The Tabata workout system is a version of the High Intensity Interval Training program developed by Professor Izumi Tabata as training for Olympic speedskaters in 1996.
The results studies conducted on the training program confirm that even a four minute cardiovascular exercise routine improves a person’s level of fitness.
Through the professional athlete community, the Tabata workout soon became known as “The 4-Minute Miracle” and it opened a whole new world of how professional athletes exercised and kept in shape which is perfect for the busy holiday period.
HOW DOES TABATA WORK?
Tabata engages your body’s aerobic and anaerobic systems to do the job. For those of you who don’t know the difference between aerobic and anaerobic, here is a brief explanation of the two:
AEROBIC: This is the type of exercise you’re most familiar with for a cardio workout. Aerobic exercises use your cardio respiratory system, i.e., heart, lungs and blood vessels.
Aerobic actually translates to “with oxygen” and uses the oxygen for fat and carb burning to produce energy. In an aerobic exercise, you use arms and legs in repetitive movements.
ANAEROBIC: These exercises target the muscles in your body. Training anaerobically means training without oxygen. Anaerobic exercise is defined as short duration, high intensity exercise which are very short in duration - seconds to 2 minutes.
When using the Tabata method, you’re working out intensely for short bursts and then recovering for a short amount of time as we covered above.
INTENSITY LEVELS OF TABATA TRAINING:
You should have a good idea about your level of fitness before you engage in Tabata exercise. Even though the workouts are short in duration, they’ll tax you to your limits, so you should already have a decent level of cardiovascular fitness before you try it.
Four minutes doesn’t sound like a long amount of time, but if you’re not in shape, your heart rate will soon be getting elevated through the roof.
So to gauge your level, below are explanations of the 3 different fitness levels and respective levels of HIIT.
Here’s how Tabata training works at all three levels:
BEGINNER: Choose any exercise you’re comfortable with. Many people choose a treadmill.
You’ll want a timer so that you don’t always have to look at the clock.
Perform the Tabata workout on a ration of 1:3 (for example 20 seconds of intense sprinting to 60 seconds of walking.)
INTERMEDIATE: If you’ve been going to the gym and are in good shape, you can move into the intermediate level of Tabata training which means that you may be able to maintain a 2:3 or 2:2 ratio.
Don’t be surprised if it’s too difficult and you have to decrease the intensity to a beginner level. Tabata is tough at first, but you can work your way up to intermediate by keeping at it.
ADVANCED: (Athlete) Professional athletes or those who are in top shape may be able to begin Tabata at its original level developed for Olympian speed skaters.
This level of interval training is extremely difficult to perform and you may have to decrease the intensity if you find that it’s just too much.
A typical Tabata protocol for a BEGINNER would look like the following timetable if you were working out on a treadmill:
* Warm up to prevent injury by walking briskly for 2 minutes.
* Run at a sprint as hard as you can for 10 seconds.
* Walk to recover for 30 seconds.
* Sprint with intensity for another 20 seconds.
* Recover for 60 seconds.
* Repeat 8 times.
* Cool down.
And here is an ADVANCED variation of the tabata workout using 4 bodyweight exercises:
* Jumping Jacks
* High knees
* Push ups
You’ll start by doing jumping jacks as fast as you can for 20 seconds. Then you’ll rest for 10 seconds.
Then you’ll move on to high knees for 20 seconds and rest for 10 seconds. Continue on with squats and push ups in the same manner.
After you’ve gone through all four exercises you’ll repeat the cycle one more time.
Following the 4 minutes of HIIT you’ll need to cool down. You can walk or jog anywhere from 5-10 minutes. In Tabata research studies, the cool down was performed for the entire 10 minutes.
You’ll also need to stretch, paying attention to the specific muscles you worked throughout the 4 minute session.
So all up a full workout with warm up and cool down done in 20 minutes!
So if this sounds like the training for you, come back at 9am tomorrow for a Full Example Day Of Holiday Exercise Routine!