Thursday, October 10 2019

Interval training (IT) with work and recovery cycles has become very popular in the fitness industry.   Instructors can choose from a variety of IT protocols depending on their population and intended goal.  Mimi Rodriquez Adami developed her own IT protocol with progressive intensity and timing ratios designed for the mixed populations typically found in aqua fitness classes. 

Mimi’s IT Workout features a warm-up, cool down and 7 progressive intervals, each lasting 5 minutes.  The intervals target different muscle groups and progress in intensity as recovery time decreases while work time increases. Simple combination choreography is used for the recovery phases, while basic but powerful base moves are used for the work cycles.  Extra attention was given to making sure the movements in each interval reflect varying directions to ensure a total body workout.
Good news!  Mimi also teaches these SAME intervals in deep water.

Mimi’s Inspiration
Several years ago, Mimi was in charge of a working group that was assigned to develop fitness modules for instructors in the European Union, including a module for interval training.  Her research required her to examine several IT protocols, which she applied to her own classes.  While the benefits of interval training are well established, many of the protocols are intended for high level athletes.  The outcomes really can’t be achieved if the protocol is impractical for the fitness levels of those participating.   Like almost all aquatic fitness instructors, Mimi teaches to a wide variety of participants, from university students to the elderly.  Through observation, application, trial and error, Mimi developed her own IT ratio of progressive intensity that seemed to work for all fitness levels. 

Take note of the progressive sequence of the intervals.  Recovery time decreases, while work time increases.

The Warm up reflects the simple choreography patterns used in the recovery phases of each interval.  It helps to present movement sequences in the warm-up so the participants can concentrate more on the execution, technique and full range of motion during the workout.

Interval #1
00:15 work / 00:45 recovery
The work and recovery segments in this interval are performed in the sagittal plane and target more of the hip flexors and quadriceps.

Interval #2
00:20 work / 00:40 recovery
The work and recovery exercises chosen for this interval are performed in the frontal plane and target the hip abductors (outer thigh).

Interval #3
00:25 work / 00:35 recovery
The exercises in this interval are performed in the sagittal plane but with more of a posterior emphasis designed to target hamstrings and glutes.

Interval #4
00:30 work / 00:30 recovery
Movement selection in this interval is performed with external rotation of the hips and designed to put more emphasis on hip adductors (inner thigh).

Interval #5
00:35 work / 00:25 recovery
This interval once again puts more emphasis on the posterior muscles with a bit more of a multi-planar approach. 

Interval #6
00:40 work / 00:20 recovery
This interval pairs together high intensity work with multi-planar recovery. 

Interval #7
00:20 / 00:10
The last interval features Tabata timing but the cycles add up to 5-minutes instead of 4-minutes.  This is a tough finale.   The same exercises that were used in Interval #6 are repeated in Interval #7 since the form and alignment has already been learned

Cool Down
Every hard workout deserves some relaxing rhythmic stretching for the muscles and some deep breathing to restore oxygen levels. 

An American-born European living in Italy since 1975, Mimi Rodriguez Adami has been active in training fitness professionals in land and water fitness for over 35 years. She has several degrees and certifications in fitness and life coaching and loves spreading energy and joy through movement and music.  Fitmotivation extends a big THANK YOU to Mimi for traveling to Florida for filming and sharing her robust passion and decades of experience.  Look for Mimi's video - HIIT & Salsa Splash, and Stay tuned for more videos coming soon.

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.