Tabata is a basic form of workout and can be easy to follow. Tabata was founded in Japan by Izumi Tabata, he conducted tests on two groups of athletes; comparing moderate high intensity training with high intensity interval training. The results were that the athletes training in high intensity interval training improved their aerobic systems as well as their anaerobic system. The athletes who did the moderate high intensity training only improved their aerobic system and had little to no increase in their anaerobic system.
Using Tabata is quite simple and straight forward. However you must be prepared for the session. The first thing you need to do is to pick the exercises you wish to include in your Tabata training. Then, you need the right equipment for the exercises. After, you have to decide which interval is for what exercise (if you have more than one exercise in your training). For example you could have one interval for one exercise and another interval for the other exercise. This is a sample Tabata training plan (Using Equipment):
- Barbell Squats (intervals 1,3)
- Pushups (intervals 2,5)
- Chin ups (intervals 4,6)
- Sprinting in place (intervals 7,8)
- Equipment needed: Barbell with weights, surface mat for pushups and a chin up bar
You don’t have to use equipment, you can also do a Tabata just based on cardio
- Rowing – 20 Second Sprint
- 10 Seconds Rest
- Repeat 10 times
You can even use an Indoor Cycle:
- 30 Second Sprint
- 10 Second Rest
- Repeat 5 to 10 times
If you want to include some weight training into it, you can combine a battling rope (great for shoulders):
- 30 Second Sprint on indoor cycle
- 30 Seconds battling ropes
- 30 Seconds rest
- Repeat 5 to 10 times
Why i say 30 seconds on an Indoor Cycle, and not 20 Seconds? Because it takes +- 5-10 Seconds to get onto the Indoor Cycle and setup before you actually start sprinting
Tabata Training lasts 4 minutes and has 8 intervals in total lasting 20 seconds. Within those 20 seconds however, you are going all out. Make sure you use a weight where you can successfully go all out for all 8 intervals. Also make sure the exercises aren’t too hard and aren’t too easy. The exercises should hard enough so it makes you sweat and breath during a interval, however easy enough so you can last the whole Tabata session.
Tabata training is extremely exhausting, so you will feel it the next day. Make sure before you embark on a Tabata training session, to warm up and stretch effectively.
When to do a Tabata Training?
I generally will do a Tabata training at the end of a session as a “finisher”, i avoid doing it at the end of a metabolic conditioning session where I have already done a lot of aerobic activity. I will generally do a Tabata after a strength conditioning session.
Reasons to do Tabata training rather then long distance running etc:
1. Time: Running can be time consuming, if you want to keep fir but don’t have the time, tabata training will be perfect for you to maintain your aerobic and anaerobic systems. You can get more done in less time.
2. Losing Fat: Tabata training is very effective for losing fat. Tabata training will raise your metabolism and heart rate in a very short period of time. Your metabolism will stay high not only DURING your workout but AFTER the workout also, this means you are burning fat for a longer period of time.
Sample of a Tabata Protocol: