Aqua Tabata 2021 Remix

Thursday, January 28 2021

The last two aqua Tabata videos I filmed was in the winter of 2016, one was shallow and one was deep.  Those two videos continue to be among the most popular workouts on both Fitmotivation and Poolfit.  Well, it has been five years and I thought it was time for a redo.  Aqua Tabata Remix features 8 rounds of high intensity interval training (HIIT) that can be done in both deep and shallow water.  The rounds are categorized by Upper Body, Lower Body & Core.

What is Tabata?
Tabata is a form of high intensity interval training (HIIT).  HIIT training features work cycles for a set amount of time, paired with recovery cycles for a set amount of time.  There are many different HIIT formats out there, and all have different work/recovery ratios.  Tabata is a HIIT training format with a very specific structure and timing. Each Tabata round includes 8 cycles of 20 seconds work, followed by 10 seconds rest. The exercise selection for each round can also vary in each Tabata workout.  For example, two exercises can be performed each round for four cycles each. A Tabata round can also feature eight different exercises per round.   In Aqua Tabata Remix, each round includes four exercises performed for two cycles. 

Can anyone do Tabata?
Tabata was originally developed for Olympic athletes and the research was based on one 4-minute Tabata round a week, performed at 85-95% of maximal heart rate.  Adapting Tabata training into a 45-minute class with mixed fitness levels requires substantial intensity moderation.  A more realistic expectation would be 70 to 85% of maximal heart rate for fit exercise participants, and less than 70% for older, more deconditioned participants.  What does that mean?  If you are performing a cross country ski at a medium-high to high level, that would be akin to a 7 or 8 on a scale of 10 – or approximately 70-80% of maximal heart rate.  

The conclusion we can make here is that an aqua Tabata workout can be performed at whatever intensity a participant wants or is capable of doing as long as the exercises are appropriate.  When I first introduced Tabata into my classes in 2014, I started with just one or two rounds and built up from there.  Instructors or exercise participants who are concerned about doing an entire Tabata workout can consider this more gradual approach.  Honestly, given what I have witnessed over the last 7 years, I personally would have no problem doing all 8 rounds at once.  In fact, I did so yesterday while subbing a new class with some octogenarian participants.   The 20-second work cycles are designed to elicit all-out effort, but experience has proven that my students will work as hard as their blessed little hearts want to. Aqua Tabata Remix features the SAME exercises that appear in many other videos; the only difference is that they are structured in 20-second work cycles with a pre-cued Tabata playlist. The participants can perform the work cycles at whatever pace they want, whether that be a 5 or an 8 on a scale of 10. Let them decide; don’t make the choice for them. 

Interval training is based on going from higher intensity to lower intensity.  It is referred to as intermittent training – as opposed to steady state aerobic training.  Some fitness pundits seem to think interval training burns more calories, more fat, and keeps the metabolic rate elevated longer after exercise.   However, interval training only works if you adhere to the rest principle.   In Tabata the recovery is only 10 seconds.  For that short recovery period you should come to a complete – “DO NOTHING” – rest.  Rest is crucial for obtaining desired results in interval training. 

Deep & Shallow
The goal when creating Aqua Tabata Remix was to make sure it could be done in both deep and shallow water without any modification.  Lately, I have strived to create as many dual-depth programs as possible given social distancing restrictions facing instructors and inadequate shallow water space for some Poolfit subscribers.  Creating a dual depth program merely involves selecting exercises that can be performed in both depths without needing to modify them 

Recreate the Aqua Tabata Template
The Aqua Tabata Remix workout features a timed template that can be changed over time.  Mix up the exercise order and selection or swap in different exercises to give the workout a different feel.  This recommendation is hugely important and will provide you with continued results over the coming months and years.  Exercising along with the 2016 aqua Tabata workouts, I often swap in different exercises.  Watch the video for more Aqua Tabata Tips.

In-Home Tabata Workouts?
Skittish about returning to the gym, I am also doing in-home workouts using Tabata playlists.  I love the structure because every song features 8 exercises performed for 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds rest.  These playlists keep me moving and engaged and I fill up each round/song with 8 exercises using my stability ball, hand weights, tubing and floor exercises.  If there is an interest, I’ll even film my in-home Tabata workouts to share on Poolfit and Fitmotivation.   

Tabata Playlists
The music used in the Aqua Tabata Remix is royalty-free and approved for use in a video.  However, it can also be downloaded for group fitness or personal use for $20.00.  Off The Shelf Tabata 1.  Consider shopping Muscle Mixes Music or Yes! Fitness Music for other Tabata playlists.

Aqua Tabata Remix has been a big hit with my students and I am confident it will be a HIIT in your classes or personal exercise routine.  If you like this workout and haven't tried the other Tabata workouts, check out Aqua Tabata Deep and Aqua Total Body Tabata. 

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.