Interval Pool Workouts: Tabata and more

by | Feb 23, 2017 | Cardio, Lower Body, Upper Body

Interval Pool Workouts: Tabata, Little Method, Turbulence Training and Fartlek


Various forms of interval workouts have saturated the fitness market.  On land, this type of training is reserved for advanced exercisers. In water, this type of training is realistic and attainable for everyone.

Along with my colleague Lori Sherlock, an ironman athlete and an exercise physiologist, I’ve developed an aquatic interval pool workout called HIYO. High intensity (HI) and Yoga (YO) are used to deliver a one of a kind exercise experience.


What the Research Says 


  • 27 minutes of high intensity interval training 3 times a week has the same cardio benefits as doing 60 minutes of steady state training 5 times a week.
  • Just 2 ½ minutes of sprint intervals can burn an extra 200 calories throughout your day.
  • Intervals ranging from 10 seconds to 4 minutes at intensities ≥70% of maximal aerobic capacity have been shown to be safe and effective in clinical populations.
  • Pleasure and enjoyment are higher during shorter interval trials than during a longer interval or heavy continuous exercise.

intervals for seniors



HIYO Interval Pool Workouts


The HIYO format can help people of all ages reach their health and fitness goals. What makes HIYO different from other interval pool workouts?

  1. 6 Directional Movement – HIYO workouts use exercises that move the body in ways that are natural. Based on principles of Applied Functional Science, the WECOACH 6 directional movement formula prepares the body for new or unexpected experiences. Conditioning, rehabilitation and injury prevention. HIYO exercises help you do more of the activities you enjoy most.
  2. Personalized Progression – HIYO targets all components of fitness – cardio, flexibility, and strength. Intense progressive resistance training is the most efficient way to build strength. Exercises at a moderate intensity for more repetitions improve cardio, flexibility and function; HIYO does both.  Plus, it adds a personal touch as participants learn how to work at an individualized pace.


Workout Design


All interval workouts should begin with an adequate warm-up lasting 5-10 minutes.  They should finish with another 5-10 minutes of dynamic flexibility exercises. When creating the conditioning phase, you will need to determine :

  1. Time: How long will you perform exercises on both the work and recovery phases?
  2. Ratio: What will be the designated proportion of work vs. recovery?
  3. Intensity: At what level of exertion will participants be expected to maintain?

Variation is key. Changes to time, ratio and intensity help participants to achieve better training results.


4 New Interval Pool Workouts


Ready to try 4 new interval pool workouts? Lori and I created a new twist on HIYO that involves four proven interval training techniques: Tabata, Fartlek, Little Method, and Turbulence Training. These new HIYO workouts are easy to implement and guaranteed to challenge!

Use tested and proven interval formats to guide the time, ratio, and intensity choices. Here is a summary of 4 popular interval formats:

Technique Tabata Little Method Turbulence Training Fartlek
Creator Dr. Izumi Tabata, Physician, researcher Dr. Jonathan Little


Craig Ballantyne, Author, trainer, coach Gösta Holmér

Cross country running coach

Ratio 20 seconds high intensity (170% of VO2 max) / 10 seconds rest … for 8 cycles 60 seconds high intensity (95% of VO2 max) / 75 seconds recovery … repeat 8-12 times 8 reps of heavy weights / 1-2 minutes of intense cardio … also known as circuit training ‘Fartlek’ is Swedish for ‘speed play’.   It uses unstructured periods of fast and slower exercise
Best for Building Strength

Weight loss



Medical conditions such as Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes and Respiratory Conditions

Weight loss

Muscle toning

Weight loss

The ultimate metabolism booster!



The Bottom Line


  • Cut your workout time in half
  • Burn calories up to 48 hours after your workout ends
  • Strengthen and protect your heart, joints and muscles
  • Do exercises that are worth it … effective and enjoyable!


Give it a Try!


Join WECOACH Workouts to get access to all our water exercise workouts.


Author: Laurie Denomme, Founder of WECOACH and Creator of Wavemakers®

Laurie Denomme

Laurie Denomme

an exercise coach dedicated to helping you move better and be your best everyday.

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