Certified by the Aquatic Exercise Association (AEA) in 2020, Cindy has been active in sports her whole life, including earning a black belt in Tae Kwon Do in 2007. Her aquatic adventures began when she got certified with Aqua Zumba in 2016. However, she soon realized that there are so many other ways to work water. Cindy expanded into teaching other formats including S’WET, aqua kickboxing, Poolates and deep water. Her innovative Tabata format is one of the signature classes she teaches at her club in Wisconsin.
What is an Aqua Tabata Workout?
Tabata is a form of high intensity interval training (HIIT). Interval workouts feature intermittent training that includes timed work cycles combined with timed recovery cycles. HIIT training is meant to be much higher in intensity and so the timed cycles are shorter to encourage a more intense burst of effort. There are several different HIIT formats, 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 be varied in a Tabata workout. For example, four exercises can be performed each round for two cycles each. Each Tabata round can also feature eight different exercises per round, such as the case in Turbulent Tabatas.
Turbulent Tabatas: Class-at-a-Glance
True to a typical Tabata format as described above, Turbulent Tabatas features a warm-up, cool down and 8 Tabata rounds, each with 8 cycles or exercises. Cindy’s Tabata classes are unique because she chooses 8 different exercises for all 8 rounds, meaning each of her Tabata classes feature 64 different moves. This is not to say that repeating exercises is a bad thing, because repetition has its own values. However, Cindy’s “no-repeat” style promotes results through variability. Her class members have come to enjoy the variety because they never know what move is coming up next. How does she keep coming up with 64 new moves for each Tabata class? According to Cindy, she now has a documented library of over 800 exercises that has been built up by including variations and combinations of moves. Watch Cindy talk more about her workout and below the video read in her own words Cindy’s inspiration for creating Turbulent Tabatas.
By Cindy Vance Brossman
Over the years, my class members have developed a true understanding of how water fitness can be a fabulous workout, not just something low impact or easy on the joints. When I started teaching Tabata, I saw this as an opportunity to give my class members something that will truly challenge them. Instead of the traditional Tabata format where exercises are repeated in the 8 cycles for each of the 8 rounds, I make every move different. All of the Tabata classes I have created, including Turbulent Tabata have 64 different moves. This is possible because I create variations of exercises, as well as combination of moves. Many of my Tabata classes also have focus rounds like agility, martial arts or different types of equipment. Often times I might also do something different like jacks or skis 8 different ways.
Additionally, I keep a document with all the different moves I have created. Essentially this has become a working library of how to build new moves by simple arm, leg or intensity changes. This document now has over 800 moves in it, which gives me endless options.
One question that I get asked, is why do I go so fast on land when I teach this format? It’s Tabata and I want my class members to work as hard and as fast as they can for 20 seconds before their 10 second break. In my classes, I remind my students that Tabata is not to the beat and so everyone should work at their own pace. However, they push themselves harder and faster if I am doing the same. So, no I don’t expect my class participants to go as fast in the water as I do on the deck during my Tabata classes, but it is sure fun to try. I hope you enjoy my unique “no-repeat” approach to Tabata.
Fitmotivation would like to extend a big welcome to Cindy Vance Brossman to the Fitmotivation platform, and an even bigger thank you for her Turbulent Tabatas workout. Watch a really fun behind-the-scenes video below of Cindy’s first filming adventure and stay tuned for two more videos from Cindy posting this Spring.
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.