Athletes of all event groups need strong core muscles. You also need to increase strength, improve flexibility and build muscle. In some cases, you may need to lose weight too. Whatever your goals are, exercise programs like circuit training, strength & conditioning and home training can help you reach them.
If you’re looking for a new program to add to your routine, you may want to give Tabata try. Tabata training is a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout, featuring exercises that last four minutes.
The History of Tabata
Tabata training was developed by Japanese scientist Dr. Izumi Tabata and a team of researchers from the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo.
Tabata and his team conducted research on two groups of athletes. The first group trained at a moderate intensity level while the second group trained at a high-intensity level. The moderate intensity group worked out five days a week for a total of six weeks; each workout lasted one hour. The high-intensity group worked out four days a week for six weeks; each workout lasted four minutes and 20 seconds (with 10 seconds of rest in between each set).
The results; Group 1 had increased their aerobic system (cardiovascular), but showed little or no results for their anaerobic system (muscle). Group 2 showed much more increase in their aerobic system than Group 1, and increased their anaerobic system by 28%.
In conclusion, high-intensity interval training had more impact on both the aerobic and anaerobic systems.
The Tabata Program
Each exercise in a given Tabata workout lasts only four minutes, but it’s a tough four minutes! The structure of the program is as follows:
- Workout hard for 20 seconds
- Rest for 10 seconds
- Complete 8 rounds
You push yourself as hard as you can for 20 seconds and rest for 10 seconds. This is one set. You’ll complete eight sets of each exercise.
You can do pretty much any exercise you wish. You can do squats, push-ups, burpees or any other exercise that works your large muscle groups. Kettlebell exercises work great, too.
An example of a Tabata workout looks like this:
- Push-ups (4 minutes)
- Bodyweight Squats (4 minutes)
- Burpees (4 minutes)
- Mountain Climbers (4 minutes)
This means you start with push-ups, performing them at a high-intensity for 20 seconds then resting for 10. You repeat this until you complete eight sets. Then rest one minute.
Next, move on to squats and repeat the sequence of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off. Once you finish eight sets of squats, rest for one minute, and then do burpees. After burpees, finish the workout with mountain climbers.
Tabata is great to get a quick workout in if you’re short on time, you need to switch up your routine, or you want improve endurance and speed.
There are loads of Spotify playlists with Tabata remixes of popular songs. These are great because they’ll do all the counting for you.