Let’s Play the Change Game!

Sunday, September 30 2018

If you bore easily and prefer fast-paced water exercise with lots of changes you will love the Change Game format.  This 43-minute pool workout features four different base moves (skis, jacks, kicks & jogs) changed 10 times for a total of 40 moves.  Game levels 2 and 3 feature the same 40 moves remixed and replayed.  

Does it ever feel like your pool workout is drudging on?  If you find yourself frequently looking at the clock and cutting your workout short due to lack of interest then you likely need a big does of change.  Ready…set…let’s play The Change Game.  This workout was originally conceived as a training program for aquatic fitness instructors.  My goal was to create a program that would help them build their skills at creating variations of the basic moves used in aquatic fitness, such as cross country skis, jumping jacks, kicks, jogs and more.   The ability to create base move variations provides instructors with endless moves to put in their routines.  Doing the same moves over and over in a class leads to boredom, lack of results and overly chatty students.  

Like I do with all of my training programs, I rehearsed the material with my YMCA aquafit students.  The feedback was tremendous; they LOVED the workout.   The constant changes moved their bodies in all different directions, providing a functional and energizing cardio workout.  Moving your body in all directions not only feels good, it is good for the joints and the muscles.  And so based on my students rave reviews I decided to make The Change Game a follow-along workout. 


Level 1 features four base moves, jacks, skis, kicks and jogs.  Each base move is changed 10 times using variation techniques such as changes in arm patterns, travel, direction, tempo, impact and more.  This segment includes a total of 40 moves, each taught for 30 seconds for a total of 20 minutes.   

The next level features the same 40 moves performed in just 10 minutes – half the time as Level 1. Each move is performed for 15 seconds.  Level 2 becomes more advanced by alternating between a ski move, a jack move, a kick move and a jog move.  In other words, we will do row 1 of all four bases moves, then row 2, then row 3 and so on (see notes below).  And that means your body and your limbs will be moving in all directions.   

The action moves MUCH quicker in the next level. The same 40 moves are now performed in just 5 minutes.  That is a half-music cycle (16 counts) per move – or approximately 8 seconds each.  You have my permission to skip level 3 if you want.  Seriously, the moves are transitioning so fast that your form may fall apart.  Why do I do it?   The quick pace provides a challenge to motor skills and coordination. Yes, initially it may seem ridiculously hard to follow, but eventually your form will improve and it really is fun to move through the exercises at a rollercoaster pace. 

Looking forward to hearing feedback regarding your own experiences following along with the Change Game.  Please comment below or under the video.  Change is good. Game on Aqua Nation! 

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.