I’ve always been a fan of maximum efficiency when it comes to my training, that’s why HIIT (high intensity interval training) has always been a key part of my repertoire. When it comes to cardio.. let’s compare long distance runners to a sprinter. Whose physique would you rather have? Sprinters are built like a race horse. That method applies to the rest of your life I feel. A trip down philosophy blvd: Sprinters typically look powerful, bursting with energy and eager to push themselves to their limits. The explanation is simple. No matter how intense the demand they face, the finish line is clearly visible 100 or 200 meters down the track. We, too, must learn to live our own lives as a series of sprints—fully engaging for periods of time, and then fully disengaging and seeking renewal before jumping back into the fray to face whatever challenges confront us.”
“To build capacity we must push beyond our normal limits, training in the same systematic way that elite athletes do.”
So what is Tabata? This method of training was discovered by Dr. Izumi Tabata and a team of researchers from the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo. It is an interval routine that was developed by the coach of the Japanese speed- skating team to give his team an edge in competition. A Tabata protocol is a very high intensity anaerobic interval program that involved eight rounds of 20 second work periods at 170% of your VO2 max with a negative recovery period of 10 seconds.
Tabata interval training is the single most effective type of high intensity interval training, its also the most intense by far, produces remarkable results!! That’s it, a simple but highly effective fat loss strategy that could leave you crying. I dare you to try it!
The Bottom Line: The days of endless hours of long, slow, and boring cardio are a thing of the past. If you are looking for insane results in minimal time, then look no further than high-intensity interval training. And the 20-10 Tabata protocol is the interval training benchmark to take your body and your fitness to the next level!
The full Tabata program is four minutes long, it will probably feel like the longest four minutes of your life.
If you are going to try it I would recommend going light with the weights until you find your range, there’s a good chance you will underestimate this workout and be begging people around you to help you off the floor.
Tabata intervals follow this structure:
Push hard for 20 seconds
Rest for 10 seconds.
Repeat this eight times.
The secret to making this effective is in your sprint interval. You have to go all out, so do as many reps as you can in the 20 seconds, put it down for 10, then pick it up again and go hell for leather for another 20 seconds.
I would suggest getting some sort of tabata timer like a watch where you can see exactly where you are in the workout, you don’t want to have to think too much, all of your concentration will be on the exercise. You can also try using an mp3 interval workout like these to add structure to your workout.
You can do Tabata exercise with sprints, but it is far more adaptable than other forms of interval training. You can use exercises such as the front squat or push press if you are in the gym. Kettle bells work exceptionally well. Basically anything that you can put a large load on your biggest muscle groups. Be sure to use your large muscle groups otherwise you will get very little of the benefit.
Eight sets of “as many reps as you can get done,” followed with a brief ten second rest— simple and effective. The two best exercise options for the Tabata method are the front squats and the “thruster,”
I personally do 2-3 Tabata workouts a week. This can be a great morning boost. Sometime I will simply sprint down my street for 20 sec turn around and run back for a set of 8. You can add in a set of core or plyo at the end or beginning of a workout for a great boost to your training. Here are a few sample workouts:
Push-Ups. Do straight-leg or bent-knee push-ups. Advanced participants, lift one leg.
Burpees. Crouch down and touch hands to floor. Jump or step feet back into plank position. Jump or step feet back to hands. Stand up and jump.
Squat Jumps. Squat and touch both hands to floor, keeping back flat. Jump
Front Squats- Hold a light barbell at shoulder height squat down raise back up.
Thrusts- With a dumbell or Kettlebell in each hand squat down raise up and press the dumbells overhead.
Barbell, Dumbell, Kettlebell Cleans – Take the barbell, dumbell or Kbell from the floor clean to shoulders.
Squat Press- With a Barbell set on your shoulders squat raise up and press it overhead.
Body weight Squats- If your just starting out try these, as your conditioning levels improve move up to using weights.
Kettlebell Swings – Set a kettlebell between your legs bring up to shoulder height.
Tabata Sprints: Pick target or time 15-20 sec sprints, rest 10 secs and repeat for 8 sets