Thursday, 22 December 2011

Tabata Training

In recent weeks I noticed a few people on Twitter (mostly @adolfcoors) talking about tabata training and the benefits of it. 

It is essentially interval training, but has a certain breakdown. It was reserached by Izumi Tabata  (pictured right) in Japan.  There is loads of information on the net about it.

The concept is based on 20second bursts of all out effort, followed by 10seconds of rest.  This is repeated 8 times for a 4 minute routine.

The 20 second bursts should be at max effort.  If it is cycling, your 20 seconds should be your best impression of Mark Cavenish heading for the line in Paris.  The 10 seconds of rest seems like just a blink.

It is an intense workout and if you are beginning a new year fitness drive, I would advise you to work your way gradually up towards this level of intensiy.  Once you are there, it will be your new secret to fitness for 2012.  No more excuses of not having time to train!

The routine can be done with various different exercises, front squats, burpees, rowing, cycling.  The list is endless, as it is all about the intensity during those 20seconds. 

Two tabatas can be coupled together, with a 1 minute interval for a quick intense workout. 

For more variation, you could probably mix it up, 2mins of burpees followed by 2 mins on the punchbag.

So looking for something different for my next fitness programme, I decided to give it a go and have being doing it on a regular basis.  The other evening in the gym after my usual routine, I did a box jumps tabata, which left me totally exhausted. 

Also a few mornings each week before work, I do a tabata on the rower, followed by one on the spin bike. A great way to start the day.  It is a great fat burner and the limited time it takes is a huge advantage.  @jcmcloskey who trains with me, says it raises the metabolism for 31hours after one of the sessions, interesting point.

@emcnprofitness has suggested the following one for me to tackle next.  It will be a good way of burning off the turkey and the festive cheer. It has a slight variation, in that it is done by reps and not time. But as long as the rest times (10secs) are consisent and you are giving max intensity, it should do the trick.

35-40kg on the bar - FRONT Squat as close to floor as possible - No Half Squats
  • Set 1 - 9 Reps - 10 Sec Rest
  • Set 2 - 8 Reps - 10 Sec Rest
  • Set 3 - 8 Reps - 10 Sec Rest
  • Set 4 - 7 Reps - 10 Sec Rest
  • Set 5 - 7 Reps - 10 Sec Rest
  • Set 6 - 7 Reps - 10 Sec Rest
  • Set 7 - 7 Reps - 10 Sec Rest
  • Set 8 - 7 Reps - 10 Sec Rest
He also to me to keep a zimmer frame handy when its over!

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