KISS Aquatic Fitness Class

Thursday, May 26 2022

Applying the KISS Principle to aquatic fitness program design, this class template is based on performing simple but powerful base moves with repetition.  Active Recovery Intervals with Stephanie Newberry and the AquaGym Fitness team is a high intensity interval workout that can be performed in both deep and shallow water. 

Blog Summary

  • What is the KISS Principle?
  • How can the KISS Principle benefit you, your classes and your members?
  • Active Recovery Intervals:  Class Format-at-a-Glance
  • Options to vary the template
  • Music used in the video and recommended BPM

What is the KISS Principle?
KISS is an acronym that stands for “Keep it simple stupid.”  The term has become well known in the education and fitness fields.  According to Wikipedia, The KISS Principle was first documented in 1960 and used by the U.S. Navy in regard to technology and the fact that most systems work best if they are kept simple rather than made complicated. The KISS Principle has been co-opted by the fitness industry in terms of class design.  Active Recovery Intervals is a perfect example of keeping a workout simple so that it is easy for an instructor to teach and easy for a class member to follow along with.

KISS Benefits
The best way to keep your class members engaged and regularly attending class is to provide a wide variety of fitness programming.  Results plateau and interest wanes if the same content is used over and over.  Choreography is fun, Tabata is exciting and equipment is popular, but sometimes using a KISS approach is just what the doctor ordered.  KISS – if you have been teaching a lot of classes with choreography or quick transitions.  KISS - If you have new members.  KISS – if you aren’t feeling well and need an easy-to-teach format.   Sometimes the students just don’t want to think. (I know…big surprise…right?)  Sometimes they just want to work hard with a simple format.  

Active Recovery Interval:  Class Format-at-a-Glance
Active Recovery Intervals is based on a very simple class template.  Designed to be taught in both deep and shallow water, each interval includes just one “work” exercise and one “recovery” exercise.  The work exercise is performed for 60 seconds at a higher intensity.  The recovery exercise is performed for 30 seconds at a lower intensity.  The work and recovery exercises are alternated and repeated three times for a total of 4:30 minutes for each interval.  This class format includes 10 interval segments and a warm-up and cool down for a total of 50-55 minutes.  Intervals can be added or subtracted to suit different class durations.  Watch Stephanie talk more about the class template and the KISS Principle. 

Class Template Options
The interval template would like this:

  • 00:60 Work Exercise #1
  • 00:30 Recovery Move #1
  • 00:60 Work Exercise #1
  • 00:30 Recovery Move #1
  • 00:60 Work Exercise #1
  • 00:30 Recovery Move #1

Above would be one interval.  You would then build more intervals, each with a different work and recovery exercise.  Easy peasy!  Class participants can be encouraged to wear webbed gloves.  Aqualogix Hi-Speed belles and ankle blades can also be used in this workout.  Active Recovery Intervals is a dual-depth workout and can be used in both deep and shallow water.  Vary this simple template up by changing outcomes to strength, core, balance and more, or incorporate equipment such as hand buoys or noodles.  

The music used in this video was High Voltage, a 140-bpm playlist that is available for download for $20.00 through Muscle Mixes Virtual Music category.  Typically, in a timed interval workout the bpm of the music is inconsequential because the moves are not performed to the cadence.  Instead, the chosen playlist simply serves as background motivation.

Fitmotivation once again thanks Stephanie Newberry and the AquaGym Fitness team for providing subscribers with another fast-paced interval style workout.   Stay tuned!  Stephanie will be back later this summer with a video showcasing the Swing Trainer, a new piece of equipment available from Hydrorevolution.  Watch a fun video of AquaGym Fitness’s last filming production for a glimpse of the Swing Trainer.


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.