If you’ve researched fitness techniques at all, you’ve likely encountered Tabata fitness training. But, you may be wondering what is it and, perhaps more importantly, is it for you?
Tabata Fitness Basics
Founded by Izumi Tabata in Japan, Tabata is a form of exercise that works your aerobic and anaerobic systems at the same time. In other words, it works your heart and your muscles, giving you a full body workout that is both cardiovascular and strength building. Essentially, it is a form of high intensity training in that you engage in some pretty grueling workouts that are fairly short in duration.
Does it Work?
The founder of Tabata tested this form of exercise in a control study in which one group of athletes worked out at moderate intensity five days a week for six weeks and a second group practiced Tabata. To do this, they engaged in 30 second intervals (which consisted of 20 seconds of very intense training followed by 10 second rest sessions) for only 4 minutes a day.
The result for the first group was a great improvement in their aerobic system, but either little or no change in their muscles. The group that practiced Tabata though, had marked improvements in both systems – even though they were only working out for 4 minutes daily!
Is it For You?
Now, just because Tabata has shown some very positive results in short periods of time, the true question is whether or not it is for you. If you like your workouts to be focused and intense and aren’t afraid to sweat a little (okay…a lot), then give Tabata a try.
However, if you’re the type of person who likes to get on the treadmill or elliptical and set it to a slow speed so you can get lost in your daydreams, then this probably isn’t the exercise method for you.
This is a case where there is no such thing as right or wrong; it just depends on your exercise preference. When you enjoy your workouts, you’ll keep coming back and that is the secret to any health and fitness program.