Guest Post by Tamara via Fit Knit Chick
A whole lotta Tabata…sounds fun, right?
Tabata interval training (or the Tabata method, as it is sometimes referred to) is a form of high intensity interval training (HIIT), with a unique work to rest interval.
Twenty second periods of near maximal effort are alternated with ten second periods of rest for a total of eight cycles (or four minutes) per exercise.
The Tabata method was developed in the mid-1990’s by Dr. Izumi Tabata at the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo, Japan while studying the effects of various exercise protocols on energy production systems.When compared with moderate intensity endurance activities, Tabata intervals resulted in noticeable improvements in athletic performance, including:
- increased VO2Max (the rate at which your body can take in oxygen)
- higher anaerobic thresholds (the level of effort at which lactic acid production kicks in)
- better aerobic conditioning (the efficiency with which your heart and lungs can get oxygen to your muscles)
- improved fat loss
Other reasons to add Tabata intervals to your training schedule?
- They require less time than a traditional workout
- Very little space or equipment is needed
- Tabata principles can be applied to most types of exercise
- They are infinitely variable
Some of my favorite exercises to give the Tabata treatment to are:
- Dumbbell squat presses
- Prisoner squat jumps
- Plank rows
- Split lunge jumps
- Treadmill and bike sprints
If you’re new to Tabata training, choose a single exercise and add it to the end of your regular workout. Make sure that you’re capable of performing the chosen exercise for 20 seconds without a rest (I learned the hard way that pull-ups aren’t a wise choice for my Tabata workouts!). Set your timer (I use my GymBoss) for 8 rounds of 20 second work followed by 10 seconds of rest. Ready, set, go!
More advanced exercisers may want to choose 3 or 4 exercises to base a full Tabata workout on, making sure that no single muscle group is over-represented in the workout. For example, a 4-exercise Tabata workout might consist of squat presses, push-ups, split lunge jumps and plank rows (with just a short rest interval between exercises). A whole body, high intensity strength and cardiovascular workout done in just sixteen minutes! Who says we don’t have time to workout?
Tabata: a great way to up the intensity and variety in your training. Give it a try!
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Have you tried Tabata interval training? Do you have a 15 minute sweat blaster that you turn to? Tell us about it!