Tabata Training

Tabata training has grown in popularity as of late.  It always amazes me to see the length of time that it takes for something to be tested in the lab and published until the time it appears in the mainstream as the “latest and greatest” training tool.  Tabata training is actually named after a researcher, Izumi Tabata.  Mr. Tabata states that his research stemmed from a request from a speed skating coach, Mr. Irisawa Koichi.  The coach had him analyze the effectiveness of his training regimen that he was using.  The protocol involved a rotation of short burst of maximum effort followed by short periods of rest.

So what is Tabata Training?
It involves 20 second bursts of maximum intensity activity followed by 10 seconds of rest – performed 8 times in a row – that ultimately takes 4 minutes to complete.  Seems simple, right?  Simple, yet exhausting – literally.  It would also require a full warm-up and cool-down period.

Does it work?
So far, most of the research is saying that this appears to be a protocol that may be of use for improved performance.  It is gaining popularity among athletes and has been cited in dozens of other research that has been performed since Tabata’s original article.

Who should be using Tabata Training?
This is not something that is meant for weight loss and calorie burn.  Nor is meant for the general population who may not be well conditioned.  This type of training is meant for a very specific result:  improved performance, therefore those people who are looking to improve their performance (time, speed, etc.) this is something you may want to consider and do some research on.

Because this protocol includes maximum, all-out effort, it should only be used with well-trained individuals who either wear a heart rate monitor or are very well in tune with their perceived exertion.  It also requires an appropriate warm-up and cool-down period.  For those who may not be ready for this, high intensity intervals may be the way to segway into this type of workout plan.  This protocol also should not be performed more than 1-2 times per week at most.

Are you using Tabata Training personally, or with clients?  If so, I want to hear about it!

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