Tabata Training – What is Tabata About?

Tabata Training Overview :

Click here for the Tabata Training Bike Workouts mentioned in this study!

In the late 90’s, Dr. Inzumi Tabata and his colleagues from the National Institute of Fitness and Sport in Tokyo, Japan set out in search of the ‘ideal’ cardiovascular training protocol.

A training regime that would efficiently increase fat burning, cardiovascular fitness and anaerobic capacity. (Anaerobic capacity, in really simple terms, is the amount you can train before that horrible burning feeling takes over in your muscles – A waste product called Lactic acid)

Tabata compared the effects of moderate intensity exercise and high intensity interval training (HIIT Training).

Image by Olivier BareauIn the moderate intensity group, seven active young male subjects exercised on stationary bikes for five days a week for six weeks at 70% of their VO2 max (VO2max is the volume of oxygen you can consume while exercising at your maximum capacity.

Those who are fit have higher VO2max values and can exercise more intensely than those who are not as well conditioned) for 60 minutes each session. VO2 max was measured every week during the six-week period and as each subjects VO2 max improved, the exercise intensity was increased to make sure that they pedalled at 70% of their VO2 max.

The HIIT training group consisted of seven active young male subjects who cycled on a stationary bike five days a week for six weeks on the programme below.

After a 10 minute warm up, the subjects did seven to eight sets of all-out work bursts (170% VO2 Peak), each lasting 20 seconds, with 10 seconds of rest in between. The pedalling speed was 90 rpm and the sets were terminated when pedalling speed dropped below 85.

The moderate intensity group experienced a significant increase in VO2 max (about 10%) but no increase in anaerobic capacity. On the other hand the HIIT training group experienced a 14% increase in VO2 max (very high for 6 weeks) and 28% increase in anaerobic capacity.

Just goes to show that low intensity cardio is not always the way to go.

Click here for the Tabata Training Bike Workouts mentioned in this study!

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise : Volume 28(10) October 1996pp 1327-1330

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