Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tabata Training - The fastest way to fitness and fat loss

Information on Tabata training is taken directly from this link: http://www.intervaltraining.net/tabata.html

A new fitness center here in Lincoln is now offering Tabata training so of course I had to check it out! If you have anything you'd like to add or have participated in Tabata I would love to hear your feedback.

Tabata interval training is the single most effective type of high intensity interval training, its also the most intense by far, and surprisingly its the shortest in duration, it only last for four minutes... but those four minutes produce remarkable effects.

Lose Fat, Get Fit in four minutes

Tabata training was discovered by Dr. Izumi Tabata and a team of researchers from the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo.

Dr. Tabata discovered that this kind of interval training burns substantially more fat than aerobic training. On top of this four minutes of Tabata workout builds as much muscular endurance as forty five minutes of normal cardio training. In fact in the study the subjects increased their anaerobic capacity by over a quarter as well a substantial increase in their aerobic fitness. Something to keep in mind was that the the subjects were as fit as race horses before they started the trial, so the improvements were remarkable.

This makes it an very versatile program, you can use tabata for weight loss as well most improving performance in most aerobic and anaerobic sport.

The Tabata Workout

tabata training graph

The full Tabata program is four minutes long, it will probably feel like the longest four minutes of your life.

If you are going to try it I would recommend going light with the weights until you find your range, theres a good chance you will underestimate this workout and be begging people around you to help you off the floor.

Tabata intervals follow this structure:

  • Push hard for 20 seconds
  • Rest for 10 seconds.
  • Repeat this eight times.

The secret to making this effective is in your sprint interval. You have to go all out, so do as many reps as you can in the 20 seconds, put it down for 10, then pick it up again and go hell for leather for another 20 seconds.

I would suggest getting some sort of tabata timer like a watch where you can see exactly where you are in the workout, you don't want to have to think too much, all of your concentration will be on the exercise.

Choosing Exercises

You can do Tabata exercise with sprints, but it is far more adaptable than other forms of interval training. You can use exercises such as the front squat or push press if you are in the gym. Kettle bells work exceptionally well. Basically anything that you can put a large load on your biggest muscle groups. Be sure to use your large muscle groupsotherwise you will get very little of the benefit.

(Note - make sure you are doing a front squat and not a standard squat, you will want to put the bar down!)

This is not a daily workout, if you can do this every day you are doing it wrong. Some people try it once a week but most end up doing tabata once or twice a month. None the less, it produces remarkable results for those brave enough to use it.

18 comments:

Diana said...

I've done Tabata training with kettlebells. This way of training is not for the "soft" workout person! It seriously KICKS YOUR BUTT!
It's fun, it's hard, it's awesome all in one. It can be added to so many different forms of training that the ideas are truly endless.
Personally, I love it!
Enjoy!

Lisa said...

sounds intense

Wes said...

There is a school of thought that says intervals work both your fast and slow twitch muscle fibers, giving you the same result as a long slow workout in less time. I like that idea and am working it now. We'll see how it goes :-)

Ewa said...

There is a very important point here:

"Something to keep in mind was that the the subjects were as fit as race horses before they started the trial"

I would be concerned that such intense burst for people who are not fit would be a sure prescription for injuries. Other than that I love the idea.

FLATOUT JIM said...

What exercises are you doing for triathlon training and how often?

Nikemom said...

Flatout Jim - I gave up my weakness - SWIMMING! LOL I only run and bike. Lots of running and lots of biking. :D I have done done any of the tabata training yet and not really sure where I would start. I may just start with the running sprints for 20 secs, rest for 10, etc. Through my research it states 1-3x per week. So, if I incorporate this in my workouts, then I may add something in regards to light weights with the larger muscle groups - specifically my upper body if I do the sprints for tabata training. I'm still exploring the idea.

I Run for Fun said...

I have tried this once toward the end of my workout. It does kick your butt!

Adam Culp (Crazy Floridian) said...

Wow,thanks for this info. I may need to include this into my core training once a week or something like that.

Also, thanks for coming by my blog and commenting. It is nice to meet you.

Coach Suzanne said...

Tabatas as done in the original study improve both aerobic and anaerobic endurance. Please keep in mind the physiologic requirements of your goal event...if you don't need to develop BOTH aspects quickly, the injury risk of doing Tabatas is not worth it. There are plenty of high intensity methods to improve endurance and Vo2 max that have a far, far lower risk of injury.

Please be careful with these!

Dave said...

Tabata is about as intense as it gets. Even the world class speed skaters tested by Dr. Tabata struggled to do it. I usually get really winded after 5-6 intervals. While it is a good, quick way to burn fat, I think you can have just as much success with a toned down HIIT routine combined with some steady state cardio.

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