Underwater treadmills and zero G?

“Life and running can get monotonous sometimes. Avoid injury and get stronger by changing things up and trying something new.”


So what is it? Its a gym in the west of Ottawa that has some cool non-weight bearing training options for runners and endurance athletes to recover from injury, get stronger or add miles without the same stress as running on the roads.


This is training that both Mo Farah and Galen Rupp has taken advantage of and might be worth a look! I found out about the gym via social media and wanted to know more.

Meet my tour guide of the LiquidGym in Ottawa. Sherry and I know each other from the east coast running community (Nova Scotia). She is and was a very talented runner. It was great to see her again and to have her take me around. Patrick a young triathlete was also there to jump into the water or on a treadmill to demonstrate and explain (nice guy).

Sherry Carson
Personal Trainer/Instructor/Office Manager

about_staff_sherrySherry graduated from Carleton University with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics. Sherry is a CanFitPro Certified Personal Trainer as well as having her Functional Movement System Certification. She has obtained her Level 1 TRX Suspension Trainer Certificate and the Level 2 NCCP Coaching Certification. Sherry has competed in all race distances and has been part of the BC and NS provincial teams competing in the Canadian National 10k Championships. In 1994, she was named BC Master XC Runner of the Year and in 2010 was awarded the Ottawa Lions Road Racer of the Year. Sherry has competed at 2 World Master’s ½ Marathon Championships finishing 2nd in her age category both times. Her career race totals include 50 5k’s, 90 10k’s, 43 ½ marathons and 8 marathons with a marathon PB of 2:54:50.

Sherry’s running

  • half marathon PB 1:23:12
  • 10k PB 36:51
  • 5k PB 18:08

I asked Sherry to give some advice from her training and experience as a runner.

As a runner – how in your opinion can a runner benefit from using the unique training tools at Liquid Gym?

“Runners can benefit in 3 ways.

1.  Injured runners– Allows an athlete to continue on with training and not lose fitness while injured. Since you are on an actual treadmill, it simulates running on land much more closely that deep water pool running does.  While recovering, a runner can also use the AlterG to gradually add more weight back on while doing workouts to assist in transitioning to full weight bearing running on land. No more anxiety about losing fitness while injured!

Click here to view the video

2. Non-injured runners– Runners are always looking to get faster.  This is accomplished in 3 basic ways. a) Adding more mileage.  b) Speedwork. c) Resistance training.

Unfortunately, all these ways increase risk of injury.  Put 2 or more of them together in a week and the risk of injury rises exponentially.  All of the above can be done at LiquidGym without increasing the risk of injury.  A HUGE factor in allowing consistency of training to enable a runner to reap the benefits of uninterrupted training time.

Intervals can be done in the water either through our Turbo and AquaRun classes or if you are dedicated and highly motivated they can be done on your own time.

Resistance training is accomplished by just working out in water versus land (12% harder) but the jet stream on our Hydroworx treadmills means you can increase resistance to train at a high level.

Extra mileage can be added by adding another run in the water to your weekly total without adding all that extra pounding on the legs and joints.

3.  All runners– Post workout deep tissue massage hoses.  A deep tissue massage hose can be attached to the same jet stream that you used for resistance in your workout.  Once your workout is over, you can flush out lactic acid, reduce swelling and break up scar tissue by applying a powerful stream of water to any areas you are having issues with.  Great for post-race recovery too!”


When and how would you incorporate the gym into a training week or during a training year?

“Definitely, as I noted above, using LiquidGym for some of your speedwork.  Especially in the winter time when speedwork outside is very difficult due to poor footing. The classes are also very motivating due to a group setting and will make those tough workouts seem that much easier!

We are perfect for resistance training.  Water combined with the jet will give you all the resistance you can handle!

Whenever you have to cancel a run outside due to freezing rain, snow storms, extreme cold etc.  Come inside where the water is nice and warm and run safely.

Book a treadmill for the day after a race or tough workout, come inside, do a light run and then give yourself a deep tissue massage with the hose.  You will feel great after and no more after race soreness!”

The facility is not huge but has machine, an area for classes/stretching and weight work and pools for bikes and treadmills along with the AlterG treadmill. I tested out the very cool treadmills set in a pool and although I can see that there would be a learning curve, I could automatically see the benefits. You run by time and effort as opposed to logging actual miles but very neat option. The AlterG treadmill I did not try but Patrick demonstrated and was impressive. You wear a pair of spandex shorts that zip into the treadmill. The height of the harness can be adjusted and so can the amount of weight you want to off-load while running.

If you are an Ottawa runner – this place is worth checking out.

Keep running friends!

LiquidGym website.

Liquid Gym on Twitter @LiquidGymOttawa

34 Stafford Rd, Ottawa, ON · 613-820-8228


Find this runningdad on Twitter @NoelPaine


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