Generally I love to put my clients through a tabata on Tuesdays but I figured why not on Thursdays. Tabata Thursdays does not have quite the same ring to it as tabata Tuesdays but regardless of the day, tabata’s are an extremely effective way to train. For those of you who are not familiar with tabata, tabata is a training protocol invented by a Japanese coach who was comparing the results between moderate intensity interval training and high intensity interval training. He concluded that the high intensity level improved his subjects aerobic system as well as their anaerobic systems and hence the tabata was born. A tabata is 20 seconds of hard, high intense work followed by 10 seconds of rest for a cycle of 8 rounds. The goal is to go as hard as you can for the 20 seconds and rest for the 10 with the possibility of maybe not being able to finish the whole 8 rounds.
Now there are several different options you can use when you are performing a tabata. You can do a 1 exercise tabata to where you do the whole tabata 8 times through with one exercise like jump rope, sprinting, push ups, squats etc… This one can be very painful and very exhausting, which is good because that is usually what we are after. Then there is a 2 exercise tabata in which you you perform 2 exercises in an alternating fashion such as: push ups and squats, TRX rows and ball slams, jump rope and kettlebell swings. You end up doing only each exercise 4 times as opposed to 8. From there, you can do 3, 4 and 8 exercise tabata’s depending on what you are feeling and what your mood is. A great aspect of tabata training is you can either make it a more cardio based, more strength based or a combination of both. You are only limited by your creativity here. Pretty much any exercise can be included in a tabata but remember we are looking for high intensity, high heart rate type exercises.
Tabata is a fantastic way to add some spice, spunk and intensity to your workouts. It is a great way to create a metabolic disturbance in your body, get your heart rate up high, burn body fat and lose weight. Sounds like a win win to me. Here is a video of a crossfit member showing us an 8 exercise tabata. If you are interested in getting a tabata app, pretty much all smart phones have a free one you can install. Also I just found out itunes now has tabata songs you can download as well just like the song in this video. Good luck to you and remember to train hard and train smart.