Would you believe it if someone told you that in just four minutes you would not only improve your fitness level, you would also burn more calories per minute than running ten miles an hour, plus increase your metabolism 30 minutes post workout? According to researcher Dr. Michele Olson, aka, the Exercise Doctor, it’s true! It’s been backed up by numerous research studies, and it’s called the Tabata Training Method.
“This particular style of interval training has profound effects even on short-term, post-exercise metabolism,” has explained Olson. “It would take five times the amount of typical cardio exercise, like a twenty-minute brisk walk, to shed the same number of calories that result from a four-minute Tabata.”
Tabata is an interval training workout designed to push you to your anaerobic threshold for 20 seconds, with a 10 second recovery break, for a total of four minutes. Designed by Izumi Tabata, a Japanese trainer of athletes, the Tabata method seems to be a major breakthrough in fitness training programs. However, it should be practiced with caution.
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Are you short on time but really need to get an intense workout? Are you ready to push your 5K time a little lower? Are you prepared to take your HIIT to a new level? Then it’s time to try tabata training.
Tabata training, or tabata intervals, came out of a 1996 study by Izumi Tabata. The study compared short ultra high intensity interval training with long steady state cardio (the “fat burning zone” intensity on your favorite cardio machine).
The study found that the tabata group, performing just eight cycles of 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest, had similar VO2max improvements to the group performing longer steady state workouts. But the tabata group was the only group to show improved anaerobic capacity, meaning you can push a little farther and little faster when running, cycling or any other fitness activity.
Got your interval timer ready? Set it for eight rounds of 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest. Then pick one of my five favorite exercises for tabata intervals. Let’s get started!
I am a big fan of mixing it up when I exercise. I am easily bored, almost certainly A.D.D., and need to have a different routine in order to keep myself engaged and present. I try to work out three mornings a week with a Crossfit instructor. Recently, my instructor introduced me to the concept of Tabata.
The Tabata Protocol has been said to be simply the best supra-aerobic cardio workout ever created. Izumi Tabata researched the concept of a quicker more intense workout vs. a traditional 60 minute aerobic workout. The 4 minute exercise group had to bike at 90 RPMs at 170% of VO2max. That’s a very high speed and level of intensity. At the end of the 6 week study, the 4 minute exercise group had improved both their aerobic and anaerobic markers of fitness. The 60 minute group improved their aerobic fitness (not as much as the 4 minute group) and saw no change in their anaerobic fitness.
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