The Tabata method combines anaerobic and aerobic training in a very short period of time. This training causes a lactate threshold effect in the body that benefits body builders, people who train in martial arts and other athletes. One of the best things about the Tabata method is that it can be performed using any cardiovascular exercise or piece of exercise equipment. This method is commonly performed using weights, but they are not required.
How Was the Tabata Method Developed?
The Tabata method was originally tested and designed in Japan at the National Institute of Fitness and Sports. The method is named for Dr. Tabata Izumi, a lead researcher on the project. Dr. Izumi and his team compared the results of two cycling training programs. One of the programs was moderate intensity with a long duration, while the other was short duration and high intensity. The short duration, high intensity workout produced significantly more improvement in their anaerobic capacity than the moderate intensity, long duration workout. The method was tested using other forms of exercise and the results were always the same.
How it Works
The Tabata method benefits the body by increasing the body’s ability to use oxygen using both aerobic and anaerobic exercise. Exercisers who use the Tabata method work out for just four minutes each day, compared to the minimum of 60 minutes that most exercisers work out each day. Exercisers complete as many repetitions of their chosen exercise as they can in 20 seconds and then rest for 10 seconds before starting reps again. This routine is repeated for four minutes. It is important that you work at your highest intensity during every 20 second activity period to get the best results from using the Tabata Method.
It is easy to lose count when you are practicing the Tabata method because you are working out at your maximum. Using an online calculator is helpful because it will keep you on track for both activity periods and rest periods. You can do the same exercise the entire four minutes or change exercises to work both the upper body and lower body. This method can be used to target specific muscles or as a great workout for the entire body. The best part is that it only takes four minutes per day, but you will be sweating and burning calories much longer than your total workout time.
Benefits of the Tabata Method
The Tabata method burns fat quickly by increasing the body’s metabolic rate. Intense exercise raises the basal metabolic rate of the body by about 15 times the normal rate. When this stress is put on the body regularly it increases the normal metabolic rate to account for the increased demand. The basal metabolic rate is the amount of energy the body burns while it is resting, so the body burns more calories when you are not working out when you use the Tabata method regularly. Another Benefit is retention of muscle tissue. Dieting can cause the body to lose muscle tissue along with fat. The Tabata method stresses the muscle tissue, telling the body that it needs to increase muscle tissue production rather than decrease it.
The Tabata method also saves time. It is easy for anyone to work out for just four minutes per day, meaning that people are more likely to stick to the workout because it doesn’t require a large time commitment. The exercises can be varied as you see fit as long as you keep the basic principle of working out at your max for 20 seconds at a time.
Does the Tabata Method Work?
Studies have shown that the Tabata method is very effective if it is performed properly. The Tabata method works for people who give it their all. At the end of the four minutes you should be sweating, gasping for air and feeling like you can’t move another muscle. People who are training for a sport that is very physically demanding usually get great results from using the Tabata method, particularly sports that require the body to be in excellent condition both aerobically and anaerobically. These sports include wrestling, football, martial arts, soccer, basketball and boxing.
Is the Tabata Method Safe?
The Tabata method is safe for most exercisers and athletes, but should not be performed by people who are out-of-shape. Even people who exercise often may need to ease into doing the full Tabata method. Exercise experts suggest starting with 20 seconds of intense activity followed by 90 seconds of rest. The rest time should be shortened during each workout by about 10 seconds until you have reached the standard of 20 seconds of intense activity followed by 10 seconds of rest. It is important for you to listen to your own body and stop if you feel intense pain. There is a difference between the pain you feel from working out at your maximum level and the pain caused by an injury.