Changing the perception of aquatic exercises is the most important thing at Shockwave Aqua Fitness.
“Everyone was telling us that when you come to our classes, you’re shocked that you’re actually getting a workout,” said Sharlie Peterson.
Peterson is the founder and lead trainer of Shockwave Aqua Fitness, an aquatic fitness program that began its water exercises in 2019 through Shawnee County Parks and Recreation.
Since then, the program has seen an increasing number of participants and brought on more trainers. Shockwave also stays afloat after local pools close for the summer.
“You get a really good diverse range of people,” Peterson said. “And that’s what I love and it’s like one huge crazy family at the same time.”
She aims to change the stigma around aqua fitness classes being “only for older women.”
What kind of aquatic classes can you participate in through Shockwave Aqua Fitness?
Classes at Shockwave include Aqua Jam, a cardio workout with kickboxing and dancing to the rhythm of music, Aqua HIIT, a high intensity interval training workout with burst of cardio and strength.
Aqua Strong, Body Shock, Stacked, H20 Core, Wall Werk are among other available classes.
Alongside Peterson is her mother and co-manager Shelley Owens, lead aqua HIIT and Strong Trainer L’Erin Allen, Rossville leader Cori Hare and Madeline Jackson, a Shockwave helper and substitute.
Peterson said when she first began classes four years ago, she only had 16 participants. Now, numbers have rose to nearly 1,000 participants among the slate of classes.
“So, it blows my mind that we’re able to do this,” Peterson said.
A punch pass costs $120 for 20 classes and can be split with friends and family. Drop-ins are $7. Peterson said the team tries to keep the program as affordable as possible.
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Shockwave Aquatic may get its own facility down the road
In the summer, morning and evening classes are offered at various Shawnee County pools and aquatic centers.
As pools close, the aquatic classes will remain at Briarwood Swim Club, 3232 S.W. Randolph Ave., through Labor Day. Other locations are on the horizon for classes after Labor Day.
Peterson said keeping the classes going after pools close has been challenging, but she’s looking forward to future plans.
“We are in talks with the development company right now,” she said. “We are currently working on our own aquatic facility for Shockwave.”
She said the hope is that the facility would be indoor and outdoor, and it would be a facility that is built from the ground up. That could take about nine months.
For all aquatic class updates, follow the Shockwave Aqua Fitness Facebook page.
“Put your opinions aside of what you’ve heard of off of fitness and come try us out,” Peterson said. “Like our name says, you’ll be shocked by how much fun you have and the workout you get.”
Keishera Lately is the business reporter for the Topeka Capital-Journal. She can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @Lately_KT.