Fitness Geeks

Tabata Method – What Is, For Experienced Athletes, Practice and More

  • All About the Tabata Method

Tabata Method – If we told you that exercising for 4 minutes is as effective as a ¾ hour session, would you believe it? However, it seems that this is possible thanks to the Tabata training method. Behind this somewhat original name hides a HIIT training with rather impressive results. We will explain everything to you!

What is the Tabata Method?

At the Origins

Very popular in the world of fitness, this training method is, in fact, the result of the study of a certain Professor Izumi Tabata. The method’s original goal was to define whether high-intensity interval training generated more results than more extended moderate-intensity training. We spoke at that time of “Tabata protocol” before the method became democratized. Professor Izumi Tabata has inspired many institutes and researchers who have been busy carrying out similar studies whose results have proven the effectiveness of this type of training.

A Method Initially Reserved for Experienced Athletes

If everyone can try the Tabata method, HIIT training was initially more intended for seasoned athletes. The proof is: Izumi Tabata had launched her research as part of the training of the Japanese professional figure skating team, just that! You will not have any difficulty adopting the Tabata method for those used to HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) workouts. Alternatively, if you are a beginner or more a fan of endurance sessions, Tabata will considerably shake up your habits and body. Why? Simply because your body is not used to exerting such intense effort (even with a few seconds of recovery) in such a short period. But don’t worry, there is nothing impossible!

The Tabata in Practice

Concretely, what is it?

As we said earlier, the Tabata method is HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) training. Therefore, we try to focus on intensity over time with this kind of training. During a Tabata session, you perform the effort in intervals with very high-intensity sequences followed by a few seconds of rest. These three numbers must be kept in mind: 20 – 10 – 8:

  • 20 seconds of high-intensity exercise;
  • 10 seconds of active or passive recovery;
  • All repeated 8 times.

If this interval training only lasts 4 minutes, the intensity put into the effort phases will help you reach your goals. You will quickly realize the difficulty of the exercise, believe us!

A Tabata-Like Program

If you are new to Tabata, it is best to start with full bodyweight training with 20 seconds each excercise.

  • squats – 10 seconds of recovery
  • push-up – 10 seconds recovery
  • mountain climbers – 10 seconds of recovery
  • squats – 10 seconds of recovery
  • push-up – 10 seconds recovery
  • burpees – 10 seconds of recovery
  • squats – 10 seconds of recovery
  • push-up – 10 seconds recovery

You can choose the exercises according to your goals. I prefer more cardio workouts if you are aiming for weight loss. You can also select activities according to the area you want to work in (upper or lower body, for example). And if Tabata is often associated only with weight training, this type of training is suitable for all disciplines. Whether you are a swimmer, runner or accustomed to the gym, you can adapt it for your sessions. The principle is simple and remains the same, no matter what activity you choose.

Why make Tabata?

The Advantages of the Tabata Method

The benefits of Tabata training are numerous. Among these, the many studies carried out on the subject and HIIT training show that they make it possible to improve the absorption of oxygen by the body and, therefore, considerably increase aerobic and anaerobic capacities. Thus, you strengthen your entire cardiovascular system and, in fact, your sports performance. In addition, Tabata is particularly effective in burning fat and will make weight loss faster (provided you adopt good eating habits in the meantime, of course). And that’s not all! In addition to burning calories during training, the high intensity of the effort will force your body to function more than usual up to 24 hours after your session:

Some Tips before Starting the Tabata Method

Before you dive headlong into the Tabata method for your sessions, let’s remember some basic principles to avoid injury or overtraining. BABA for all athletes: warming up. If some of you have taken the bad habit of zapping it, this is a must for your HIIT or Tabata type training! Also, be sure to eat properly at the meal before your workout. Being particularly energy-intensive, the Tabata method requires that you be in good shape and ready to exceed your limits during the effort. Finally, remember to give yourself enough rest between sessions. Recovery is essential in achieving your goals and will allow you to approach your subsequent sessions in the best possible conditions.

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