Today the West Morris YMCA in Randolph, N.J., offers more than 30
aquatic fitness classes. Ten years ago there were two, and the
increase is all part of a larger move toward an emphasis on aquatic
fitness, says Aquatic Director Kathy Fisher.
“We’re really excited about it,” she says.
“We’re doing this because we have to stay fresh and
look at where the industry is going.”
Along with increasing the number of classes, the facility has built
a new warm-water pool for exercise and fitness, and more recently
added about a dozen aquatic stationary bikes.
Fisher’s goal is to show members that they can exercise in
the water just like on land. The bikes were such a hit that her
initial order of eight wasn’t enough, and the bikes are
drawing new users to the pool, especially men.
The next addition will be underwater treadmills, and Fisher says
the new equipment has required attention to marketing.
“When we first got the bikes, people were asking how they
worked once you got into the deep end,” she adds, explaining
that those patrons didn’t understand that the bikes are
Because the concept is so new, West Morris YMCA also has held
special events and is considering TV advertising to best show the
equipment in action. There are also on-site education pods with
Fisher says the focus on fitness has increased membership and
membership retention, and it’s dependent on changing patrons'
mind-set that the pool is just for swimming. “It’s all
about education, and almost personal invitations,” she