The following is a short article written by Michael Babbitt, Master Trainer at Empower regarding Tabata, a brutally hard but efficient style of training:
The Tabata Protocol was named after Izumi Tabata, Ph.D., Tabata was a researcher at Japan’s National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Kanoya. Tabata was working with the Japanese speed-skating team and he used the team to study the interval routine he had developed. The workout consists of six to eight 20-second full-speed sprints interspersed with rest periods of 10 seconds.
Tabata’s study found that using the protocol five to six times a week increased maximum oxygen consumption by approximately 15%. It also improved anaerobic output (those short, powerful bursts of explosive energy that occur between 10 and 30 seconds) by almost 30%. This makes Tabata one of the rare exercises that actually benefits both endurance athletes and sprinters.
Here are some of the keys to Tabata training:
Work to Rest ratio is 2:1
Full body exercises or large muscle group exercises work best (i.e. Pushups, squats, rope jump, running, cycling, mountain climbers, split squats, walking lunges, pullups, cleans, hang cleans, clean and jerks, etc.)
Typically consists of 4-6 exercises, tailored for fitness level.
Typically have 4-8 rounds, tailored for fitness level.
An example workout would look like this:
Partner 1: 6 x 20 sec Squats/10 sec rest
Partner 2: 6 x 20 sec Pushups/10 sec rest
Partner 1: 6 x 20 sec Rope Jump/10 sec rest
Partner 2: 6 x 20 sec Burpees/10 sec rest
This results in a total workout time of 12 minutes.