Tuesday, July 02 2019

Ready to spark up your aqua circuit and interval training?  Treat your students to the greatest show in the pool!  Ringmaster Ashley B. shares a class format that progresses through three big top tents, each with a unique circus theme and each with three circuits of interval training designed to deliver a total-body workout.  An audio workout is available for this video. 

Recently relocating to Las Vegas from Northern California, AEA Training Specialist, Ashley Bishop is soaking in the sights and the shows of Sin City.  Inspired by the spirit of performance, she created a Circus themed circuit & interval workout. “My mother-in-law was recently here for work and stayed at the Circus Circus Hotel and that got me thinking that it would be fun play on words for a circuit and interval class,” says Ashley.  She did some research on classic circuit acts performed over the years in Las Vegas and used some of those ideas to create the combinations. Naturally I was all about this format since my adopted city is considered the ancestral home of the modern day circus.  John Ringling moved the headquarters for the combined Barnum & Bailey and Ringling Bros. Circus acts to Sarasota, Florida in 1927. 

Tasked with the challenge of creating a follow-along audio workout with this video, Ashley had to forgo her normal content (oodles and oodles of choreography) for material that was easier to cue and execute with audio only.  And that default as seen in other Fitmotivation follow-along videos is typically a circuit or interval style format with a well-defined template and timed intervals.  Templates not only provide a lesson plan for results-oriented programming, they provide a structure that can be recreated with new moves and different outcomes.  As in other Fitmotivation videos, don’t expect moves never before seen in the world of aquatic fitness.  Instead, focus on taking away a new template of timed intervals that features circus themes and imagery cueing.  


This workout features three main segments, a finale, warm-up and cool down.  The three main segments (Big Top Tents) each feature three circuits of timed intervals. Circuit 1) 4 timed intervals at a ratio of (45:15)
Circuit 2) 4 timed intervals at a ratio of (30:15)
Circuit 3) 4 timed intervals at a ratio of (45:15). 
Circuits 1 and 3 include exercises for upper and lower body, core and balance.  The middle circuit (Set 2) focuses on cardio.  

Big Top Tent 1 – Send in the Clowns
Clowns are often seen cycling through a circus tent on unicycles and so the first circuit targets lower body with cycling activities.  Clowns also love to dance and so the second circuit revs up the cardio with a hoe down jam.  The third circuit targets the upper body with other favorite clown activities that include waving and juggling. 

Big Top Tent 2 – Acrobats & Animals
Circuit 1 features a lower body focus with very athletic and acrobatic power shoots that can be modified to grounded karate kicks.  The cardio focus in the second circuit is a blend of acrobat jumps with an animal themed exercise.  And the last circuit is all about animal themes that target the upper body.

Big top Tent 3 – Tight Rope Trapeze It is not an official circus without some death-defying tightrope walking on the high wire.  Circuit 1 includes varying tightrope walk patterns.  Circuit 2 pumps up the heart rate with acrobatic jumps and turns on the tightrope.  Circuit 3 targets the legs with concentrated lower body exercises. 

Big Top Finale
The fourth and final act is the final performance. Every great circus has to have an attention-grabbing finale.    Ashley selected a combination of movements using the pyramid choreography style, allowing for more repetition at the beginning so participants have time to practice and understand the sequence. Decreasing the repetitions increases the intensity and the fun factor.    

 Fitmotivation extends a big thank you to Ashley Bishop for traveling from Las Vegas to Florida for filming.  Stay tuned as Ashley has 2 other videos posting next month, including an aerobic & toning workout with hand buoys.    And be sure to check out her previous Fitmotivation Videos – Dynamically RhythmicAqua Allegro and Cardio Combos.    If you are interested in attending or hosting Ashley’s CEC workshops, please visit Bagel Fit by Ashley Bishop.


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.