Tuesday, July 02 2019

The above preview is for H2O HIIT Hi/Lo, which posted 5/16/16 

Tired of doing drills only?  Before there was HIIT there was Hi/Lo. Learn how to transform your library of high-energy drills and lower intensity recovery exercises into exciting hi/lo add-on choreography. The video, H2O HIIT Hi/Lo just posted and the workout was debuted in a session at the International Aquatic Fitness Conference (IAFC).

What is hi/lo?  Hi/lo evolved from the high impact aerobic craze of the 1980’s, due to the fact that many class participants were getting injured in studio classes from the excessive impact.  In hi/lo impact aerobics, low impact moves are alternated with higher impact moves.  According to Wikipedia, high impact aerobics strives for a heart rate of 80-85% and low impact aerobics is 50-75% of maximal heart rate.  In essence, Hi/Lo was the first form of HIIT programming.

H2O HIIT Hi/Lo:  Five Important Features

#1 Choreographed I have been doing a lot of HIIT and Tabata in my classes the last two years.  Quite frankly, I have been getting a little tired of doing just drills.  My preference has always been to teach with a more choreographed approach.  As the HIIT Hi/Lo workout progresses, the high intensity (work) exercises and the low intensity (recovery) movements are added on as new hi/lo moves are introduced.   Linking moves together keeps my students and me more focused and engaged.  The workout becomes less about intensity and more about moving with purpose and pleasure.  However, in this workout intensity is maintained thanks to the higher impact, bounded (work) moves.

#2 High Intensity Many of the benefits of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) can be experienced in this workout.  The higher intensity exercises are bounded and feature impact.  A higher heart rate of 80-85% can be obtained during the 60 seconds these exercises are executed.  Research studies have shown that alternating high and low intensity exercises can burn more calories and have a longer lasting impact on metabolic rate. 

#3 Non-Impact The exercises in this workout are equally divided between high and Low impact.  The low impact moves in this routine feature either one or both feet grounded, which means that 50% of this workout is non-impact.  Intensity in the lower impact moves is maintained with aggressive arm patterning.  Offering a class that is half impact free is a huge benefit to older and deconditioned populations.

#4 Senior Friendly Aside from the fact that half the workout is impact free, other features of the workout also make this workout more senior friendly.  Add-on choreography provides predictable sequencing and an opportunity for students to keep their brains fine-tuned to the workout. Students are encouraged to explore enhanced range of movement and intensity progression as each move is performed for one minute.  Less emphasis is placed on intensity and more emphasis is placed on selecting creative and functional exercises. The music I have been using in my classes for this workout is a 70s and 80s mix of pop songs not often heard on other CDs.  If interested, contact me for the custom mix song list from Yes! Fitness Music.  The music used in the video was approved for use in a video and many of the songs can be found on the CD/download – Let’s Go Global – also available through Yes! Fitness Music.

#5 Functional Movement Thanks to recent Fitness Friends (Steph, Marybeth and Laurie) who have shared videos with Fitmotivation subscribers, I have been learning how to make my choreography more purposeful and functional.  The movements in this routine are executed in all movement planes and extra emphasis was made to include multi-planar movements – diagonal, circular and spirals.  As learned in Steph Toogood’s video, 360 Degree Angles, using multi-planar movements allows the important ball & socket joints of the hip and shoulder to move in all angles, ensuring optimal joint integrity.

The workout is methodically timed and structured.   Timing is done with music rather than a clock.  Work exercises are performed for 60 seconds or four 32-count phrases of music. Each 32-count phrase is 15 seconds.   Recovery exercises are also performed for 60 seconds or four 32-count phrases of music.  Hi/lo exercises are added on after each new hi/lo exercise has been introduced. During the add-on segments, hi/lo (work & recovery) exercises are added and performed for one 32-count phrase per movement.   

If you have been craving some purposeful movement and a more mindful challenge in your HIIT programming, I invite you to take the choreography challenge.  Treat your students to a classic aerobic workout of bounded and grounded choreography that maintains the intensity they have come to expect in a HIIT class. 

Log on, watch the video, print out the notes and get busy unleashing shock and awe in your classes.

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.