Interval Training: Water Workouts for Seniors

by | Feb 17, 2017 | Cardio

Older is not usually associated with being faster or stronger. But maybe it could if we believed it?

Take Usain Bolt, the greatest sprinter of all time, who, at 30 years old, became the only person to ever win three Olympic 100m gold medals. Or 42-year-old Satchel Paige, the oldest major league rookie, and some would argue the best pitcher in baseball. Both of these athletes are examples of older, faster, and stronger. And both of these men embody the belief that they can succeed in the physical arena competing against others ten to fifteen years younger.

Being successful is more than just a physical ability. It requires a winning mindset to elevate the body to victory.

HIYO Interval Training

Next time you lead a water exercise class, how can you plan for both a mental and physical workout for your students?  The trick for older participants is to keep the intensity of their program up while considering chronic pain or a prior surgery.  HIYO is a highly adaptable, aquatic exercise program that uses high intensity intervals (HI) with yoga-inspired movements (YO) for recovery. It’s the perfect program proven to improve physical fitness fostered by a winning mindset.


High Intensity (HI)

Let’s start with the HI part of the HIYO, which is the High Intensity Interval Training part. HIIT has been proven to:

  • Be almost twice as effective at improving heart and vessel health in individuals diagnosed with cardiovascular disease over their younger and healthier counterparts.
  • Increase power and strength, important for things like rising out of a chair and lifting groceries.
  • Improve oxygen flow to muscles important for climbing stairs and sustained daily energy.


What’s the YO All About?

The recovery segment, known as the YO, is packed with purpose. Although the moves are selected after the HI exercises are put in place, this segment should never be considered an afterthought. Here is an example of a HIYO combination:

YO 3 min Squat

Using 7 foot positions: Neutral, Right foot forward, Left foot forward, Wide, Narrow, Toes Out, Toes In

HI 1 min Tuck Jump

Using varied foot positions

In this set, the YO works in the following ways:

A mini-warm up – Think of it as exercise prep for the high intensity tuck jumps that follow.

Injury prevention – The 7 different foot positions prepare the ankles, knees and hips for the higher impact and joint loading experienced during the tucks.

Physical recovery – The tuck jumps require the body to engage muscular power, contractile force and dynamic strength, which is made possible by the adequate rest provided during the YO.

Mental focus – The slower pace of the squats allow students to ‘feel’ the move. Mind-body awareness can help the body to excel during the tuck jumps.


Behavioral sciences are often overlooked. Yet if we use these as a source to coach students through a HIYO workout the results can be that of a Bolt or a Paige – older, stronger, and faster. By creating an environment that offers comfort, confidence and grace maybe you too can achieve the unexpected.


WECOACH Interval Training Workouts

Build lean muscle, boost metabolism and burns more calories in less time using interval pool workouts. Learn how to apply these concepts in WECOACH Workouts – my online platform for water workouts for all abilities.

Laurie Denomme

Laurie Denomme

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

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