Exercise for the Health of It. Is TABATA TRAINING for you?

29 Jan

There are all kinds of exercise routines from which active people can choose, and the choice depends on what you want to accomplish. For example, some exercise routines are specifically designed to help you lose body fat by improving aerobic energy systems, and yet another may help you to gain muscle mass or power output by improving anaerobic systems. But for those of you who have no health problems or physical limitations that would limit exercise performance, and who want to improve both aerobic and anaerobic energy systems, the Tabata exercise routine may be for you.

Named after the Japanese researcher who published his findings in 1996[1], Tabata is a type of interval training comprised of a combination of high-intensity bouts of exercise and alternating rest periods. Its benefits were demonstrated by Tabata’s research team who compared the training results of two groups of individuals put on two different exercise regimens. One group was placed on a typical endurance exercise program that comprised of submaximal intensity cycling on a leg ergometer for 30 minutes per day, five days per week. The other group was placed on an intermittent high intensity exercise routine that comprised of eight sets of maximal intensity cycling for 20 seconds with 10 seconds rest, five days per week. Each group underwent pre- and post- VO2 max and anaerobic capacity tests. Results of the study indicated the endurance training group improved their aerobic capacity (e.g., VO2max) as expected, but not their anaerobic capacity, and the high-intensity training group demonstrated improvements in both aerobic capacity and anaerobic capacity.

The Tabata research protocol used a leg cycle ergometer, but you can use any form or mode of exercise in your Tabata routine. Simply use the Tabata protocol of 20 seconds maximal intensity exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest (totaling 240 seconds or four minutes) , repeating seven more times with no lapse between sets. Because timing is so important, you will need a stopwatch or a clock with a second-hand. The number of reps in each set is not stipulated, but be sure to do them in good form, slowing down if you start to get sloppy. Never sacrifice form for speed or number of reps.

Each four-minute cycle is called a Tabata, and beginners may want to start out with one Tabata per exercise session. For the more adventurous, highly trained, and athletically inclined, you may add Tabatas to your exercise routine. For example, a Tabata session may include one Tabata of leg cycling plus a Tabata of jumping jacks with no lapse between Tabatas. A Tabata circuit can be created by adding other modes of exercise.

Here is a sample Tabata circuit that could be used:


Exercise at maximal intensity 20 seconds Rest 10 seconds >>Repeat 7 times for a total of 8 sets >>Go directly to next exercise mode.

Exercise #2 Stair Climbing

Exercise at maximal intensity 20 seconds Rest 10 seconds >>Repeat 7 times for a total of 8 sets >> Go directly to next exercise mode.

Exercise #3 Jumping Jacks

Exercise at maximal intensity 20 seconds Rest 10 seconds >> Repeat 7 times for a total of 8 sets  >> Go directly to next exercise mode.

Exercise #4 Stationary Cycling

Exercise at maximal intensity 20 seconds Rest 10 seconds >> Repeat 7 times for a total of 8 sets >> Go directly to next exercise mode.

Exercise #5 Pull-ups

Exercise at maximal intensity 20 seconds Rest 10 seconds >> Repeat 7 times for a total of 8 sets >> Go directly to next exercise mode.

Exercise #6 Abdominal Crunches

Exercise at maximal intensity 20 seconds Rest 10 seconds >> Repeat 7 times for a total of 8 sets >> Go directly to next exercise mode.

Exercise #7 Rowing

Exercise at maximal intensity 20 seconds Rest 10 seconds >>Repeat 7 times for a total of 8 sets >> Go directly to next exercise mode.

Exercise #8 Push-ups

Exercise at maximal intensity 20 seconds Rest 10 seconds >> Repeat 7 times for a total of 8 sets >> Go directly to next exercise mode.

Benefits of Tabata: These short, intense workouts have not only been shown to improve aerobic and anaerobic conditioning, but also provide improved glucose metabolism and increased fat burning

 

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