Tips and Tricks

Tabata Training: Can 4 Minutes Of Exercise Be Enough?

Tabata sets are a staple of our workouts at Core Conditioning.  Take a look below to see how these sets affect your workouts.

The basis of Tabata Training is 4 minutes of intense interval training/circuit training.

What you are doing is taking an exercise and pushing yourself as hard as you can in the work session.  For our example, let’s take sprints.

Sprint as hard as you can for 20 seconds

Walk for 10 seconds

Repeat 7 more times for a total of 8 sets.

So what you have is a total of 4 minutes workout time.

Tabata Training can be done with a number of different exercises.  The idea is to use an exercise that gets the whole body involved or at least the major muscle groups. Tabata Training can be done with Barbells, Dumbells, Kettlebells or  body weight exercises.

Some background and how Tabatas work:

Tabata Training was developed by Izumi Tabata at the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo, Japan. The researchers did a study comparing the effects of moderate intensity endurance (aerobics) and high endurance intermittent training (Tabata training intervals) on VO2 max and anerobic capacity.

To cut to the results of the study: the moderate intensity group training program produced a significant increase in VO2 max of about 10%, but had no effect on anaerobic capacity. The high intensity group improved their VO2 max by about 14% while anaerobic capacity improved by 28%. The study was done over a six week period, with both groups working out 5 days per week.

See notes below on aerobic and anaerobic systems as found on the website

  • Aerobic System (with oxygen)
  • provides energy at a slower rate for long-term exercise (e g Ironman, Marathon etc).
  • it uses oxygen to help provide fuel
  • it enables athletes to recover from tough workouts and helps develop the capacity increase repetitions.
  • does not produce fatigue-producing waste products
  • lower intensity exercises
  • takes longer to overload than the anaerobic systems
  • requires a minimum 20 minutes duration training period
  • workload can be continuous or broken up into interval training
  • Anaerobic Lactic System (without oxygen):
  • generates energy quickly and the by- product of this system is lactic acid (e g sprints, weight training, interval training, training at various speeds)
  • less efficient
  • hastening muscle fatigue
  • high intensity level
  • body must burn carbohydrates stored in muscle
  • lactic acid must be removed — can take up to one hour
  • carbohydrates must be replaced for further activity to occur
  • first ten minutes of active recovery produces greatest reduction in lactic acid
  • provide majority of energy requiring high bursts of speed or resistance lasting up to 10 seconds
  • built by alternating periods of work and rest
  • builds on the aerobic base, and challenges the athlete at the upper level of aerobic capacity

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