Thursday, October 27, 2016

The FOUR minute workout...TABATA!

Who wants to work out for only 4 minutes but get the benefits of a 60 minute workout? I bet everyone just yelled “ME!”... or at least silently thought it. We are all busy people, so this type of workout is perfect for people on the go or those who want to take their conditioning and body to the next level. Interval training has been thought of for years as the most efficient way to burn fat and increase cardiovascular fitness. Recently, a specific form of interval training has received much deserved attention: Tabata.

The Tabata protocol was named for Dr. Izumi Tabata who studied the routine which was  developed for the Olympic Japanese speed skating team.  Dr. Tabata and his team found that those subjects who engaged in just 4 minutes of the protocol improved their maximum aerobic capacity by 14% and their anaerobic capacity by 28% whereas those who did “traditional” exercise (running at 70% aerobic capacity for a total of 60 minutes) only improved their aerobic capacity by 9.5% and had NO improvement in anaerobic capacity. Click here  to view the abstract of the study published in the journal “Medicine and Science in Sports & Exercise.”
 Hum…now which would you rather do…4 minutes or 60 minutes…hum…
Okay, so here’s the deal. A Tabata interval is made up of 20 seconds maximum effort followed by 10 seconds of rest repeated for a total of 4 minutes (or 8 cycles of 20 seconds work and 10 seconds rest). You can do Tabata intervals anywhere with most any equipment (or none at all) to add some spice to your workouts or as your total workout on busy days when you only have 4 minutes to spare. The important thing to remember is that during those 20 seconds, you had better be working at maximum effort to reap the most benefits. So think about movements like sprints, jump squats, burpees, jumping rope, butt kicks, high knees, all that jazz.
Since it’s a total drag to watch a clock, it possible download some kind of Tabata App (I love Tabata Pro; it plays over my music and it’s not annoying). Also, I use the app to help my kids clean up...only 20 seconds at a time :) 

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