TABATA TRAINING 101
What Can Tabata Training Do For You?
Aside from burning off pounds and pounds of excess body-fat, Tabata Training can help you:
- Improve your cardiovascular function (aerobic endurance)
- Improve your anaerobic endurance
- Improve your muscular endurance
- Make you strong and fit and look fantastic
How’s that for a fitness training method?
The Science Behind Tabata
The basis for all of the excitement surrounding Tabata Training comes from the good doctor’s 1996 research study published in the journal – Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise
In that study, Dr. Tabata concluded that high-intensity intermittent training (HIIT) was a much more effective and efficient training method than tradional cardio training.
Not only was Tabata Training more effective at improving anaerobic endurance, it was also more effective at improving aerobic or cardio-vascular endurance.
And Why is Tabata Training so Effective?
Dr. Tabata believed that the reason behind the success of his training protocol was:
The good doctor believed that exercising at a high level of intensity for a short period of time was more effective than exercising at a low intensity for a long duration.
And he wasn’t alone.
Ever since Dr. Tabata released the scientific genie from the bottle in 1996, other researchers have built upon his work. Here are just a sample of the available research:
- McMaster University study – 2005
- Another McMaster study – 2006
- And another one – 2008
- A 2007 study showing HIIT is effective at fat loss
- An Aussie study from 2004
- HIIT training and Growth Hormone response
- HIIT training increases capacity for glucose and fatty acid oxidation
And there is lots more where this came from.
I just did a quick PubMed search and came up with 1110 studies related to Tabata’s work.
So, What is Tabata Training Anyway?
Dr. Tabata’s training method is a very specific version of High Intensity Interval (or Intermittent) Training.
In his 1996 study, Dr. Tabata had seven subjects perform:
- An intermittent training exercise 5 days a week for 6 weeks
- Each individual training session consisted of seven to eight sets of a single exercise
- Each set was performed at the high intensityof about 170% of ˙VO2max.
- Each set was timed to last for 20 seconds
- Each period of rest between sets was timed to last for 10 seconds
- This means that each Tabata Workout lasted for only 4 minutes.
- 4 minutes of Tabata Training x 5 days a week x 6 weeks = 120 minutes or 2 hours of exercise over 6 weeks
- In comparison, Tabata’s cardio-vascular group performed 30 hours of cardio training over the course of the experiment (60 min workouts x 5 days per week x 6 weeks)
And still, the Tabata workouts were more effective than the cardio-vascular workouts.
HOW DO I DESIGN MY OWN BEGINNER TABATA CIRCUIT?
The simplest way to do this without the technical mumbo jumbo…Pick 3 different workouts you can complete high numbers of repetitions in. Each workout is completed for a total of 4 minutes with 20 second intervals of activity and 10 second intervals of rest.