Have you Tabata’d?
Today, my trainer, Super Karen, had me do Tabata Training for the first time. I actually liked it! It was fun, challenging and the hour went super fast. Besides light weight dumbbells, no other equipment is required which makes it perfect for working out at home and while traveling. It was so basic my 3 year old even did all the intervals with us!
What is Tabata training?
Developed in Japan by Izumi Tabata, “Tabata” is a type of workout program that utilizes high intensity interval training. Izumi and his fellow scientists decided to conduct a study to compare moderate intensity training with high intensity training.
He conducted the tests on 2 groups of athletes; 1 of the groups used the moderate intensity interval training and the other using high intensity interval training.
In group one; the athletes were training in moderate intensity workouts (70% intensity) for five days a week for a total of six weeks with each training session lasting an hour.
Group two trained with high intensity workouts for 4 days a week for a total of 6 weeks with each session lasting 4 minutes, at 20 seconds of intense training (170% intensity) and 10 seconds of rest.
The results of the tests?
Group 1 had a significant increase in the aerobic system (cardiovascular system). However, the anaerobic system (muscles) gained little or no results at all.
Group 2 showed much improvement in all their athletes. Their aerobic systems increased much more than group ones, and their anaerobic systems increased by 28%.
So what does this mean…?
Basically, high intensity interval training have more of an impact on the aerobic systems; it had an impact on the anaerobic systems as well. Therefore, Anaerobic exercise combined with aerobic workouts create a longer post-workout calorie burn than other types of workouts, making them an even better way to burn calories.
Sounds great right? Well…there is a lot of info out there claiming that the “4 minute” Tabata sessions is all that’s required. Come on people, there is no 4 minute workout miracle for optimum health and fitness. The truth is, that may provide some benefit but extending the workout into 30 to 45 minute sessions will give you a more complete workout with quicker results. Honestly, the 45 minutes went by really quickly.
Here are examples of a session:
For more info and videos check out
In good health,
As always, consult your physician or healthcare provider before beginning any exercise or weight-loss program. Tabata is not for people with high blood pressure or for those at risk of a heart attack or stroke.