Workout Review: Tabata? WTF is that?
There are many different forms of workouts out there and each workout will give you a different result. Some increase muscle mass, some increase strength, others help you lose weight and so forth.
Cardiovascular (cardio for short) exercises are a popular brand of exercise designed to improve endurance and stimulate fat loss. Cardio exercises can be anything from long distance running, skipping, biking or even power walking. All of these usually fall under the category of moderate intensity training because they tend to last anywhere from a half hour to more than an hour going at the same pace.
“Tabata” is the name of a particular type of workout program that provides similar health benefits to that of cardio workouts, but Tabata has a bit more spice. Instead of hours upon hours or exercise, Tabata can be completed in 4 minutes. Tabata falls under the category of high intensity training or high intensity interval training. Today I write to explain to you the history of Tabata and exactly what it is.
How did Tabata come about?
Tabata was founded by a Japanese scientist named Izumi Tabata and fellow colleagues at a department of physiology in Japan. Izumi and his fellow scientists decided to conduct a study to compare moderate intensity training with high intensity training.
He conducted the tests on 2 groups of athletes; 1 of the groups used the moderate intensity interval training and the other using high intensity interval training.
In group one; the athletes were training in moderate intensity workouts (70% intensity) for five days a week for a total of six weeks with each training session lasting an hour.
Group two trained in the high intensity workouts for 4 days a week for a total of 6 weeks with each session lasting 4 minutes, at 20 seconds of intense training (170% intensity) and 10 seconds of rest.
What were the results of the tests?
Group 1 had a significant increase in the aerobic system (cardiovascular system). However, the anaerobic system (muscles) gained little or no results at all.
Group 2 showed much improvement in all their athletes. Their aerobic systems increased much more than group ones, and their anaerobic systems increased by 28%.
Conclusion? Not only did high intensity interval training have more of an impact on the aerobic systems; it had an impact on the anaerobic systems as well.
So what does a basic Tabata training design look like?
Any exercise can be incorporated into the Tabata training. However the basic outline of the Tabata training method are as follows:
• 4 minutes long (whole Tabata Session)
• 20 seconds of intense training
• 10 seconds of rest
• Total of 8 sessions or rounds
To wrap it all up, Tabata is a form of high intensity interval training method that offers more health benefits than traditional cardiovascular exercise. It’s short, efficient and can fit in almost any fitness program.
Here’s the official iPhone tabata app:
Now iPhone apps are fine and dandy, but when you start using apps on your phone such as: Facebook (fuck FB), Twitter, Instagram, key ring (for all those annoying key tags: gym tag, Gnc, supermarkets etc) now tabata timer; your battery will empty super super fast! Leaving you to go charge your phone or be without a phone.
There is an alternative! The Gym Boss!
**Coming Soon** an interview with a Tabata Practitioner!
**Update** February 24th 2014
I have an interview with Tabata Practitioner Jake Morris
Are you a trainer if so certified by who?
I’m not a certified trainer but I do work out 3-4 times per week.
Where do you practice Tabata? Is it something you do yourself, with a trainer or is it a class? Also How often do you do Tabata?
I have a home gym where I train and I do Tabata once a week usually.
What benefits do you see from Tabata?
The benefit for me is the efficiency of the routine as it only takes a few minutes but it gets you sweating.
Do you have a favorite workout set?
I tend to use Tabata mainly for bodyweight exercises to finish a weightlifting session, such as pushups on chest day. Calf raises are good to do with Tabata as I usually have a hard time hitting my calves but due to the intensity and short rest with Tabata, I can get in a good calf workout.
Are there any negatives?
The only negative I could see is training with too much weight. Tabata is a high intensity workout and using too much weight will usually compromise your form and can result in injury.
What advice can you give to new practitioners of Tabata?
Light or bodyweight is best for Tabata, in my opinion, especially for those just starting out.
Thank you Jake!