Getting Strong in the Pool

Wednesday, August 11 2021

On a mission to prove that you can strength train as effectively in water as you can on land, Katy Coffey debuts AquaFIIT, a new series dedicated to strength training in the pool.  Her first workout, Total Body Conditioning, utilizes hand held equipment and the pool wall for a powerful blend of strength, cardio and core training.  

Working in aquatics since 2002, Katy has held over 20 industry certifications and spent several years as the senior aquatic director for multiple YMCAs in Massachusetts.   Most recently, she became a training specialist with the Aquatic Exercise Association (AEA) and a master trainer for S’WET Fitness.  AquaFIIT is her personal brand, designed after years of observing weight loss success in her aqua students, while watching them struggle and plateau with muscle development.  Maintaining and developing muscle mass is key to weight management and injury prevention as people age.  Inspired by her own personal strength training programs, Katy transferred her gym workouts to the pool, adapting them for group fitness and the aquatic environment. 

AquaFIIT Workout #1
The AquaFIIT model is Katy’s preferred way of teaching, exercising and achieving results in the pool.  The series will feature some of her and her students’ favorite classes. The format in Total Body Conditioning is definitely one of her favorites.  The strength training action in Workout #1 begins after a short warm-up and features upper body hand buoy exercises alternated with wall moves that fire up the legs and the core.  After 25 minutes of powerful buoy & wall combinations, the intensity goes all out with an extended segment of high intensity cardio training.

Strength Training – Hand-Held Equipment
In the video, foam dumbbells are used but other types of hand-help equipment can be considered, including the Aqualogix Upper Body Belles. Designed to target upper body muscles, Katy showcases some of her favorite strength exercises.  If you are an instructor and short on equipment, consider doing unilateral exercises, using just one hand buoy per person.  Watch the 1-Buoy Workout for ideas. 

Strength Training – Wall Exercises
The first four strength segments alternate hand buoy exercises with wall work.   According to Katy, alternating between the wall and buoys means you only need half the amount of hand-held equipment.  This type of formatting is ideal if you are an instructor and don’t have a big budget for equipment.  If you are exercising with the video in a smaller area or a shared pool, the AquaFIIT workout is ideal because it requires minimal space.

High intensity Cardio
Utilized as a “finisher” in this workout, the HIIT segment features 8 minutes of hard, harder, hardest action to get the heart pumping, calories burning, and the metabolic rate fired up. The combination of strength training, high intensity cardio and challenging core work is the perfect way to launch the AquaFIIT series.  Katy hopes this series will continue to teach both participants and instructors how to think differently about "weight" training in the pool. Watch Katy talk more about her brand.

Poolfit welcomes Katy onboard and we look forward to future editions of the AuaFIIT series, as well as some other videos she filmed during her stay here in Florida.  Stay tuned. 

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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.