Do you like hanging out on the treadmill for an hour to get a good burn? Yeah, me neither. That’s why I like Tabatas. It’s a training technique that uses high intensity training with minimal rest periods in a four minute duration. But let me assure you: it will be the longest four minutes you ever spent doing cardio!
If you haven’t heard of this, the name comes from Izumi Tabata. Professor Tabata describes his Tabata Protocol thus, “During my time working with the Japanese speed skating team, the head coach, Mr. Irisawa Koichi, had me analyze the effectiveness of his training regime that involved a rotation of short burst of maximum effort followed by short periods of rest. Although Coach Irisawa pioneered the idea, somehow it became named after me (laughs). The current regime consists of repetitions of 20 seconds of intense work, followed by 10 seconds of rest. This means that, excluding warming up and cooling down, the exercise can be completed in only 4 minutes if repeated 8 times, more than enough to make even a fit person exhausted.” (Read full interview here.)
One of the best findings from his research is that by doing this training technique you actually are increasing your resting metabolic rate (RMR) for the following 24 hours due to excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. It improves your aerobic and anaerobic levels. In a nutshell you get more out of High Intensity Intermittent Training (HIIT) for 4 minutes than you do using traditional aerobic exercises because it burns fat more effectively.
Pros of Tabatas
- Great if you don’t have a lot of time (Come on – who doesn’t have FOUR MINUTES?)
- Improves your fitness performance because it teaches your body to better process oxygen
- It’s challenging
Cons of Tabatas
- They are really hard!!! If you are truly pushing yourself to the limit these four minutes will feel like an eternity.
- Not for Newbies. The technique was designed for professional athletes after all, so if you are just getting back into exercise you might want to try this technique out when your fitness level has improved
Sample Cardio Routine on Treadmill
- 5 minute warm up, level 5
- 20 seconds at your max speed, i.e. – level 12
- 10 seconds rest – (step off the treadmill)
- Repeat 20 second max speed/10 second rest 8 times total = 4 minutes)
- 1-2 minute cool down, level 3
Sheslosingit.net (c) 2012 Lisa Traugott. All rights reserved. No portion of this blog, including any text, photographs, and artwork, may be reproduced or copied without written permission.