30-Minute Aqua Interval Workout

Wednesday, July 07 2021

Ride The Wave, a two part video, includes 6 mini-workouts that highlight four different types of interval training that progress in intensity:  1) aerobic  2) anaerobic threshold  3)  HIIT VOMax  4)  HIIT Max. Ride the Wave 1 is a water workout that features aerobic and anaerobic interval training for cardiovascular conditioning and weight loss. USA aquatic fitness expert, Stephanie Thielen, is well known for high intensity interval workouts and she certainly delivers here. 

Interval training is a type of exercise that features work cycles for a set amount of time, paired with recovery cycles for a set amount of time. Research has shown that intermittent intensity exercise may yield greater fitness results than steady-state training.  There are many different types of interval training and all have different work/recovery ratios that deliver different fitness outcomes.  Poolfit subscribers are probably most familiar with Tabata and HIIT.  Ride the Wave 1 features aerobic and anaerobic threshold intervals, which are intended to offer a more moderate or medium-high intensity compared to Tabata & HIIT.

The first type of interval training featured in Ride the Wave 1 is aerobic interval training.  This type of interval exercise is intended to be more moderate and the goal is cardiovascular exercise for optimal heart health.  The work cycles feature moderate intensity exercise followed by active/dynamic rest.   During moderately intense aerobic exercise, an effort of 50-70% of maximum heart rate (MHR) would be expected.  Exercising at 70-80% MHR would be considered high intensity aerobic training.   Exercising at 50-70% MHR, the exertion would be fairly comfortable and a short conversation would be possible. Recovery cycles in an aerobic interval should be dynamic and include movement at a lower intensity than the work cycle.

1:1 ratio
Work:  2 minutes of aerobic exercises

Recovery:  2 minutes of active movement/stretching at a lower intensity  
Sets:   Two sets are performed for a total of 8 minutes

The exercise effort becomes downright breathless in anaerobic interval training as oxygen supply can no longer meet demand.  How do moves cross the threshold from aerobic to anaerobic in the water?  Consider moves that are big, powerful, bounded, plyometric and suspended.  When performed over a period of time, 30 - 180 seconds, these moves will achieve the desired effect and thus desired results.  The benefit of anaerobic exercise includes muscular strength, increased cardio endurance and best of all – increased caloric expenditure.  The work intensity is now around 80-90% MHR, which is better suited for those with intermediate to advanced fitness levels.  Can less advanced participants do this type of training?   Yes, as long as they modify and work to their own ability and pace.  Recovery cycles in an anaerobic threshold interval would be either complete rest or light active stretching/movement, depending on the length of the rest period. 

1: .75 ratio
Work:  2 minutes of high intensity exercises
Recovery:  90 seconds complete rest & active stretching
Sets:  Three sets are performed for a total of 10 minutes and 30 seconds.

.75: Descending ratio of rest
Work:  45 seconds of very high intensity exercise
Recovery:  Descending time ratio of rest as each set is performed - 90, 75, 60, 45, 30 seconds.  Recovery includes complete rest and active stretching.

The three interval samples in this workout represent three different approaches to the spectrum of interval training.  As the student in this video, I can predict that you will very much feel the difference in intensity between the aerobic and anaerobic threshold intervals.

This 30-minute workout can be done on its own or consider combing this shorter workout with another Poolfit video.  Stay tuned!  Ride the Wave 2, another 30-minute workout posts next week.   The intensity gets CRAZY as Stephanie presents aquatic interval samples that include HIIT VO2Max and HIIT Max interval samples. 

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.