There are many workout plans to choose from, depending on what the ultimate goal is. From improving cardiovascular or muscle systems to losing weight, there are multitudes of choices at our disposal. But few of them showed such results as the Tabata training.
The High Intensity Interval Training (H.I.I.T.) not only makes a great impact on both aerobic and anaerobic systems, but it also lasts only 4 minutes. That means you can do your “Tabata” anytime you feel like it and save a lot of time while getting superb results in less than a month.
What is Tabata?
Discovered by a team of researchers from the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo, led by Dr. Izumi Tabata, the H.I.I.T. has proven itself to improve cardio and muscle systems, VO2 max (maximal oxygen consumption), resting metabolic rate, and it can also burn more fat than a traditional 60-minute aerobic workout.
Tabata and his team conducted research on two groups of trainees: one group trained at a medium intensity level five days a week, while the other group trained at a higher intensity level four days a week.
After six weeks, group one increased their aerobic system, but showed almost no results for their anaerobic system. Group two, on the other hand, showed great progress in both systems.
Basic Rules of Tabata
Even though it lasts only four minutes, the Tabata workout is anything but easy. The point of the program is to push yourself as hard as you possibly can for 20 seconds, and then rest for 10 seconds until you complete eight sets.
Exercises for large muscle groups are strongly recommended, but you can pretty much do any exercise you wish. From pushups to a run on the treadmill, as long as you give it your maximum, it will get the job done.
The Benefits of H.I.I.T.
Long aerobic workouts have been promoted as the best method to reduce fat, as it is popularly believed that “fatty acid” utilization usually occurs after at least a half-hour training session. Tabata has been proven as somewhat counterintuitive in this regard, but it nonetheless burns fat more effectively.
H.I.I.T. also significantly lowers insulin resistance while improving glucose tolerance. It has also been shown that this kind of training can improve athletic performance. Let us remind you that improvements for well-trained athletes can become very difficult to attain.
Sole increases in volume may yield no progress whatsoever. Research has shown that 4 weeks of Tabata can decrease rowers’ 2000m race time by 8.2 seconds. That’s a 2% improvement after just 7 Tabata sessions.