Tabata This, Tabata That

Posted on October 19, 2010. Filed under: fitness, get in shape, getting in shape, gyms in peabody, lose weight, personal trainer in ma, personal trainer in medford, personal trainer in peabody, Tabata training, The Get In Shape Girl |

What the heck is Tabata, many of you are asking. Well the real question should be WHO the heck is Tabata? Well Izumi Tabata is a doctor who did research at Japan’s National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Kanoya, and he founded this concept known as The Tabata Protocol. Well it was really him & the coach of the Japanese Speed Skating Team.

Tabata training consists of performing 20 seconds of maximum effort followed by 10 seconds of rest, this cycle to be repeated 8 times, for a total of 4 minutes of work. When the original Protocol was developed the team was working with sprints. But this interval training can be used for anything from sprints to boxing to any kind of calisthenics. You can mix it up too. Rather than performing, let’s say squats as an example, for 8 sets, you could mix it up & do squats, then push ups, then stationary lunges, then medball slams. So rather than doing 8 sets of each before moving on to the next exercise, you could do 2 sets of squats then move on to the push ups for 2 sets, etc. Really, the best way to decide how many sets you can endure will be based on your fitness level. Assuming you are going all out during your 20 second interval, this workout will be grueling. Try doing 2 or 3 intervals before moving on to the next calisthenic. When doing 2 – 3 sets of 4 exercises becomes manageable, then up it to 4 intervals & so on.

So do you wanna know how effective it can be? Ask one of my clients! haha, but if you can’t access them to have them tell you how hard they are, I’ll just tell you about the benefits…

  • Increase in anaerobic capacity & VO2 max
  • This kind high intensity training elevates your metabolic rate causing you to burn more calories after your training session. Up to 2 days to be exact.
  • A study at Laval University in Quebec showed that people who workout at such high intensity have 9 times more fat loss benefit for every calorie burned while exercising.
  • You get your strength training in WHILE you are getting a cardiovascular workout.
  • You can do this with no equipment at all except a stop watch or clock or Gymboss.

None of this is to say you should make your ENTIRE workout based on Tabata intervals. If you attempt this, unless you are Superman, most likely one of two things will take place: 1. you will overtrain & your body will give out on you, or the more likely of the two, 2. you aren’t doing it right. And your workout should last for more than 4 minutes!!! This is not an easy way out!!! This is what I added into my workout yesterday to use as an example –

4 intervals of body weight squats
4 intervals of body weight push ups
4 intervals of skate hops
4 intervals of body weight stationary lunges, right foot forward
4 intervals of body weight stationary lunges, left foot forward

If you want to do this on your own, think about trying 2 – 3 intervals first, then work your way to 8.  Try doing different exercises this way.  Give yourself 48 hours before doing such high intensity cardio work again.  Lastly, I prefer to mix muscle groups to avoid exhaustion.  But during those 20 seconds, go balls out!  If you don’t there’s really no point.  If you do you can expect to loss the unwanted fat you’ve been dying to get rid of!

Kyra Williams,

The Get In Shape Girl

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2 Responses to “Tabata This, Tabata That”

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This is exactly my kind of thing. I need to try it.

I love tabatas. Thanks for sharing this great review.


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