Pressed 4 Time? Try Tabata

do-your-tabatasDo 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

Enjoy (?)!

Lisa (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.






10 responses to “Pressed 4 Time? Try Tabata

  1. I disagree that it’s only for professional athletes and that newbies should not do it.

    Tabata, or HIIT, is fantastic for seeing rapid results and keeping motivation up. The key is to do it at YOUR high intensity – not mine, or someone else’s.

    If MY high intensity involves only one pushup but yours involves 30 in that 20 seconds, I’m still making amazing changes to my body.

    • I didn’t mean to say it was only for professional athletes, just meant that if it is your first month back to the gym after a two year hiatus you might want to build up to this technique rather than try it immediately. 😉

      • This is true… LOL… although *I* am that foolish one that says “HEY I CAN DO THAT!!!” regardless of my fitness level…

        Sometimes I’m wrong… :p

  2. Jodi had me doing Tabada things back in February, (I since got bored with them and we’ve changed it up) but they are killer! and Fun! and while each 4 minute stint feels like eternity (especially near the end) doing five different sets of tabadas really made a 20 minute workout fly by!
    Now she has be doing some of those same exercises, but no break, just ‘do them as fast as you can, with good form’. So like row 500, 10 burpees, 10 crunchies, 10 push ups, 10 plyo lunges, 10 bicycle crunchies, then repeat times 3! Under 10 minutes on Saturday! Woo!

  3. Pingback: What is TABATA? | magic sandbox fitness·

  4. You will find that there are many benefits of aerobic exercise which you will want to explore as much as possible. Those who are looking to get in shape will need to consider doing certain aerobic exercises which can help with losing weight and slimming down. The great thing about this type of exercise is that there are so many different ways you can do it, so you can change it up every once in a while. If you are determined to shed some of those extra pounds, you will definitely want to take the time to see what your options are when it comes to aerobic exercise.-

    Freshest piece of writing on our personal web site

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