The History of Tabata
This method of conditioning was invented by Dr. Izumi Tabata and his team at the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo. The team was looking at different exercise protocols and their effect on the energy production systems of athletes with the aim of finding ways to increase both anaerobic and aerobic conditioning. They tested a number of very intense protocols but found that the one called 1E1 tested both systems, this is the 20 seconds on and 10 seconds off method we see today.
Why use Tabata?
The Tabata method is incredibly good for conditioning and this is great for most athletes but what if you are not interested in the physiological conditioning but rather about conditioning and how it relates to body fat levels and muscularity?
a) Reduced body fat levels: Although Tabata has been used for energy system work it was quickly found that it is a hugely effective way to strip fat from the body. The training is itself brief, but the knock on effects are increased calorie utilization through the day and more importantly, an increased rate of fat burning in the hours after training. While low intensity long duration work has you burning fat on the bike for say 45 minutes, Tabata causes you to increase the rate for fat burning for many hours after.
b) Ability to train: If Tabata teaches the mind and body one thing, it is the ability to increase intensity and maintain a lot of hard work; this is incredibly useful to the bodybuilder. In my experience once a trainee has been exposed to Tabata they raise their game elsewhere in the weights room. Think you’re working hard on that final set of squats? Do a Tabata session and then think again. Apart from the psychological aspects there are of course the physiological ones, anaerobic conditioning can be very useful when lifting especially on higher volume plans.
Weighted sit ups
Push Press (wt: 45kg, 30kg)
Weighted Step Ups