Tabata is a best described as 8 rounds of a 20 second WORK phase and 10 seconds RECOVERY period. Class can range from cardio and strength Tabata sets. Great total body workout!
Tabata training (aka, the Tabata Protocol) is a type of high intensity interval training that follows a specific format:
- 20 seconds of a very high intensity exercise (e.g., sprints)
- 10 seconds of rest
- Repeat 8 times for a total of 4 minutes
The idea for Tabata training originated from the world of athletes, as many of our workout ideas do. Dr. Izumi Tabata, a professor at the Faculty of Sport and Health Science at Ritsumeikan University in Japan, along with the head coach of the Japanese speed skating team, wanted to find out if very short bursts of high intensity exercise, followed by even shorter rests, would improve the skaters’ performance.
To test the effectiveness of this training regime, Dr. Tabata took study subjects through the high intensity (170% of VO2 max) 4-minute Tabata workout using a stationary bike. He compared the results with another group of athletes who followed a different workout, working at an even higher intensity (200% of VO2 max) for 4-5 bouts of 30 seconds, followed by 2 minutes of rest.
The results, published in Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise, were that the Tabata athletes improved their VO2 max (the body’s ability to use oxygen more effectively), which translated into improved performance on the ice.