What Is Tabata Training?
With so many workout programs, names and types, it’s no wonder why so many people get confused and have no clue where to start. If you are looking for a new system to add to your routine Tabata might be the answer but 9 out of 10 people who do Tabata, do it wrong. How hard can it be right? 20 seconds on 10 seconds off for 4 minutes. hmm that seems pretty easy.
The History of Tabata
Tabata training was discovered by Japanese scientist Dr. Izumi Tabata and a team of researchers from the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo.
Tabata and his team conducted research on two groups of athletes. The first group trained at a moderate intensity level while the second group trained at a high-intensity level. The moderate intensity group worked out five days a week for a total of six weeks; each workout lasted one hour. The high-intensity group worked out four days a week for six weeks; each workout lasted four minutes and 20 seconds (with 10 seconds of rest in between each set).
The results; Group 1 had increased their aerobic system (cardiovascular), but showed little or no results for their anaerobic system (muscle). Group 2 showed much more increase in their aerobic system than Group 1, and increased their anaerobic system by 28 percent.
In conclusion, high-intensity interval training has more impact on both the aerobic and anaerobic systems.
The Tabata Program
Each exercise in a given Tabata workout lasts only four minutes, but it’s likely to be one of the longest four minutes you’ve ever endured. The structure of the program is as follows:
- Work out hard for 20 seconds
- Rest for 10 seconds
- Complete 8 rounds
You push yourself as hard as you can for 20 seconds and rest for 10 seconds. This is one set. You’ll complete eight sets of each exercise.
You can do pretty much any exercise you wish. You can do squats, push-ups, burpees or any other exercise that works your large muscle groups. Kettlebell exercises work great, too.
An example of a Tabata workout looks like this:
- Push-ups (4 minutes)
- Bodyweight Squats (4 minutes)
- Burpees (4 minutes)
- Mountain Climbers (4 minutes)
Start with push-ups. Perform them for 20 seconds at a high-intensity. Rest for 10 seconds, and then go back to doing push-ups for 20 seconds. Once you complete eight sets of push-ups, rest for one minute.
Next, move on to squats and repeat the sequence of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off. Once you finish eight sets of squats, rest for one minute, and then do burpees. After burpees, finish the workout with mountain climbers.
Tabata is great to get a quick workout in if you’re short on time, you need to switch up your routine, or you want improve endurance and speed. Incorporate this type of workout into your fitness routine and produce results.
What Are People Doing Wrong?
When doing Tabata you have 20 seconds of all out force. So imagine when you are in a full blown sprint, that’s the force you need. So for example. You start the clock and you start to sprint and it takes about 5 seconds to get to that full blown sprint and most people start to slow down before the 20 seconds is up. This is NOT Tabata! You would be better off doing 30 seconds on 10 seconds off.
So, double check you Tabata. Are you really giving it all you have for the FULL 20 seconds? If not, change it to 30 seconds.