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.

Shockwave instructor Sharlie Peterson yells out the next routine to her participants at Tuesday's Body Shock class at Blaisdell Family Aquatic Center.

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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