Mimi's Interval Training Workout

Saturday, October 12 2019

Work hard. Rest. Repeat!  Interval training (IT) with work and recovery cycles has become very popular in the fitness industry. Research has shown that this type of intermittent exercise can burn fat more effectively and increase post-exercise metabolic rate for longer durations. Mimi Rodriquez Adami from Italy developed her own IT program for the pool, one designed to target the entire body and increase in intensity as the workout progresses.    

Mimi’s IT Workout features a warm-up, cool down and 7 progressive intervals, each lasting 5 minutes.  The intervals target different muscle groups and progress in intensity as recovery time decreases while work time increases.  Fun, yet simple choreography is used for the recovery phases and powerful base moves are used for the work cycles. Base moves include jogs, kicks, leg curls, skis, jacks and more.   

Mimi’s Inspiration
Several years ago, Mimi was in charge of a working group that was assigned to develop fitness modules for instructors in the European Union, including a module for interval training.  Her research required her to examine several IT protocols which she applied to her own classes.  While the benefits of interval training are well established, many of the protocols are intended for high level athletes.  The outcomes really can’t be achieved if the protocol is impractical for the fitness levels of those participating.   Like almost all aquatic fitness instructors, Mimi teaches to a wide variety of participants, from university students to the elderly.  Through observation, application and trial and error, Mimi developed her own IT ratio of progressive intensity that seemed to work for all fitness levels. 

Take note of the progressive sequence of the intervals.  Recovery time decreases, while work time increases.

The Warm up reflects the simple choreography patterns used in the recovery phases of each interval.  Learning these movement sequences in the warm-up will help you concentrate more on the movement execution, technique and full range of motion during the workout.

Interval #1
00:15 work / 00:45 recovery
The work and recovery segments in this interval target more of the FRONT OF THIGH -  hip flexors and quadriceps.

Interval #2
00:20 work / 00:40 recovery
The work and recovery exercises chosen for this interval isolate the OUTER THIGH -  the hip abductors. 

Interval #3
00:25 work / 00:35 recovery
The exercises in this interval are performed with more of a posterior emphasis and designed to target the BACK OF THIGH - hamstrings and glutes.

Interval #4
00:30 work / 00:30 recovery
Movement selection in this interval is performed with external rotation of the hips and designed to put more emphasis on the INNER THIGH - hip adductors.

Interval #5
00:35 work / 00:25 recovery
This interval once again puts more emphasis on the posterior muscles with a bit more of a functional, multi-direction approach. 

Interval #6
00:40 work / 00:20 recovery
This interval pairs together high intensity work and recovery with multi-direction exercise. – with emphasis of FRONT & BACK of THIGHS.

Interval #7
00:20 / 00:10
The last interval features Tabata timing but the cycles add up to 5-minutes instead of 4-minutes.  This is a tough finale.   The same exercises that were used in Interval #6 are repeated in Interval #7 since the form and alignment has already been learned

Cool Down
Every hard workout deserves some relaxing rhythmic stretching for the muscles and some deep breathing to restore oxygen levels. 

An American-born European living in Italy since 1975, Mimi has been active in training fitness professionals in land and water fitness for over 35 years. She has several degrees and certifications in fitness and life coaching and loves spreading energy and joy through movement and music.

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.