Tabata training, also known as the Tabata Protocol, is a variation of high intensity interval training (HIIT) where the exerciser performs exercises in the following format:
- 20 seconds of a very high intensity exercise
- 10 seconds of rest
- Repeat 8 times for a total of 4 minutes
You can use a variety of exercises in a Tabata routine which may include, cardio, strength training, kettlebells, compound moves or a mixture of all of them.
What makes Tabata training unique compared to other interval workouts is the intensity. The rest intervals are shorter than the work sets which causes intensity to build as oxygen debt rises.
Although Tabata training isn’t anything new, it seems to be getting more and more popular.
Dr. Izumi Tabata, a Japanese researcher and professor at the Faculty of Sport and Health Science at Ritsumeikan University in Japan, through a study found that short duration, high intensity intervals followed by even shorter rest periods were more effective at improving both aerobic and anaerobic fitness than traditional cardio. It also proved effective in improving an athlete’s VO2 max (the body’s ability to use oxygen more effectively).
Tabata workouts offer more performance benefits in less time, but they’re not for everyone. The high intensity work periods followed by the even shorter rest times, wreaking havoc on your lungs makes four minutes seem like an eternity. I would not recommend Tabata training for the beginner, any of the special populations or those with injuries. Tabata training is more for the intermediate to advanced exerciser.
Before performing any activity make sure your body is properly warmed up. If you’re new to this type of training try one, four-minute set to start and then increase the amount of sets, resting 1 minute between sets. Don’t use Tabata training as your main workout. It’s just supposed to compliment your current training by mixing it up and adding intensity. Tabata training should be done no more than 1-2 times a week, with rest in between to avoid over training and injury.
Stay tuned for some intense Tabata workouts!!