Foundations Practice with Interval Training Timer

by Todd Elihu on 2013/05/08

I just started training foundations with an interval training timer app on my Android device. It is a great way to allot a fixed amount of time per exercise and allow one to focus entirely on certain aspects of the body method, energy alignment, etc.

The app I use is HIIT Interval Training, however there are many similar timer apps available. One can program a specific duration for each round of work, as well as the rest periods between each of the rounds. For example, tonight I programmed a routine which consisted of fourteen 1’30” rounds, with each round consisting of a different foundational exercise, and 0’10” of rest in between so that I could comfortably position myself for the next exercise. The entire routine lasted 23’20”. One could easily adjust the work or rest periods and set the amount of rounds to suit one’s own training needs.

I find that being timed like this gives my training a heightened purpose and holds me accountable to going through all the exercises until the routine is complete. As I am not counting repetitions or watching a clock, I am able to more fully give my attention to the quality of my structure and mechanics. There is a whistle sound which lets me know when to start and stop each round.

I think this would be a great teaching tool, as one could plan a predetermined length of time to spend on foundations, drills, etc. during the lesson.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

studentofmethod May 9, 2013 at 12:08 pm

Cool tip! Thanks for sharing Todd!


fbates May 9, 2013 at 10:22 pm

This sounds like a great idea. Definitely must try this. Thanks!


mountainroad May 12, 2013 at 4:38 am

Thanks, it will be very interesting to know which fourteen exercises.


blake May 12, 2013 at 5:05 am

thats actually a super good idea, i think i’m going to steal it


Todd Elihu May 13, 2013 at 9:46 am


The fourteen exercises I used were:
1. Right positive circle
2. Left positive circle
3. Right negative circle
4. Left negative circle
5. Twisting the towel
6. Right 6 Sealing 4 Closing
7. Left 6 Sealing 4 Closing
8. Right Fetching Water
9. Left Fetching Water
10. Double Positive Circles
11. Double Negative Circles
12. Right Negative and Positive Circles
13. Left Negative and Positive Circles
14. Active Zhan Zhuang

Let it be stated, though, that one could put together any arrangement of foundational exercises, including both stationary and moving step exercises. The sample routine above was something I did within a small space so I could not do exercises that required moving about a lot or jumping around. My motto in regards to accommodating one’s practice to the available space and time: “Get in what you can fit in”. 🙂


drumsabbah August 10, 2016 at 3:54 pm

Hi Todd,
I know it has been awhile since this posted, but I was wondering if there is a video or description of the active Zhang Zhuang exercise?
Thank you


胡歌 August 11, 2016 at 8:43 am

Active ZZ is taking basically any static posture from yilu and making the joints disappear, which requires a powerful proportional stretch. Real hard work.


mountainroad May 13, 2013 at 12:41 pm

Thank you so much. That is very helpful.


Richard Johnson August 9, 2014 at 3:02 pm

Some watches have interval timers too that can be used in this way.


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