Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tabata Training - The fastest way to fitness and fat loss

Information on Tabata training is taken directly from this link:

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.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Toughest 3 Pounds in Weight Loss

Tip of the week: The toughest 3 pounds in weight loss

The toughest 3 pounds when trying to lose weight are likely not what you’re thinking. They are not the first few pounds lost in a program and they are not the last. They are not in your thighs, your gut, or your butt. No, the most difficult 3 pounds to deal with are directly between your ears.

Your brain is the biggest obstacle to overcome in regards to weight loss. In theory, weight loss is incredibly simple, eat a little less and exercise a little more. So what’s the problem? The problem is that our brains are constantly tricking us. Our tendency value instant gratification (fast food, a comfy couch, drugs and alcohol) more than long term rewards. It takes practice to overcome those daily urges and refocus long term. Think about how great you will look 10 pounds lighter or how fun it will be to run around outside with grandkids.

There is no magic involved in weight loss. You have the skill, the knowledge, and the passion to be successful. So stop using words like try, attempt, or do my best. The instant those words enter your vocabulary, you have just set yourself up for failure. Instead, make the commitment and just do it!

One final thought: Why do you still have that junk food in your pantry and why are you still hanging on to those clothes that are two sizes too big for you? That is, if your never going to need them again.

(Taken from UBT's Biggest Loser Contest)