Tabata Training: what it is, what it is for and how to get started
If fatigue does not scare you and you are looking for a quick and effective workout, perhaps you should consider Tabata Training . Effective for what? To lose weight, for example, but also to increase strength and muscle mass.
What is Tabata Training?
The Tabata Training (also known as Guerrilla Cardio ) is in fact a short but very intense type of training, able to improve the aerobic and anaerobic condition in a very short time.
In practice, it is nothing more than an interval training lasting a few minutes (usually 4) in which 20 seconds alternate with maximum physical capacity (very close to 95% of the maximum heart rate and well above 100% of the vo2max ) and 10 seconds of active recovery , ie in a moderate activity regime (about 60% of FCMax).
The birth of Tabata training
Tabata training is named after Dr. Izumi Tabata who, in 1996 , together with his team from the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo wanted to experiment and compare two different training protocols with the goal of improving anaerobic conditioning and aerobic of the athlete.
They compared a constant aerobic activity of 60 minutes and a brief but intense workout, with a total duration of 4 minutes which included 20 seconds of super-maximal intensity, 170% of VO2Max, interspersed with 10 seconds of recovery, to catch one’s breath and dispose of part of the accumulated lactic acid.
The athletes who used the first training protocol obtained a significant increase in VO2max but few benefits on anaerobic capacity. The athletes who followed the Tabata training obtained an increase in both VO2max and 28% of anaerobic capacity .
These studies showed that maximal intensity activity was able to improve aerobic capacity to a greater extent than aerobic activity itself: just the opposite of what had always been thought.
How to face a session of Tabata Training and basic training
The advantage of the Tabata training is that it can be done independently and always varying the exercise (even within the same session) to make training less boring. The important thing, when deciding to face a session of Tabata Training, is to be willing to “not spare” and perform the 20 “work always at the maximum of your possibilities.
It is equally important to arrive prepared at the time of training. Our body must be able to withstand the effort and must therefore have the necessary energy to complete it in the best way. Here are some tips on what to eat before going to the gym and post workout.
Have you made up your mind now? well. You are daredevils! So let’s see what you need to face a Tabata Training . First of all, choose any free exercise (Air Squat, Burpees, PushUp) or with tools (a MedBall , a Kettlebell or a rope, for example).
Perform the most reps for 20 ″.
Recover 10 “.
Repeat the sequence 8 times (more if you want to go over 4 minutes)
Easy, isn’t it? In itself the sequence of repetitions and recovery is not complicated, at least from the point of view of the sporting gesture. What is the difficulty then? fatigue, due to a prolonged effort
Tabata Training exercises: what they are and how to structure the training
The exercises of Tabata Training are workouts particularly indicated for those who want to obtain visible results in a short time, be it weight loss or muscle definition.
The Tabata Training is a very useful workout to quickly burn many calories and consists in alternating 20 ‘‘ of intense exercise with 10 ” of recovery . The blocks are to be repeated for a total of about 4 minutes of training, for shorter sessions, but more repetitions can be envisaged so as to increase the duration of the workout.
An important premise: the exercises of Tabata Training subject the cardiovascular system to efforts of considerable intensity, and on the other hand this is what makes them so effective. For the same reason, special care must be taken before approaching this type of exercise. Do it only if you are fit, if you are already sporting, if your doctor has given you the go ahead and if you do not have any particular cardiovascular problems .
If you approach these exercises for the first time, proceed gradually. Start with a minimum number of repetitions and with exercises that are not too intense (we will propose some of them below, choose those that are easier for you) and then gradually increase the intensity and quantity.
Another fundamental aspect in order not to “burst” is to follow a diet suitable to withstand the effort. Follow advice on what to eat before the gym and after training . Commit yourself to the maximum, to obtain benefits, but without forgetting that your ultimate goal is your well-being .
What it takes to do a Tabata workout
The beauty of a Tabata workout is that you can perform it almost anywhere, at home or outdoors , perhaps in the garden or in a park if the season allows it (it will surely be more fun) and, as a rule, without the need for tools. As you become more experienced – and you’ll enjoy it – you can start using a kettlebell , a fitball or dumbbells , to increase the load on the exercise or simply to vary the workout. Equip yourself with a mat , it could be useful for the Tabata exercises on the ground.
You can choose a classic Tabata sequence, choosing an exercise and repeating it 20 “for 8 times alternating 20” recovery. Or you can set up a small circuit , inserting a sequence of more exercises, to be repeated 8 times, alternating 20 ” of intense effort with the exercise and 10 ” of recovery.
Keep in mind that when running a Total Body circuit with Tabata Training exercises, you need to alternate exercises for the upper body (arms, shoulders, back, back, chest, etc.) and others for the lower part (quadriceps, hamstrings, adductors , buttocks) and integrating works of strength and strengthening to aerobic or resistance works, to stimulate both the muscles and the cardiovascular system.
What else do you need? Twenty minutes of time throughout the day.
Feasible, isn’t it?
How to structure a Tabata Training session and the exercises to be included
Before starting with the Tabata Training exercises always do a little warm-up : a light run on the spot, a brisk walk if possible, a few minutes of jumping. Enough, in short, to reactivate the cardiovascular system and the muscular system in a soft way, perhaps after a day of work sitting at the computer.
Once you have warmed up you can start with the exercises. The goal is to stimulate all the muscle groups , those of the upper body, but also those of the lower part, alternating the exercises with aerobic work.
Imagine a drawer, with “the tools of the trade” inside that are your exercises. Catch yourself a series that can meet this need. Here are the exercises for the Tabata Training that you can “put in the drawer” :
push-ups and push-ups
the jumping jacks
the race with high knees
slam with the medicine ball or kettelball
abdominal crunch – on the ground or on the fitball
bicep curls with dumbbells
dip for triceps
lunge with alternating legs
plank – in all its variants
These are just some of the Tabata exercises you can choose from. Online you will easily find many tutorials, which will explain you step by step which exercises to do and how to perform them. In fact, it is fundamental to take care of the movement , especially when performing high-intensity work , making sure that it is correct and therefore that it cannot cause trauma to muscles or joints, and even breathing. Do some repetition in less, maybe, but do the exercises correctly . It is essential for them to be effective and also to train safely.
Don’t forget to end each Tabata Training session with some stretching exercises . You will need it to catch your breath, dissolve the muscles subjected to an intense and concentrated effort and, therefore, reduce the risk of injuries and traumas.
Example of a training session
1.Start with a small heating, 5-10 minutes; you can do a light run on the spot or some skip (like jumping jacks) to start warming up your arms and legs.
2.20 ” of push-ups at the fastest pace you can hold – 10 ‘of rest
3.20 ” run with high knees – 10 ” of rest
4.20 ” of lunges with alternating legs – 10 ” of rest
5.20 “side risers with dumbbells – 10” rest
6.20 ‘plank – 10’ ‘of rest
7.20 ” burpees – 10 ” of rest
8.20 ” squat – 10 ” of rest
9.Repeat 8 times from step 2
Of course this is just an example, you don’t necessarily have to do them all. Especially if you are a beginner, start with the number of exercises you feel you are facing and do not hesitate to stop repetitions if you realize you have gone beyond your possibilities.
Graduality is the watchword: start with the simplest and most affordable exercises for your physical form and gradually increase. It’s the best way to get results.
How to make the exercises of Tabata Training less tiring
No, okay. Perhaps as a title it is a little misleading. We can’t guarantee that you won’t struggle, but we can give you a couple of useful tips to help you get the most out of your workout and maybe make Tabata exercises more fun.
First of all, you have to equip yourself with some good exercise music,the fitness smartwatch with cardio pulse detection ,very useful for monitoring the effort during your Tabata exercises. We advise you to download the Tabata app.Once installed it will be much easier to manage repetitions and recoveries.
Second tip: like in the race, so even when performing Tabata Training exercises, music can help . It will give you the charge, help you mark the rhythm of the repetitions, divert your attention from fatigue and make your training less monotonous.