Aqua Choreography HITTs

Tuesday, July 02 2019

The preview is for Aqua Choreography HIITs 1.0, posted on 1/25/17.  If you are a Facebook user and like this blog, please consider sharing. (Icon above)  The visibility helps fund quality content on this site.

Aqua Choreography HIITs is a format that is near and dear to my heart.  High intensity drills follow blocks of choreography for a workout that alternates between steady-state calorie burning and anaerobic power bursts.   And you guessed it, the drills and the choreography can be taught in both deep and shallow water.  Ho hum - another dual depth program.  Why so many?

For the past 14 years I have had to make a decision every year regarding what workshops I will get approved for CECs and what sessions I will apply to IAFC.  My decision has always been based upon whatever classes I am teaching at the time.  If I am teaching a deep-water class, I create a deep-water workshop.   If I am teaching a shallow water class, I create a shallow water workshop.    

For the past few years I have been teaching large classes at a YMCA where you have to teach to the entire pool – deep & shallow simultaneously – A.K.A dual depth.  And for this reason, I have been producing and teaching mostly dual depth videos and workshops the past few years.  Furthermore, I invariably teach a mixture of choreography and drills because that seems to work best for my population.  I think my class would be perfectly happy doing an entire class of drills so they didn’t have to “think” (they love Tabata), but that bores me to tears and so we compromise on a format that alternates between choreography and drills.   And Voilà the end result is a routine similar to Aqua Choreography HIITs 1.0.

The reason I called this version 1.0 is because I am tired of having to come up with new names for my dual depth programs.  I don’t anticipate leaving the YMCA anytime soon and so there will likely be more versions of this in the future.  My guiding principle has always been that I will not create a video or workshop if I do not actually TEACH the routine to “live” test subjects – A.K.A. students. 

AQUA CHOREOGRAPHY HIITS 1.0 There are 3 blocks of choreography and two 4-minute drill segments in this routine.  When I teach this routine in my classes, the five segments fill an entire 50-minute class once you include a warm-up and cool down/stretch.

Choreography Segments Be sure to heed my cautionary tale in the video introduction.  This choreography can be tricky when the combinations are reduced to the final cut.  What does that mean?  Each combination of 2-4 moves can be taught seamlessly on the music phrasing with lots of repetitions over several 32-phrases of music.   The repetitions can then be reduced until the moves are performed for just ONE 32-count combination.  Once the moves are reduced to this final cut, the transitions come fast and furious and this may not be suitable for all audiences.  Some of my students simply bluster their way through the final cuts.  However, once mastered my students love it because it feels like a dancercise workout in the water.

The HIIT drills in this video are based on a work & recovery template of 4 minutes, similar to Tabata.  However, these drills are taught and timed to the music’s phrasing.   One 32-phrase of music at 132 beats per minute is around 15 seconds.   In the first drill segment there are 8 moves; 4 higher intensity moves and 4 lower intensity moves.  The intensity in this drill segment is based on speed, with the higher intensity moves taught at land tempo.  The second set of drills also has 8 moves but the intensity in this segment is based on range of motion.  The higher intensity moves are bigger moves.  The “descending cascade of intensity” is based upon repetition reduction using the music’s phrasing.  The moves in both drill segments are first taught for 15 seconds (one 32-count phrase) and then they are reduced to 16 counts (8 seconds) and then 8 counts (4 seconds) for a head spinning, heart pumping, anaerobic burst of energy. 

Keep in mind; if you are structuring drills in this manner, your moves have to transition safely and smoothly.  If 16 and 8 counts of music transitions too quickly for your audience, than please keep it to 32, 64, 96 or higher counts/phrases of music. As per the cautionary tale, feel free to explore the ideas presented in this video and make them your own. 

With Aqua Choreography HIITs 1.0 under my belt, I now turn my attention to H2O Functional Flow, my other new 2017 workshop.  At the YMCA I also teach an aqua mind & body class and my “live” subjects have been busy helping me create a sequel to Aqua Flex & Flow.  This video is scheduled to post next month.
Stay tuned!  It’s almost showtime!




Author: Mark Grevelding is the founder of Fitmotivation. He is also a training specialist and consultant with the Aquatic Exercise Association’s (AEA). Mark has been active in the fitness industry for 22 years as a group fitness instructor, personal trainer, international presenter and a continuing education provider for AEA, AFAA & ACE.