Hello Readers, please do not let my picture scare you, it is simply me outfitted as the "Tabata Chief" and I have devoted this week's article to sharing more on this subject with you. A Tabata is serious business. It's one of the most intense workouts you will ever do and it is geared to the more fit among us. But before you despair, your trainer and even you can design a tabata workout to suit you. This would then be called what my clients and I have termed, a "Tabata Inspired Workout". A Tabata workout may be grouped under a type of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) - training that pair's high energy/anaerobic exercises with low effort rest. HIIT training has been shown to yield a variety of positive health and fitness gains in less time compared to continuous exercise. And guess what? A Tabata Interval is just 4 minutes! Okay let's find out a bit more about Tabata.
In my research, the word Tabata originates from researcher/professor Dr Izumi Tabata, who was hired to conduct research in 1996 at the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo, Japan, on highly trained endurance athletes to measure the effectiveness of short burst of maximum effort followed by short periods of rest. In his experiment, he had the subjects do cycling using a mechanically braked cycle ergometer with an exhaustive intermittent training consisting of seven to eight sets of 20-second exercises. These were done at an intensity of about 170 per cent of VO2max with a 10-second rest between each bout for five days a week for six weeks. In summary, results show that their V02 Max and both aerobic and anaerobic capacity improved with the Tabata protocol. Hence the name Tabata! Read on…
The tabata protocol consists of 20 seconds of maximum intensity exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest, done for a total of eight rotations/cycles lasting four minutes. Basically a Tabata is calling upon you to work maximally so exercises chosen are those that would use the anaerobic energy system such as the ones demonstrated in the pictures on this page. Whenever we train in the 'anaerobic zone' (for example sprints for 400 meters) it is usually hard work, almost painful, so we know a Tabata HIIT is going to be tough. Like most other interval training programme the reported benefits include, improved aerobic and anaerobic capacity, decrease in body fat, improved power and strength, a rise in metabolism rate and increased mental fitness. For the four-minute Tabata, a warm up and cool down session are definitely necessary.
Certain positive aspects drew me to this type of workout. In the first place I always appreciated the benefits of interval training: the improved cardiovascular fitness and anaerobic tolerance. I can now do tabatas in the gym or anywhere for that matter. For my clients seeking improved fitness and those needing a 'boost', it is ideal as limited time is always a factor and they may not have time to do an added session of training. I have not collated any results with my clients as yet to assess the impact, but I can tell you for sure they 'love' doing the Tabata Interval. Why? It is challenging!! Clients use the interval timer called the gymboss which either beeps or vibrates keeping them alert to the 20-10 regime. The second appeal of the Tabata is the fact that I can tailor it to a class setting, like the one you are viewing in the pictures. I have been teaching aerobics for years now. With Tabata added to the list, I am now fondly called, the "Tabata Chief". Finally the tabata protocol, like any other training protocol, can be individualised. Let's say, for example, you wanted to improve your fitness for running. You can use sprinting for a couple of Tabata's per week or if you wanted lean gains, you can use the squat thruster exercise and so on. There is so much more that it can deliver and therefore I encourage you to do your own research on this protocol.
This article has been inspired by my clients. We hope to share with you our tailored Tabata Workout. Please look out for follow up article giving you more information on "How to Tabata"!!!
Comments and Question:
Next Week: S&L and Patrice close off
for 2013. Many thanks to Soca
entertainer, Patrice Roberts!!!
Patrice's Fit Tip and Fitness Trivia Corner
Cardio vs Strength: Should you do cardiovascular training or strength training for fat loss?
Both types of exercises decrease body fat. However aerobic exercise appears to have a greater impact on fat loss than strength training does. A combination of endurance and strength training results in more fat loss than either exercise programme alone.
Trivia: What is the longest nerve in the body?