Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tabata Training - An Intense, Quick and Effective Way to Workout

I'm always looking for ways to decrease my gym time, without sacrificing my workout quality. I love the feeling of a challenging workout, when I'm dripping sweat and really give it my all, but I don't have the time or desire to spend hours at the gym on a daily basis. So, when I heard about a way to workout that was quick, intense and effective, I was definitely interested in learning more. Tabata training is high intensity interval training developed by Japanese researcher, Dr. Izumi Tabata. Each Tabata consists of 20 seconds of high intensity exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest. This is repeated for eight rounds, totaling four minutes time. You can then rest for a few minutes and start another four minute cycle with another exercise.
Tabatas are great for both fat loss and muscle conditioning and also offer flexibility and variety to workouts. You can use either two different exercises performed four times each or four different exercises performed two times each or eight different exercises each performed once. You can also do one exercise for the entire four minute Tabata cycle, but if fatigue sets in and you begin to slow down you can switch to a different exercise to help maintain the same high level intensity in each round.
I have been incorporating Tabata training into my workouts for a few weeks now and I really love them because they are intense and depending on how much time I have, I can decide how many four minute cycles I want to perform. To give you an idea of what I have been doing, here is one sample workout. I start with a two minute warm-up on a stationary bike on the lowest level. I then bump up the level one notch and start my Tabata cycle. Using the digital clock on the bike, I go all out for 20 seconds and then slow down or stop for 10 seconds. I continue this "20 seconds on/10 seconds" off for a total of four minutes and then rest for two minutes. Then I may do a bicep/tricep cycle, 20 seconds of bicep curls with a challenging weight and then rest for 10 seconds. Grab the dumbells again and do tricep kickbacks for 20 seconds and rest for 10, alternating these two exercises for four minutes and then rest for two minutes. Then I'll switch to a shoulder and back cycle for four minutes and then do a two minute rest. I'll finish with an abdominal/chest cycle, doing full crunches and pushups for four minutes and then I'm done. I stretch out for a few minutes and then go about my day with an extra burst of energy and the great feeling that I got in an awesome workout and only spent about 30 minutes, which included warm-up, rest time and some stretching. I can do this workout at home, at the gym or even outside on the beach with my kids doing sprints- the only extra piece of equipment that you really need is a second hand on a clock or watch to time your intervals and you are good to go. Give Tabata training a try and combined with a sound nutrition program you should be on your way to feeling and looking great!


Anonymous said...

This Tabata training looks very interesting.....everything I am looking for. Shorter gym time, challenging exercises, increased matabolism, loss of weight and increase in energy. I will check back in a couple of weeks to give an update.

Mike P.

Dee Merritt, N.C. (Nutritional Merritt) said...

Mike - Would definitely love to have an update from you on how the Tabata training works out for you - thanks!

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