I went on a course involving Tabata training a few years back in London. To this day it is still the best form of training in my opinion, it produces rapid gains in fitness in a matter of weeks and combined with the right nutrition regime, it brings about wonderous results in body shape- FAST!
Tabata interval training is the single most effective type of high intensity interval training, its also the most intense by far, and surprisingly its the shortest in duration, it only last for four minutes… but those four minutes produce remarkable effects.
Lose Fat, Get Fit in FOUR minutes!
Tabata training was discovered by Dr. Izumi Tabata and a team of researchers from the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo.
Dr. Tabata found that this kind of interval training produces much better results than aerobic training. This included building as much muscular endurance as forty five minutes of normal cardio training. In fact in the study the subjects increased their anaerobic capacity by over a quarter as well a substantial change in their aerobic fitness. Something to keep in mind was that the the subjects were as fit as race horses before they started the trial, so the improvements were remarkable.
This makes it a very versatile program, you can use tabata for weight loss as well most improving performance in most aerobic and anaerobic sport.
The Tabata Workout
The full Tabata program is four minutes long, it will probably feel like the longest four minutes of your life.
If you are going to try it I would highly recommend going light with the weights until you find your range, theres a good chance you will underestimate this workout and be begging people around you to help you off the floor!
Tabata intervals follow this structure:
- Push hard for 20 seconds
- Rest for 10 seconds.
- Repeat this eight times.
The secret to making this effective is in your sprint interval. You have to go all out, so do as many reps as you can in the 20 seconds, put it down for 10, then pick it up again and go hell for leather for another 20 seconds.
I will now provide 2 examples for how this type of training can be carried out in a gym and outside & on a beach promenade!
10 min jog to warm up gradually increasing speed (don’t use too much energy in warm up)
Sprint flat out from one lampost to the next : Walk to next lampost (maybe 2 lamposts if you are new to interval training)
Repeat the Sprint : Walk format as many times as you can (8 times is what you are working towards) Remember the sprint phases should be FLAT OUT!
Next- Do as many Press ups to failure (box press ups on the kness, bottom down for those who cannot do full press ups)
Now do as many Jump Squats to failure (Hold squat position and explode as high as you can into the air)
Now do as many Tricep Dips on a nearby bench to failure OR Chin ups or underhanging on a railing for easier option.)
You have now completed round 1
Round 2 will be the exact same again (8 sprints and then the exercises to failure!)
Work towards doing this 4 rounds!
Walk for 5 min cooldown and then thoroughly stretch
10 min warm up on x-trainer
Choose X-trainer/rower/treadmill (Treadmill most effective)
Treadmill for this example-
Ok…. Begin with 20 secs sprint : 10 secs (jump off onto the sides of treadmill) Test this at a lower speed to gain confidence jumping on and off.
Repeat this 8 times! Takes approx 4 mins
Now do an upper body exercise to failure ie. Press ups
Lower body exercise to failure ie. Jump squats (when you can’t do anymore do pulsing static squats)
Upper body exercise to failure again ie. Bentover Rows (youtube the correct form)
Now… back on treadmill and repeat round 2
You are aiming to complete 4 rounds of the whole sequence. Should take you approx 30mins but equivalent to 1 hour to 1.5 hour steady paced jog!!
5 min cooldown and thoroughly stretch!
Repeat this twice a week and within weeks you will see a massive difference in fitness, shortly followed by change in body shape as long as your calories are controlled.
You won’t be able to repeat 4 rounds of the whole sequence at first so aim to do 2 rounds the first few weeks. You may also need to play around with the sprint and rest period times ie. 20secs sprint : 20 secs rest etc.
Enjoy! Any questions get in touch.