What is Tabata Training?
A high intensity way to work out!
Over the years, you must have come across a myriad of workout styles all aimed at helping you attain your fitness targets.
Regardless of your goals (lose weight, increase stamina, build muscle or enhance flexibility), most exercises will help you attain these if you stick to the routine.
If you are pondering if you should freshen things a bit by adding a new routine, perhaps you might want to consider Tabata!
Tabata is a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout, which entails workouts that span a duration of four minutes.
The History of Tabata
Japanese scientist Dr Izumi Tabata is credited with formulating the Tabata training style, in conjunction with a team of researchers from the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo.
Tabata and his team of researchers carried out a test on two groups of athletes: with the first group training at an average intensity level and the other group at a much higher level of intensity. The former worked out for a period of six weeks – five days a week, with each session lasting an hour. On the other hand, the high-intensity group worked out for four days each week for six weeks; with every workout session lasting for about four minutes and twenty seconds (with a 10-second break in-between every set).
The Results: Group one had enhanced their aerobic system (cardiovascular), but showed only marginal improvement in their anaerobic system (muscle). While Group 2 showed a much more increased aerobic system than their counterparts in Group 1 and a 28% increase in their anaerobic system.
In conclusion, high-intensity interval training has a greater effect on both the anaerobic and aerobic system.
The Tabata Program
Every exercise in a Tabata session spans only four minutes, however, it is the combination of several of these sets, back-to-back, that will really put you to the test. Do you think you are already fit? I dare you to try a Tabata session.
Many people comment that a Tabata session is one of the longest four minutes they have ever had to endure.
The program is designed as thus:
- Workout hard for 20 seconds
- A 10-second break
- Finish 8 rounds
You stretch your limit as far as you can for 20 seconds and then you take a 10-second break. This is just a set. You would need to finish eight sets of every exercise.
There is no hard rule with regards to what exercise you can try, you may do push-ups, squats, burpees or any other exercise that engages your muscles. You could also try Kettlebell exercises too. Think about any exercise that involves using your body and its resistance.
Below is a replica of a typical Tabata workout:
- Push ups or bench ups (4 minutes)
- Squats or lunges (4 minutes)
- Burpees or star jumps (4 minutes)
- Mountain Climbers (4 minutes)
Begin with push-ups. Carry on with them for 20 seconds at high-intensity. Take a 10 seconds break and then repeat the push-ups for another 20 second. After doing eight sets of push-ups, take a minute rest.
Then, you move to squats and repeat the same process explained above. Once you complete squats, take a break for a minute and then move to burpees. After burpees or star jumps, round off the session with mountain climbers.
You will feel the burn!
What Are The Risks?
If you get short of breath or feel heart pains, you should stop. High intensity workouts really push your body hard and some people need time to build strength and resistance. Also, if you have poor posture or are prone to lower back injury, perhaps you should take it easy. Talk with your chiropractor or physiotherapist regarding the best style of workout that suits your body type.
If you don’t have all the time in the world, need to shuffle your routine or enhance your speed and endurance, then Tabata is perfect for you. You would be amazed at the results when you integrate this workout into your fitness routine.