SUP workout with Amanda Seaberg

SUP workout with Amanda Seaberg

Amanda, Tell me about yourself.

My passion for fitness began at the age of six when I first participated in group sports, soccer and softball.  Throughout my adult life I extended my passion into a career in the fitness industry. I have bee certified in personal training since 2006 and became a SUP instructor with an emphasis on fitness SUP since 2012. I have worked large corporate and group SUP events, including the Newport TIU event and lead corporate groups with Specialized Activities in Laguna Beach. I attribute my love with working out on the water on boards to Noelle Kozak. Similar to recalling who taught you how to swim or ride a bike, I think most people will remember forever who taught them how to SUP.  Once you learn how, it's a skill you can use your entire life. I encourage anyone who has considered SUP to give it a try!

Best summer getaways? 

Big Bear Lake, Baja Mexico and stay-cations around OC !  The beaches, hiking trails and friends gathering for BBQ's are what summers are all about!

Best trip you ever had for your health and fitness and what did you do? 

It's tough to pick one, but Croatia offered beautiful scenery, dreamlike waterfall hikes and endless waterways to SUP around the islands. 

SUP is a huge trend right now. To what do you attribute that?

First and foremost, being on the water is therapeutic and almost spiritual for most people. Physically, nearly every person can participate! It is an impact free, total body workout when executed with the proper technique. 

What should someone who is unfamiliar with SUP be prepared for when trying it for the first time?

As in any activity, come in with an open mind and positive attitude and I'll bet you'll develop a love of the sport. With the right equipment and professional instruction, your first experience will have you paddling with ease, typically after the first session!  Perfecting technique for stoke efficiency is typically why people have instruction beyond the first day. You can use the skills you develop to paddle leisurely or as intense as a cardio workout, same equipment, various workout potential.  

Do you think it's important to balance out SUP with something else? 

In terms of healthy living, I always recommend the nutrition aspect.  When done correctly, SUP is a total body workout.  That being said different fitness goals can require additional training.  I generally recommend yoga and light weight training, but always keep your doctor and fitness professional's guidelines in mind! 

How often do you suggest doing the workout for it to be effective?

If SUP is a new activities for you, gradually work it into your weekly routine if you are lucky enough to be close to water! For myself and many others, I see not only physical improvements of muscle tone and fat loss, but mental clarity.  I attribute that to being out on the water. 

What muscles does SUP work?

In short, muscles from your feet, up to your core and out from your fingers are engaged at one point or another for the 4 phases of the stroke: the reach, catch, stroke and exit.  I can get very technical and list every muscle used but who wants to read through that long list?  If anyone wants to know specifics feel free to contact me by email

What are your go-to workout shoes? Accessories?

Typically no shoes! I love being barefoot, that's why SUP works great for my style!  In terms of shoes,  I recommend and wear whatever accommodates the shape of your feet, including arches for proper support.  Accessories? I love comfortable and stylish apparel.  VPL nails it in that category. When it comes to protection, I love polarized Oakley and RayBan shades as they fit my face comfortably and allows me to see into the water with their great lenses. The only other accessory I never forget is sunscreen! Be sure to wear sport or water resistant lotion of SPF 50.  For this event, we tried Shiseido sun care products (Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion WetForce SPF50+Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion WetForce for Sensitive Skin and Children SPF50+, and Urban Environment UV Protection Cream SPF40+), and by the end of the day it was very clear that products work great because any part of the body that we forgot to apply got totally sunburned. The sun's rays are amplified out there on the water! 

Favorite healthy eatery in Orange County?

I love grubbing on quinoa salads or ahi poke entrees at The Black Knight Lounge while catching up on sports or sushi rolls at Bear Flag.  

Favorite healthy snack?

Fresh fruit and Greek yogurt is my go to for a quick, healthy snack!

Guilty pleasure?

Wine, cheese and CHOCOLATE! 

What a fitness myth that drives you crazy? '

It kills me when I hear people say that muscle weighs more than fat. I mean a pound of muscle is the same weight as a pound of fat.  Muscle is more dense, thus it appears more compact.  Is that what people mean to say? 

If we looked in your fridge, what would we always find?

Fresh fruit and veggies, yogurt, hummus, eggs and lean proteins, typically fish and a huge Brita water tank!  Stay hydrated peeps! 

 If we looked in your gym bag, what would we always find?

Sunscreen, VPL apparel, Stance socks, Nikes, Ear buds , Bag of home made trail mix, etc...

How does maintaining a healthy lifestyle effect your everyday life in a positive way? 

I feel and look better when I eat well and play.  I say play, because it doesn't feel like training or work.  SUPing is an adventure as my board can take me to cool caves, islands and beaches with friends and marine animals. 


Esther Gauthier, founder of Aqua Studio

By Sharon Feiereisen


Inspired by an aqua cycling class she took in Paris, Aqua Studio founder Esther Gauthier left a successful career in photo production to launch a luxury boutique fitness studio modeled after the same workout in New York City. We chatted with the French entrepreneur to find out about what makes cycling in water unique, her go-to snacks and more.


Best summer getaways? 

Upstate NY – Accord, Rosendale, New Paltz – and the Northfork


Best trip you ever had for your health and fitness and what did you do?

I haven’t done this recently, but I am dreaming of a yoga retreat right now. Anytime we go away though, it is almost always about health and fitness for me anyway. I always bring my running shoes and my yoga mat e. The fitness trip I remember the most is one week of waterskiing in Portugal with my family. Waterskiing is very important in my family. Generation after generation, we all water-ski.


Cycling is a huge trend right now. To what do you attribute that?

Cycling is accessible to a wide public and aqua cycling is even more accessible. Our demographic goes from 16 years old to 80 years old.


How is cycling in water different?

The natural massage that you get from the water while cycling is what makes aqua cycling so unique and the extra resistance of water makes it a high performance workout while being very therapeutic for your body.


What should someone who is unfamiliar with Aqua be prepared for when trying it for the first time?

When coming for the first time, you should wear a supportive swimsuit (I recommend a sports bra with a bottom). During your first class you should be focusing on learning the right postures and perfecting them and engaging your core to keep your body up. It is crucial to learn the smooth pedaling technique to master the art of aqua cycling and push yourself harder. 


Do you think it's important to balance out cycling with something else? 

Pairing aqua cycling with a strength and tone routine such as the megaformer, ballet classes, or pilates is the best combo to our classes. You get an amazing cardio with aqua cycling, which gets your blood flow going, trims off the fat, and burns calories. Then, you sculpt with a pilates class. 


How often do you suggest doing the workout for it to be effective?

I recommend aqua cycling at least 2 to 3 times a week and as often as you like. The beauty of aqua cycling is that while it is high intensity workout, it is also very gentle on your joints and muscles so you could come to class every day if you’d like with no risk of injuries.


What muscles does Aqua work?

It’s a full body workout. That’s the beauty of our cycling classes. You work your arms and core as much as your legs and buttocks. That’s also what makes our classes so unique compared to a regular cycling class. We use the water in a very creative way to work all muscles of the body. 

What’s a typical workout week like for you?

AQUA 2 to 3 times a week, yoga on Thursday morning with Serene Social, running at the park on the weekend, and some pilates classes or megaformer classes here and there.



What are your go-to workout shoes? Accessories?

I like the Nike Free running shoes, but change them out often with my Asics. I like to wear headbands and bandanas to pull my hair back.  


Favorite healthy eatery in NYC?

Sun in Bloom, Souen, and Butcher’s Daughter, 


Favorite healthy snack?

Zen berry and chia seed pudding – they make a delicious one at Le Pain Quotidien.


Guilty pleasure?

Eclair au café (I am French…).


What a fitness myth that drives you crazy? '

The more you sweat the harder the workout'. I remember a test that was made on a crowd of cyclists: an easy cycling class with AC off versus a hardcore cycling class with AC on. Guess which class the students though was the hardest? They were drenched in sweat in class #1 so they assumed the workout was more intense in class #1 when it reality, it wasn’t.

If we looked in your fridge, what would we always find?

Avocado, grapefruit (or fresh grapefruit juice), homemade almond milk, fruits and vegetables which vary depending on the season.


If we looked in your gym bag, what would we always find?

Arnica oil, Pure Pitz deodorant, and Christian Dior Rose balm.


How does maintaining a healthy lifestyle effect your everyday life in a positive way? I haven’t been sick in ages… Considering the amount of stress I go through with running my business, I am often amazed by the level of energy I have. My immune system is strong. I do not get colds or stomach pain very often. The more I workout and eat healthy, the more energy I have. It helps me make the right decisions at work, be more efficient, sleep better, handle the challenges of life with more pragmatism and clarity… It is not always easy to be healthy, but when you understand the impact it has on your life, you can never go back.