Tuesday, July 02 2019

The above preview is for both H20 Choreo to Go and Fluid Strength Combos.   H2O Choreo To Go posted on 11/3/15 – and Fluid Strength Combos posts on 12/2/15 (Premium plan only)

H2O Choreo to Go, a cardio routine featuring 7 choreographed combinations and 7 cardio drills, was recently posted on the Fitmotivation website.  This classic archived DVD was produced in 2007 as a special double edition of Visual Choreography Notes.  The routine was paired with Fluid Strength Combos, which featured 7 strength and mind/body combinations.  This double DVD was my all time best selling DVD ever.  And I can confidently say it wasn’t because of the glossy production.  More likely, it was because it was jam-packed with creative programming that many instructors had not been exposed to.

Keep in mind - we are digging deeper and deeper into the classic archived DVDs.  This video was filmed nearly 9 years ago on a shoestring budget - so shoestring that I coined the term Visual Choreography Notes.

HISTORY LESSON: What is Visual Choreography Notes?

So it happened like this.  In 2002, I started teaching workshops in Upstate NY.  By 2004, I had expanded out of New York State and was teaching all over New England and the East Coast.  In my workshops, I always provided choreography notes.  However, many instructors were telling me that they had trouble deciphering the choreography notes after the workshop.  Instructors are visual learners and they made it clear that having a video to watch would be helpful. 

Exploring video production was one big scary step.  By this time the industry had transitioned out of VHS and DVDs were all the rage.  With great hope, I started pricing the cost to produce a DVD.  Great hope was quickly dashed by $10,000.00 price quotes.   

Undeterred, I stayed focus on the mission.  Instructors were simply telling me they needed a visual of the choreography notes.  Could I possibly just film myself breaking down the choreography on land since I teach on deck anyway?   Right or wrong, that is exactly what I did.  Thanks to a friend of a friend, I scored a videographer who was willing to work on my shoestring budget.

In March 2005, the first two DVDs were filmed – Aquatic Thermo Intervals and Deep Infusions, later that year Combat Aqua was produced. All three of these videos were filmed exclusively in a group fitness studio without a pool in sight.  Instead of pool action, I simply showed the choreography being broken down, just as I would teach it on deck.  Because this was SO not what people would expect in an aquatic fitness video I refused to call them DVDs or videos.  Instead, I called them Visual Choreography Notes.  I did not want anyone to feel misled into buying an aquatic exercise DVD that didn’t include WATER. 

Also in 2005, I became an AEA Trainer and AEA’s Executive Director, Angie Proctor, asked me if I wanted to sell my “DVDs” in AEA’s AKWA Shop.   My reply:  God no!!!!!!   I did NOT want my one-camera studio ‘farces’ sold on the same shelves as AEA’s slick three-camera pool productions.  My memory is fuzzy and I still don’t know how she convinced me, but eventually I relented and allowed them to be sold in the AKWA Shop.

Truth be told, I ended up making a lot of money on my shoestring budget DVDs.  More importantly, I was getting really positive comments about them.  Every DVD that was sold was paired with the written choreography notes and a music recommendation. I was one of the first– if not the first in the industry – to provide written choreography notes with every DVD.  Looking back, I will always be grateful for taking this scary step because it emboldened and empowered me to keep taking scary steps in the years ahead. 

And so how far back will we go with the archived DVDs?   I have made an executive decision that the 2005 DVDs will never see the light of day.  I think at this point Fitmotivation subscribers are expecting a little more than studio footage. In January 2016, I will post Deep Core Challenge from 2006 because I think that is a strong routine and it includes pool action.  And then maybe in February I will post Smooth Transitions, also from 2006, because that includes pool action. (Maybe…)   After that, Premium subscribers will start seeing archived videos of other fitness leaders. 

If you are unfamiliar with the Fitmotivation video plans the main difference is that the Basic plan includes two newly produced videos posted each month. The Premium plan includes those two videos AND an archived DVD. 

Be sure to check out H20 Choreo to Go.  After viewing the video again and editing the notes, I recalled how much my classes at the JCC in Rochester, NY LOVED doing this routine.  And watching this video again gave me some new ideas to add to future shallow water cardio routines. 

Log on and get busy creating your own Choreo to Go.

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.