and teaching schedule, especially in my hips and knees, so I decided to take my usual tabata workout to the pool.

I adapted some of the exercises I had been planning to do, placed my timer and speaker (because music is EVERYTHING) on the deck and got to work. My 11 year old son happened to be in the pool as well and hopped in for some of the rounds. When I was finished, he said to me, That was actually a really good workout. “Why aren’t you teaching this to people?” I didn’t have an answer for him and in fact, I started asking myself that question for the next month! So a few months later, we got to work creating the SplasHIIT Method.

Before my epiphany in the pool that summer, like a lot of other people, my perception of “water fitness classes” was that they were only for old people who couldn’t move that well. I never took the time to actually think about or experience how intense a water workout, beyond swimming my weekly laps, could actually be. And I never even considered water fitness for something I could teach. SILLY ME!

Creating and teaching SplasHIIT has changed my life as a fitness instructor. As a result, one of my missions has become to help other land instructors realize the reasons why they should expand their portfolio to the water!


Aside from teaching SplasHIIT, I am also a fitness mentor and one of the biggest things I help people with is adding some variety to what it is they are doing to stay in shape. Adding something new to your schedule, breathes new life into it and keeps your mind and body from getting stale. The same goes for when you are a fitness instructor. Chances are, if you are teaching exercise classes, you are probably someone who has a passion for fitness. When you have a passion for something, it’s fun to learn new things! Learning to teach in the water expands your knowledge to new principles of fitness.

It’s fun to be able to teach something new. It keeps your mind sharp and gives you a fresh perspective, which will only enhance your skills as an instructor.


As fitness instructors, we all want people to take our classes! There is nothing better than knowing we are helping our students so much that they want to keep coming back. Inspiring people to live healthy lives is why we got into the game in the first place, right? When you decide to start teaching water fitness, you are most likely opening yourself up to an entirely new audience than you have as a land instructor. You have the chance to inspire people you may not have been in contact with before.

The best part is, expanding your audience from land to the pool is actually a two way street. If your pool students trust you and enjoy your classes in the water, they may start to seek out your land classes as well. And if your land students start to hear that you are teaching a kick butt class in the pool, you may start to convince some die hard land folks that working out in the water is where it’s at! Being able to strengthen the trust and rapport you have with your students will only build your following as an instructor.

The vast majority of our SplasHIIT instructors were land instructors first. They were able to bring a lot of new people to SplasHIIT because of their following. That has really played a huge impact in the way we have been redefining people’s perception of aqua fitness. And the most interesting thing is that most of our instructors now prefer teaching SplasHIIT to anything else they teach on land.


As we get older, things tend to hurt more. Things that never bothered us before can all of a sudden start causing pain and frustration. As an instructor, we are the first people to tell our students to listen to their bodies and stress the importance of warming up and stretching and rolling and hydrating…the list goes on and on. Well, I have news for you, one of the safest places to work out is the water. It eases pressure on the joints and muscles and has an overall calming effect on the body. You can get that endorphin surge of a high intensity workout without the wear and tear on your body. Teaching a workout like this, will only legitimate that you are truly concerned with the safety and well being of your students.

As instructors, teaching movements can be just as hard on the body as actually taking the class as a participant. If you are an instructor who teaches multiple land classes a day, that can add up to a lot of wear and tear on the body. Although our SplasHIIT instructors teach from the deck as opposed to the water, demonstrating the movements is a lot easier on the body than traditional land classes. Many times we use chairs or props to simulate being in the water and we are not moving along with the class for the entire time. Teaching a water class like SplasHIIT allows you to be fully present with your students without sacrificing your body.


The key to seeing results in fitness is consistency. And if you are not enjoying what you are doing, it’s VERY hard to keep going with it. I believe the key to helping others find consistency in fitness is to help them experience the JOY of working out. I’m pretty sure most fitness instructors would agree with me here! But I am here to tell you that there is something uniquely magical about teaching a class involving water. It brings out smiles and memories of being a little kid. It levels the playing field and allows people of varying fitness levels to enjoy the workout together, at their own individual pace. It’s a truly unique and powerful environment to teach in.

As a water fitness instructor, you have the opportunity to inspire people to find their fitness joy. Maybe it’s someone who has never had the confidence to exercise in a group or someone who has lost their connection to fitness all together. Maybe it’s someone who’s rehabbing a knee or expecting a child. Maybe it’s an 18 year old college student or a woman dealing with all the fun physical changes during menopause. It could be a grandma or an Ironman. Everyone can do it together and find inspiration from each other. It’s truly a way to include everyone in your classes and inspire your students to find their fitness joy so they can experience all the physical and mental benefits that staying fit offers!


Since running her first road race with her Dad at age 7, Carly has dabbled in pretty much every sport under the sun. She is an AEA Certified Professional, an avid runner, swimmer and cyclist and has completed numerous Sprint and Olympic triathlons as well as two Half Ironman competitions. In 2017, Carly earned her RYT200 yoga certification and went on to achieve additional certifications in Spin, Barre, HIIT, Inferno Hot Pilates and is a Reiki Master. She has been teaching for the past 6 years and in that time has taught roughly 2,500+ classes (she’s been busy)!

Aside from the fitness industry, Carly also has a background in advertising, publishing PR and marketing. Carly is married to her best friend, Tim and is mom to 2 very active boys and a black Goldendoodle named Pippa. Things that bring Carly joy include cheering for her kids at sporting events, cooking and eating delicious meals, a good cocktail, Denmark, raspberries, summers at her childhood home in New Jersey and gummy bears.

Find out more about Carly's SplasHIIT program online:

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As Carly highlights in her blog, the benefits of aquatic fitness are plenty. But still too few land instructors know how to transition properly from land to water. Post-pandemic, we've heard from countless facility managers across the country struggling to find qualified teachers to take over their water fitness programs.

That's why the minds behind the S'WET™ program created Turf to Surf - the perfect next step for land instructors interested in learning how to effectively and safely build water workouts for their clients.

Here's what Tom, a recent attendee, had to say about the Turf to Surf program:

I'm a land instructor (21 years in cycling) at a local YMCA. Two months ago I saw information posted about a S'WET training program called Turf to Surf. "Not interested," I said! I'm 68 and do not need another thing to do...Then my director asked if I was going and I thought about it and signed up. Great decision!! And an unbelievable great instructor in Jenni Lynn. Innovative, engaging, and top-notch with an easy-to-understand format. What will I do with this experience? Point the members in the direction of aquatics classes....including me!

We applaud Tom for taking the initiative to try something new, and are thrilled that after two decades training on land, he'll also be cross-training himself and his students in the pool!

Book Turf to Surf now at your facility and train your land-based instructors in all the benefits of aquatic fitness!


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