TABATA TUESDAY is here! A word (tabata, not tuesday) that seems to have completely lost it’s meaning over the past several years. You may have seen several “tabata inspired” workouts whether on social media, youtube, etc. Or you might not know what tabata is! That’s ok too. We’ll be discussing that here!
Most workouts you see advertised as tabata workouts aren’t really tabatas at all. A true tabata should last no more than 4 minutes. And you should be completely taxed at the end of it. Tabatas are really difficult to do with weights. It requires a full effort on your part.
So I’m going to give you a fun “tabata inspired” workout and a tabata workout more aligned with the original intent, for you to try out on this Tuesday (or whenever you’re doing it) morning (or evening)! While you’re at it, make sure you check out my Monday morning workout routine HERE!
What is a Tabata Workout?
If you’ve ever done a tabata workout, chances are, it wasn’t true tabata. It was a workout inspired by the tabata format. And you also don’t have to do tabata on Tuesday, I just like the alliteration 🙂
History of Tabata
A Tabata workout is named out Dr. Izumi Tabata, a Japanese scientist, in 1996. He used well conditioned athletes to study the effects of long steady state cardio and a shorter 4 minutes alternating 20 seconds of effort 170% of VO2 max with 10 second rest periods.
A Myth Debunked
Tabata workouts did not study fat loss or the afterburn effect, how many calories you continue to burn after exercising. I see several programs that incorporate a cardio tabata day as a fat burning day, so I did want to make this clear! The effect that tabata on directly burning fat is unknown.
If you are not completely out of breath during a tabata workout, you’re doing it wrong. Here are some intensity marker you can use as reference for your own exercise!
- VT1 (Ventilatory Threshold 1)
- This is the first stage in exercise. You’ve reached a point in which you are starting to get out of breath, but you’re still able to string together a few words to make a sentence. Lactate is accumulating the blood and the body is able to convert it into energy.
- VT2 (Ventilatory Threshold 2)
- You’ve reached the anaerobic threshold and a more rapid rate of breathing. Most exercise programs spend only a short amount of time in this zone. You start to feel that burning sensation, which is the overaccumulation of lactate in the blood. The body is no longer able to keep up at converting lactate to energy.
- VO2 Max
- Your VO2 max refers to the maximum consumption, transport, and use of oxygen during exercise. The greater your VO2 Max, the more oxygen your body can utilize, the more efficient your body is at using energy, the more effective your exercise! When you are exercising at this level, you are going all out, putting in max effort, strength and power. This is the most intense level of exercise. And a Tabata workout is supposed to be 170% of your VO2 Max, so you have to give it you ALL!
Benefits of a Tabata “Inspired” Tuesday Workout
1. Great for those short on time
No more excuses to not get your workout in! You seriously just need 4 to 8 minutes for a tabata style workout. There’s a caveat though, you really need to put in the work and effort. If you’re just going through the motions to pass the time, it’s not going to be effective. Set your timer and be prepared to MOVE with all your effort for those 20 second work periods!
2. You can burn some serious calories in less time
While, the original study did not consider increased fat burn or the “afterburn effect,” one single 4 minute tabata session can burn the same amount of calories as a 60 minute steady state session.
So…shorter workout AND the same calorie burn? Uh, yes please 🙂
3. Increase in Anaerobic capacity
When it comes to aerobic capacity, tabata and steady state cardio produce the same results. However, when it comes to anaerobic capacity, through tabata training, an increase of 28% was seen in the original test group! What does that mean? It means the better your body is at disposing of lactate, that by product that gives you the burn feeling during exercise. You also gain more power and have more energy to pull for those short bursts of exercise. Just when you think you’re done, you’ll find some newfound power and energy you didn’t know you had!
Your Tabata “Inspired” Tuesday Workout
A study, funded by the American Council of Exercise concluded that 4 minutes wasn’t enough to burn the same amount of calories as a 60 minute steady state session. It concluded that 20 minutes of the tabata format exercises was sufficient enough to burn between 240 to 360 calories.
Below are the exercises used in the study and fun to incorporate into your own!
Grab a timer, or set the time on your phone for 20 minutes. Each tabata contains four moves. Each move is to be done for 20 seconds at full intensity. Rest for 10 seconds before moving on to the next. Do each tabata two times through!
Unless you have the required equipment, you won’t be able to measure you exact VO2 max, so it’s difficult to know if you are exercising to the extent of what’s required. But if you have a stationary bike, treadmill, or if you want to do sprints outside, it’s possible!
What I like to do is get on my bike set a timer for 6 minutes and just do an all out sprint for 20 seconds on 10 second off.
So there is is, your tabata Tuesday! Let me know how it goes!