Posted by FLATOUT JIM in Training
TABATA Training, THE ABSOLUTE LATEST and GREATEST. I thought HIT was the latest training BUZZ word, but While researching interval training, I stumbled on TABATA.
I first came on it from Nikemom at Adventure seeker.com. Then when I started to dig a little I found more and more information.
What is it?
This is like High Interval Training on steroids. And from what I have been able to find out, it’s not a fly by night phenomenon. This is totally legit. This is not Tai Bo, or Bow Flex. It is a high intensity interval training session developed for fit high performance athletes.
The program was named after Dr. Izumi Tabata, and The Globe and Mail has reported that it was developed for the Japanese Speedskating Team. This Health Habit.ca article includes links to 7 research articles on this type of training, 3 from MacMaster University.
The protocol is simple. A 4 minute workout done as 20 seconds high intensity, 10 seconds rest, 8 times for a total of 4 minutes. There seems to be no limit on the exercise used, and I have a short list below. it just has to be ulta ultra high intensity. In fact, the descriptions I have read describe HARD AS YOU CAN GO for 20 seconds.
To aid in timing the intervals there is even a TABATA timing APP for your ipod touch, or iphone. How serious is that.
The web seems to be full of web sites, blogs and online articles about Tabata. It seems like most articles seem to pitch this as the answer for time crunched dieters. “Not enough time to workout, this 4 minute routine might be the answer” How many articles have I read that started out like that.
Again, this is high intensity stuff, and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Dragging your ass off the couch and into the basement with a stopwatch, and diving right into the first 20 second set is only inviting trouble. To be done properly, a very thorough warmup needs to be done to be sure the blood is pumping, and the muscles are warm.
I read one time that the shorter and more intense the effort, the longer the warmup. That’s why marathoners will do about 10 to 15 minutes low intensity jogging with a few sets of strides, while sprinters preparing for the 100 metres at a track meet will warm up for almost an hour or more. Based ion this, I see at least a 10 to 20 minute warm up with lots of movement, and a few decent efforts to get the body going, and another 5 to 10 minute cool down after, or your body will seize up. Now that 4 minutes looks more like a 30 minute complete session.
Bicep curls, or crunches won’t get the job done. To get the full effect, you need compound multi muscle exercises like burpees, or thrusters (See Video At Top) My wife did a session yesterday where she did a thruster with a bicep curl during the squat phase. The session can be done with 1 exercise for all 8 intervals, or a combination of several.
Here are 10 ideas.
1. Front squats. With or without weights.
2. Thrusters - Squat and shoulder Press, as seen in the video at top. Add a bicep curl.
3. Sit up Vee up. This from P90X Ab Ripper X
4. Burpees. Quick is the key.
5. Squat Thrust. Best done on hardwood with a towel under the toes. Again FAST
6. Pushups. 10 in 20 seconds won’t do it. FAST
7. Mason Twists. With a small weight or medicine ball.
8. Pull Ups. As with push ups, FAST is key.
9. Mary Katherine Lunges. Another P90X favorite.
10. Plank Running.
I can see serious benefits for triathletes. This works extremely well on the track for running speed sessions or on the trainer sessions for cycling.
This would also work well in the pool. At our last masters workout, we did 4 x 50 for time, I was just under 40 seconds on each. That means I should be close to 20 seconds for 25m. So after a 10 to 15 minute warm up, and maybe a 10 minute easy form and/or drill set, The Tabata would be done as 8 x 25 on 30 second intervals. So if I could complete the 25 in 20 seconds, I get 10 rest.
This protocol differs from typical interval sessions where the rest period is quite long, and that’s what makes it different. Here is a list of my GOOD and BAD.
Relatively Quick, 4 minutes for the interval set.
Burns fat like crazy. No low intensity fat burning zone here.
Stimulates Aerobic as well as Anerobic improvements.
Easy to get lazy. The exercises have to be hard. 20 seconds of picking your nose won’t do it.
Easy to get injured. A thorough warmup is a must
Misleading Time Duration. With a proper warmup and cool down, this session should be more like 20 to 30 minutes.
HARD. Done right, these should be hard. Remember they were designed for high performance athletes. The 20 second intervals should feel like 20 minutes. The 10 second rest should feel like 2 seconds.
An article in The Globe and Mail on Tabata
Here is another article that explains the protocol, and includes a video of a Kettle exercise
And more ideas and pictures here at TMuscle
Nikemom at Adventure seeker.com