What is it? From Wikipedia:
A popular regimen, based on a 1996 study by Professor Izumi Tabata (田畑 泉) et al initially involving Olympic speedskaters, uses 20 seconds of ultra-intense exercise (at an intensity of about 170% of VO2max) followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated continuously for 4 minutes (8 cycles). Tabata called this the IE1 protocol. In the original study, athletes using this method trained 4 times per week, plus another day of steady-state training, and obtained gains similar to a group of athletes who did steady state (70% VO2max) training 5 times per week. The steady state group had a higher VO2max at the end (from 52 to 57 ml/kg/min), but the Tabata group had started lower and gained more overall (from 48 to 55 ml/kg/min). Also, only the Tabata group had gained anaerobic capacity benefits.
I have had a lot of experience with this "miracle" from my various classes but I will admit that every time the instructor says the word I inwardly groan a little.
Tabata is HARD. There is no doubt about it. But it is very effective and fast. AND it is only as hard as you decide that it is going to be. You only have a few minutes for a workout? Great! 1 Tabata round only takes 4 minutes. That means that you can fit in FIVE of these rounds in a mere 20 minutes. And, believe me, that 20 minutes will feel like plenty.
This morning we did push-ups, split lunges, burpees, mountain climbers, jump spins and scissor kicks each in the full 8 round, 4 minutes each tabata fashion.
Would I personally choose to do it every day? No, not really. But it is a great way to mix up your workouts. And, better still, it is a no equipment required kind of workout. So why not pant and grunt and sweat and groan right from the privacy of your own bedroom? Give it a try and see if you like it!
Sample workout from Fitsugar.com:
QUESTION FOR MY DEAR READERS: Have you ever done a tabata workout? What is your favorite (love to hate) tabata combination?