The Aqua Newsletter from SCW
Give Me A High Five!
by Ann Gilbert
For many of us, being fit means maintaining a healthy weight with diet and exercise. However, the “healthy weight = fit” idea really omits several of the components of what being truly fit means. In biological terms, “being fit” means being able to provide for one’s own life and wellbeing by adhering to five aspects of physical fitness.
We all have an idea of what fit looks like. For many, it means having a thinner body or massive muscles or maybe even an hourglass figure. But being physically fit is not defined by an appearance. It refers to the relative amount of muscle, fat, bone, and other vital parts that make up the body.
- Muscular Strength
- Muscular Endurance
- Cardiovascular Endurance
- Healthy Body Composition
To have Muscular Strength is to have the power you need to lift, push and carry heavy objects. It is also seen as your ability to exert a force during a daily activity. Resistance training is the mode of exercise that allows you to see an improvement in overall strength and quality of life.
Muscular endurance is defined as the ability of the muscle to perform contraction or movement over a period of time. So, in essence, it is how long can I go, rather than how much can I lift, without becoming fatigued.
Flexibility is the range of motion you have around a specific joint. Being flexible reduces injury potential and allows for pain-free movement during activity. A basic stretching program may be all you need to improve this often-neglected aspect of being truly fit.
Cardiovascular endurance is the ability of the body’s circulatory and respiratory system to deliver fuel to cells during any activity over a specific time period. Thus, those who perform cardiovascular fitness can deliver blood and oxygen to the body for an extended period of time.
Having good Body Composition and addressing the ratio of fat to lean, is the fifth aspect of being fit. It refers to the relative amount of muscle, fat, bone and other vital parts the body is comprised of. Experts agree that assessing one’s composition provides a better evaluation of overall health than weight or BMI alone. It is important to maintain a level of fat that is not too low (below 3-6% for men and 9-12% for women), nor too high (above 25% for men or 38% percent for women). There are a variety of tools available to measure composition including calipers and bio-electrical devices which can assist in monitoring changes as one adheres to all aspects of fitness.
If someone has the ability to attain success in all five aspects, the list of benefits include:
- Increased calorie burns and overall weight management
- Decrease in blood pressure
- Improved blood lipids
- Decrease in pain during daily activity
- Decrease in bone loss
- Increase in overall stamina
- Increase in self-esteem and overall appearance
- Decrease in fracture during falls
- Reduced risk factors for disease
The American College of Sports Medicine, ACSM, recommends Fitness Instructors and Personal Trainers follow what is called the FITT principal when designing an exercise program that includes all five aspects of fitness. FITT stands for:
- F= Frequency or how often one is to perform the exercise
- I= Intensity of the exercise to be performed
- T= Time spent or the duration of the exercise to be performed
- T= The type or mode of exercise that will be chosen
Seeing an increase in overall physical fitness, weight management and health status means there has been adherence to a program that addresses all five aspects of fitness. A professional coach can assist in goal setting, program design and overall adherence. This is the number one way to make sense out of the often-confusing prescription for overall health and fitness. Also, participating in a variety of group fitness classes or small group programs weekly can aid in attaining the requirements needed for being fit. Finally, frequent assessments to see improvement in all five aspects of fitness is the number one way to maintain consistency over the years.
COACH’S MOMENT: A little tip for Coaches and Trainers!
- Write a program with specificity
- Progress once there is adaptation to avoid reversibility
- Follow the FITT prescription for all five aspects of fitness
If you follow the aforementioned principles noted in this article, you will be certain to improve your overall health and fitness of your clients.
WATERinMOTION® Champion Shines Bright
by Sasha Reddy
Most people love recognition, especially fitness instructors. Being recognized boosts confidence and provides a sense of self-worth. For some exercise leaders, the goal is to improve the well-being of members in the community. Others teach because they have advanced from being a participant. Many of us who instruct fitness classes don’t get recognized and very few become a star, but there are a some who shine brighter than others and don’t even realize the impact they are making. Let me introduce you to the latest brilliant STAR in the WATERinMOTION® family.
Judy Velazquez has been a star on the Group Fitness stage for years. She holds a dizzying number of exercise certifications and teaches or subs for nearly every group fitness class Hockessin Athletic Club (HAC), in Delaware offers. Judy’s aqua fitness career, was an afterthought, but it has been no less successful. In under a year, she’s gone from teaching occasional classes as a substitute instructor to leading a large portion of the aqua fitness programs at HAC. This past March, her talent as an instructor was even recognized by the trainers responsible for WATERinMOTION®, an aquatic exercise program taught at fitness centers worldwide. Judy only became certified in the program a few months prior; unbeknownst to her at the time, the leaders of the program had their eyes on her from the beginning.
Her love of fitness started around 2009 when Zumba® was coming into fashion. The program was in high demand. Soon, Judy was booking gigs for everyone from insurance companies to hospitals and even the City of Newark. Meanwhile, she continued investing time and effort into her new career by pursuing certifications in yoga, Pilates, core exercise, and more. The more her repertoire expanded, the more gigs she got and the more her passion as an instructor grew. A friend and group fitness instructor at HAC, recommended that Judy start teaching classes at the club, too. She joined the team in November of 2012.
Judy quickly went from substitute instructor to a constant presence and cherished teacher at HAC. Within a few months, she had phased out of all her other teaching gigs. Over the next several years of her career, Judy grew a following of members who attended her classes devoutly. She even racked up more certifications.
It wasn’t until mid-2019 that Aqua Fitness became a significant part of Judy’s life and career. “[HAC] had been putting out these memos about an Aqua Instructor for WATERinMOTION®,” Judy remembers. By that point, she had subbed some Aqua Zumba® classes here and there over the years; aside from that, aqua fitness didn’t really appeal to her. But the pleas for new instructors kept coming. Several months of emails later and Judy caved.
She wasn’t just new to WATERinMOTION®, but the program itself was also reasonably new to HAC. It was introduced only a year earlier in Fall of 2018. Andy Morris, HAC’s Aquatics Director said, “It was more rigid than many of our offerings at the time. But within a few weeks, the format was widely embraced, and after people ‘got it’ they fell in love.” WATERinMOTION® is a carefully constructed program with specific choreography that changes quarterly. “What separates us from other programs is that WATERinMOTION® is not just a class; it is a complete system,” says Sara Kooperman J.D., co-founder of WATERinMOTION® and CEO of SCW Fitness Education. “The unique sequenced music combined with creative choreography correlating with the music provides the foundation of WATERinMOTION®.” In other words, the program may be rigid, but its effectiveness is proven. Judy is a self-described “rule-follower” – her dutiful attitude toward teaching can be traced back through her former careers as a police officer and member of the Marine Corps – so she quickly found that the program’s fixed style was a perfect match to her style as an instructor.
Judy’s received her WATERinMOTION® training at a MANIA® conference. Her class was hosted by Connie Warasila, co-founder of WATERinMOTION® and program choreographer, as well as other program presenters. This certification not only provided a great learning experience for Judy but also gave Connie and the rest of the WATERinMOTION® team a chance to observe her ability as an instructor. They definitely noticed her skills.
Before the live training day ended, Judy was asked to appear in the next set of WATERinMOTION® training videos, which are seen by instructors across the country when new program materials are released. “I thought they were joking,” recalled Judy’s Aqua Fitness Coordinator, who had attended the training with Judy. “They had only seen her at the one training, after all, and Judy does not make a habit of drawing attention to herself.” Judy may be shy and sometimes even self-doubting, but she’s got an unyielding eagerness to learn and further her career. She gratefully accepted the offer to participate.
Fast forward to March of 2020, Judy was excitedly in the pool for four grueling days of filming. Really, the actual filming took the least amount of time; most of those four days were spent practicing routines, reviewing moves, and making small choreography changes before the cameras could start rolling. “It’s long and hard,” says Judy, “But the experience was just as challenging as it was rewarding.” She was happy to meet some of the WATERinMOTION® Champions, a curated group of instructors from across the country that come together to film instructor training videos and participate in other promotional events. They’re a tight-knit group, to which Judy was the newbie, but they welcomed her with open arms. In fact, before filming was even complete, Connie named Judy a WATERinMOTION® Champion.
WATERinMOTION® Champions are representatives of the program. The group consists of instructors chosen for their abilities to learn, demonstrate, and queue choreography effectively, excite class participants, and create an all-around enjoyable class climate. Typically, Champions have to submit a video, provide a qualifying letter of recommendation, and meet a slew of other requirements. “Judy had the technique, style, willingness, and desire to learn and excel in aquatics training. She is the exception to the rule,” says Kooperman. “We want instructors that are able to connect with the individual but still lead the group. Finally, we want someone who can excite their members. We need instructors that inspire and motivate. Judy has all these elements and more!”
Through her promotion to WATERinMOTION® Champion and her continued role at HAC, Judy hopes to emphasize the importance of aqua fitness programs across the board. For as many classes as she teaches – nowadays, it’s around 13 per week – Judy sees little crossover between the groups of people that take her Group and Aqua Fitness classes. Many people share the common misconception that aqua classes aren’t as “challenging” or don’t lead to significant results. As far as Judy is concerned, you get out of each class what you put into it. In the pool, especially because of the increased resistance, you’ll feel the effects when you’re working hard; that’s just what Judy likes to see. “I love hard work, and I love to work with people that love hard work,” she says. No matter your age or athletic ability, aqua fitness can serve you, and as long as you’re willing to put in the effort, Judy’s happy to help you get the results.
If you are interested to learn more about WATERinMOTION®, getting certified to teach WATERinMOTION® or becoming a WATERinMOTION® Champion visit www.WATERinMOTION.com. Licensed facilities are always looking for new instructors. Maybe you have the determination, desire and skills needed to become the next WATERinMOTION® Champion Star.
Now That’s a Drag…
by Irene PluimMentz, PT – Aqua-Ohm
When something is a drag, our first thought might be “how annoying.” Sometimes a drag causes you to slow down or have to work harder. These are not the types of drag I am talking about, though the effect is somewhat similar.
The term drag is a scientific form of resistance. It can cause objects to slow down, therefore creating the driving force to work harder. When referring to playing sports, that drag can be used to train harder, more efficiently, and reach muscle groups that otherwise would be difficult to target.
A runner, cyclist, or other athletes who wants to increase strength in forward motion can use drag as a form of training. Think about a runner using a parachute to create resistance so that the muscles used for that forward momentum are required to work harder. Tennis players have even used mini parachutes on their racket to train their serve strength. Swimmers use suits with pockets instead of a super streamlined suit to create drag. Or webbing in between their fingers to require more strength from their stroke arm.
However, the use of drag is different in air versus water. Let’s go back to our swimmer. In the air, the use of webbing between the fingers only creates a small increase in drag resistance and would probably not benefit the user much. But in the water, the density is 12 times greater than air. Water molecules attract one another, creating that strong bond, which needs to be broken each time you want to displace some water volume. In this case, webbed gloves makes drag resistance in water much more useful and much easier to use, apply, and benefit from.
Changes to the amount of surface area being used create the drag resistance. The speed of the movement against that drag resistance adjusts the intensity of the workout. This applies to both types of workouts, land as well as aquatic exercise. However, the changes in the water only need to be minimal in order to make the intensity great. The speed of movement changes the resistance of drag in water. Intensity from speed is also noticeable when using air drag resistance or the resistance of gravity.
Also consider that water can very easily create drag resistance in ALL directions of movement during the same workout. This is an enormous advantage over training on land. Most land exercises, whether using drag resistance or gravity, provide resistance in one direction. A movement made against gravity most likely causes a concentric contraction of a muscle, followed by an eccentric muscle movement to “lower” the weight. Make the same movement in water and the drag resistance of the water would cause both directions of the movement to be mostly concentric muscle activity, paired with some eccentric muscle activity to guide and control the movement, but of opposing muscle groups. Hence the total workout becomes more complete, more complex for the muscles and a higher workout intensity can quickly be achieved. Air drag resistance, due to its low density, requires such a huge change of movement direction and speed, that creating this type of effect would be impractical.
Thus, water provides very unique workout opportunities due to that drag. This fluid environment creates drag resistance no matter which direction you move allowing for creativity in choreography. Exercises can literally flow into each other without needing major changes to position or equipment.
But, like the swimmer who uses webbing or a drag resistance suit, you can also utilize the water’s drag resistance in your exercises. The Aqua-Ohm allows for an easier way to target specific muscle groups with higher intensity and increased strength. To keep the change of exercise maximally fluid, it can be quickly adapted in size to change the amount of drag resistance. Aqua-Ohm can be easily switched from arms to legs to core exercises without re-strapping, changing suits, or having to get another piece of equipment. It makes the perfect aquatic workout partner.
The Aqua-Ohm works solely with the drag resistance of water. Due to the unique handle placement, it can easily change in size to provide different levels of intensity for arms, legs, and core exercises.
Yes, working out can sometimes be a drag. Go ahead, drag an Aqua-Ohm into the water and see how you can make drag resistance work for you in a fun and affordable way.
To learn more about the Aqua-Ohm, visit our website www.aqua-ohm.com or email us at [email protected]. Aqua-Ohm offers a 20% discount to all Tidal Waves readers. Please use discount code SCW20 at the check-out page.
6 Tips to Keep Them Coming Back
by Connie Warasila
The fitness industry has progressed over the last decade into a professional, business-driven entity. Metrics are much more closely analyzed and tracked now than when the fitness industry began its journey. Group exercise classes contribute greatly to the success of many fitness facilities, so it is only logical that statistics about attendance in classes is tracked.
As a group fitness instructor, you may be informed by your manager the number of attendees necessary for you to keep a class on the schedule. If numbers are not tracked by your supervisor or facility consider implementing this practice for yourself to elevate your own level of professionalism. Here are six sure ways to build and keep great class numbers.
According to two separate studies, one at the University of Rochester and the other at the University of Southern Utah, there are two major factors that influence decisions about adhering to an exercise plan. The first is the enjoyment factor, and the second is the intensity factor. Clients who experience an enjoyable fitness experience look forward to repeating that experience.
This is like enjoying music by a favorite artist or seeing a specific actor in a movie series. If you like what you experienced, you will go back and buy their music or see their movies again. In addition to enjoyment, the appropriate intensity and challenge level of a class will determine a client’s interest in continuing that type of exercise or class. If these two factors are balanced in a group exercise class, attendees will be more likely to attend again.
1) Smile and Nod (Positive Body Language)
2) Intensity (Challenging yet achievable)
3) Movement progressions/regressions
6) Exhibit enjoyment
SMILE AND NOD
Practice, implement, and look for smiles and nods. This simple body language tool can have a powerful, positive impact on those with which you interact. A smile and nod send a subliminal message that reinforces positive behavior, validates feelings, and signals a positive environment and experience. This simple tool let’s your students know that everything in the present moment is occurring as planned. Your clients will feel confidence, satisfaction, relief, and contentment all of which are positive message that this activity is enjoyable. The more enjoyment an exerciser experiences, the better chance you’ll have that they’ll be open-minded to increased intensity.
Delivering exercise movement that offers clients an appropriate challenge and is realistically achievable can be tricky. The reason being is because every student and their exercise needs is unique. Intensity should be just high enough for clients to feel that the activity is eliciting an exercise response, but not so high that discomfort is overwhelming, physically or mentally.
WATERinMOTION® is such a wonderful training protocol because it is performed in the water, a dynamic environment that allows the student to control their intensity. The harder you push the water, the more resistance the water provides. The tools to manipulate intensity are used to create progressions and/or regressions.
Since each exerciser has varying intensity needs, instructors can provide individually specific guidance so that appropriate, personal intensity can be achieved. Offer clients options based on their level of fitness (including injuries), skill, and motivation. RAFT techniques help you to remember how to manipulate intensity by cuing clients to apply more or less:
• Range of Motion
• Accelerated rebound
In addition to intensity, movement that has purpose appeals to exercisers and draws them to attend sessions more regularly. People are interested in movement which allows them to exercise and expand skills. That means they need to know what the skill is and how it is improved with the movement that you are presenting. Cuing the 3Ms (move, muscle, motivation) gives clients that information. Beware of getting too technical or overwhelming clients with too much input at one time. Share just enough information to keep them interested in the moment and wanting more in the future.
One way to avoid getting too serious during class is to use the lyrics in the music to lighten the mood, encourage matching a move with a word, even encourage singing. According an article by Len Kravitz, PhD (The Effects of Music on Exercise), “Music may directly improve a person’s enjoyment and fulfillment of the physical activity, leading to greater exercise compliance; a worthwhile objective for any fitness educator.” The music designed for WATERinMOTION® is carefully chosen and engineered to support the movement in the water and uplift the energy and mood of the class. When polled, my students always identify the music and its lyrics used in fitness classes as a primary motivating factor.
In addition to cuing moves, muscle use, and motivation, give attention to visually and verbally demonstrating enjoyment. Use your body language to show energetic and strong moves. Use your facial expressions to exhibit a range of emotions: happiness, surprise, concentration, praise, etc. Choose words that celebrate effort and accomplishments, big and small. Take care to praise genuinely and specifically.
Avoid general praise statements. Instead, note specific actions that are desirable. For example, say, “Great upper body strength; I see the white water,” instead of, “Good job.” Positive feedback breeds positive behavior. At the end of class, remind the participants how enjoyable the class was. Point out a special moment in class that everyone will identify as enjoyable. Review all accomplishments with joy, thank them for contributing to that enjoyment, and invite them to come and enjoy your next class. Leaving them with the message that what they just did was enjoyable.
Use these techniques to infuse your classes with fun, and balance that fun with the appropriate intensity for each student. Striking that perfect balance will boost class attendance and exercise adherence. Becoming known as that fitness leader that offers this perfect balance will solidify your reputation as the instructor not to miss.
A Powerful Pancake for Pool Pros
What you will need:
- 2 Bananas
- 1 Egg
- 2 tbs Peanut Butter
- 1 Blender
- 1 Non-Stick Frying Pan
- 1 Low-Calorie Cooking Oil Spray
Peanut butter may seem a strange addition to a healthy pancake recipe but it’s a superfood for athletes who want to eat well and invest in their health. Because you will never win the war against hunger, your best bet is to eat foods that keep you feeling fed.
This means foods with protein and fiber – like peanut butter (and nuts, in general). You’ll feel fuller for longer and the protein and fiber in peanut butter ‘sticks to your ribs’, so is not fattening – unless you overeat on your total calories that day.
4 Simple Steps
- Peel the bananas and place them whole into your blender. Next, scoop in two tablespoons of peanut butter and follow with one egg.
- Blend the mixture until it is completely smooth. At this stage, check the consistency of the batter – it should resemble a runny paste. If the mixture is too thick, add a ½ cup of water and blend again. Repeat this process until your pancake mix is the correct consistency.
- Now here’s the slightly tricky part. Unlike normal pancakes, our special formula cooks a little quicker than most! Once you have prepared your frying pan and sprayed a thin, even layer of cooking oil, place your pan on the hob making sure that it is at approximately ¾ of maximum heat. Slowly pour the batter into the pan and thin out with the back of a spoon. Keep a close eye on the pan and make sure you scoop the edges of your pancake regularly so it does not stick. Flip the pancake so each side is cooked.
- Serve up your delicious, healthy pancakes. For that little extra treat, enjoy your creation with a small amount of caster sugar and lemon juice.
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