Ever wonder where Tabata Came from? I personally was introduced to my first tabata treadmill workout 3 years ago by Shawn. I will never forget it…..PUKIE and YES GUPPIE breathing (that was for those that know me well!!!! 😉 here is a great article on Tabata
Tabata training and the Tabata Training Protocol originated from a research study led by Dr. Izumi Tabata at the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo, Japan. The study was published in the journal: Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise – October 1996 – Volume 28 – Issue 10 – pp 1327-1330 and titled: “Effects of moderate-intensity endurance and high intensity intermittent training on aerobic capacity and VO2max”.
In the study, Dr. Tabata concluded that High Intensity Intermittent Training (HIIT) a.k.a. High Intensity Interval Training was a far more effective and efficient method of training when compared to traditional cardiovascular training (steady state cardio). The study showed that Tabata training was not only more effective at improving anaerobic endurance but cardiovascular endurance as well.
The breakdown of a Tabata interval session is 20 seconds of intense work followed by 10 seconds of rest repeated 8 times for a total of 4 minutes. In the study the participants (who were all apparently fit athletes) did 1 Tabata interval session a day, 5 days a week for 6 weeks. After the 6 weeks, the participants averaged a 28% increase in aerobic capacity and a 14% increase in VO2max. Tabata intervals, if done with enough intensity, will also increase you BMR (basal metabolic rate) for 24-36 hours after each session. This means you will continue to burn calories and shed fat long after you’ve left the gym! But when I say it has to be done with intensity, I mean.. done with INTENSITY!!! You will only get out of it what you put in so you have to hit it hard!
Tabata intervals are most often done with body weight or light resistance exercises. The focus is usually on explosiveness and speed so you want to choose exercises that you can do a high volume of within the 20 second time frame. When doing Tabata intervals in your workouts, you can also keep score. Your score is the your lowest number of reps in any of the 8 rounds. For example, if you were doing Tabata squats (bodyweight squats) for 8 rounds and the first round you got 17 reps but in the second round you only managed to get 14, then your score becomes 14. Then you want to try to hold on to that number for as long as you can. You also want to make sure you don’t come out of the gate too hard and score really high in the first few intervals but fade away to nothing by the end. It’s better to find a tempo and rep range that you can hold on to the entire time!