Tuesday, September 30, 2014

What is Tabata Work Outs? Should you incorporate them into your workout?

Tabata? What is that? You may have heard of it, or maybe you haven't but I doubt the first time you thought of it you thought of working out, sweat dripping off your forehead and your heart beating out of your chest! Tabata workouts are short, and they are killer. They produce some crazy results and are a great thing to incorporate into your workout!  Once you do a Tabata workout, you will never forget it!


Tabata training was discovered by Japanese scientist Dr. Izumi Tabata and a team of researchers from the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo.

Tabata and his team conducted research on two groups of athletes: one group trained at a moderate intensity level while the other group trained at a high intensity level or high intensity interval training or HIIT. The moderate intensity group worked out five days a week for a total of six weeks; each workout lasted one hour. The high intensity group worked out four days a week for six weeks; each workout lasted four minutes and 20 seconds (with 10 seconds of rest in between each set).

The results; group one had increased their aerobic system (cardiovascular), but showed little or no results for their anaerobic system (muscle). Group two showed much more increase in their aerobic system than group one, and increased their anaerobic system by 28 percent.  Group two had the best of both worlds!

The conclusion: HIIT,  has more impact on both the aerobic and anaerobic systems.

Wouldn't you like to be able to cut down on the time you are doing cardio... and get off those boring machines?  Do a couple of these Tabata workouts and see the awesome benefits of adding HIIT workouts!  8 minutes of intense training and you're done!

The Tabata Protocol

The Tabata workout lasts only four minutes, but is one of the longest four minutes you'll encounter. The structure of the program is:

Workout hard for 20 seconds
Rest for 10 seconds
Complete eight rounds

You push yourself as hard as you can for 20 seconds and rest for 10 seconds until you complete eight sets. You can do pretty much any exercise you wish. You can do squats, push-ups, rows, etc... Any exercise that works your large muscle groups is strongly recommended. Kettlebells work great too.

Here is a sample Tabata workout, but you can do it with any exercise
Sit ups

Begin with the Push-ups. Do 20 seconds keeping a steady pace and count your reps. Rest for 10 seconds and then back to push-ups for 20 seconds trying to reach the same amount of reps. When you have finished your eight sets of push-ups, you will then rest for one minute and then begin the next exercise which are squats and repeat the sequence of 20 seconds on 10 seconds off, trying to reach the same amount of reps. Once you finish eight sets of squats rest for one minute and then do burpees. After burpees, finish up with sit ups following the same format.  It is important to keep your intensity about the same with each 20 second interval.

This is great to do if you have limited time or need to switch up your routine, or need to improve endurance speed. I recommend incorporating this style of workouts into your routine once or twice a week.  Be sure to vary your workouts so you target different muscle groups.

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