Well, science is never “simple”, but we will try to give you a brief, super simple explanation of the not so simple science of this highly beneficial exercise method.
Tabata training is a high-intensity method of exercise aimed at increasing the health of your cardiovascular system with a round of 4 mins work. It is guaranteed to get your heart pumping. Further rounds are sometimes done if the maximum effort wasn’t achieved on the first round.
Tabata’s have the benefit of increasing your overall cardiovascular fitness and weight loss, plus they are short, simple and a super-effective training method.
The name Tabata comes from Dr Izumi Tabata, who was both a researcher and a Physician. He was working with Athletes to discover new, safe and effective ways to train them without overworking them.
Your cardiovascular-respiratory system is responsible for supplying oxygen, nutrients and hormones via blood, around the body. It also removes toxic gases through our exhalation.
The system primarily consists of what is termed involuntary muscles. Involuntary muscles work non-stop without us thinking about making them work, our brain has them on auto-pilot.
Although our heart, lungs and diaphragm work non-stop, they still require physical exercise to keep them in optimal health and condition. For “cardio” exercise to be of benefit, we need to exercise at a level where we create a good huff and puff.
Our Cardiovascular system and bodies require both aerobic and anaerobic exercise, and Tabata training does both.
Dr Tabata had created his “Tabata protocol” which was a workout session consisting of 20 seconds high-intensity work, followed by 10 seconds of rest, with a duration of 8 Rounds. This gave participants a total sum of 4 minutes of high-intensity exercise.
Dr Tabata ran his “Tabata Protocol” study over 6 Weeks x 5 sessions per week. He studied two groups of people; Group A was doing conventional aerobic (cardio) exercise of moderate intensity for 1 hour, and Group B was using the “Tabata” Protocol.
The time workload difference was enormous between to two groups.
Group A did 30 hours of effort compared to Group B, having had 2 hours of effort, over the six-week study duration.
The results were conclusively in favour of Group B- Tabata work. The Tabata group increased their aerobic fitness level and also showed a whopping 28% increase in their Anaerobic fitness.
So you may be wondering what the fuss is about, what’s the difference between Aerobic fitness and Anaerobic fitness anyway? Well to super briefly explain the difference between them, here are a few significant points of the many:
It sounds great doesn’t it, 4 mins of work for all that benefit, but beware!
Tabata training is NOT FOR BEGINNERS! Nor is it for those with high-risk medical conditions or the faint-hearted exerciser. You need to commit to giving 10 out of 10 on the “effort” Richter Scale, to get that maximum benefit. If you do so, it will be 4 of the most challenging and strenuous minutes of your life.
So if you are not high risk, not a beginner and not faint-hearted give Tabata a go. If you are unsure of whether or not you have any risk factors that would prevent you from exercising or doing this form of exercise, please err on the side of caution. You can reach out to us for advice or to your preferred health and medical supports. we will happily give you advice on how best to get started.
Let’s get comfortable being uncomfortable!
PS: try the workout in the image above.