Why do we do tabata? What’s the benefit of it? Did you know there was a study on Tabata and that’s how it came about?
The Tabata training method and its many variations are “unofficial” adaptations of the training protocol used by Dr Izumi Tabata in a research study published in 1996. In this landmark study, Dr Tabata showed that short bursts of high intensity training had superior aerobic and anaerobic training effects compared to longer moderate intensity training. These benefits were seen in already well conditioned elite athletes.
In his research study, Dr Tabata divided elite athletes from the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo, Japan into two groups. Each group trained for 5 days a week on a mechanically braked cycle ergometer over a 6 week period. The first group trained at moderate intensity for 60 minutes 5 days a week. The second group trained using the 4-minute high-intensity protocol (e.g. 20 seconds at high intensity followed by 10 seconds of rest repeated 8 times).
At the end of the training period, Dr Tabata found that the first group that trained at longer durations with moderate-intensity showed slight improvement in aerobic capacity but did not show any improvement to anaerobic capacity. However, the test group that trained at short bursts of high-intensity showed improvement in both anaerobic and aerobic capacity. More interestingly, the second group showed superior training improvements compared to the first group.
Since this study was published, many athletes and trainers have adapted the training protocol used in this study as the basis of formulating their training programs. This is what is now known as “Tabata Training”.
To go along with this study. Not only does CrossFit believe in short bursts like 20 seconds of workout followed by 10 seconds of rest. We also believe in short duration with high intensity. Meaning we believe in living in the 7-15 minutes range for workouts. We’ve seen that high intensity efforts, will give you benefits in both aerobic and anaerobic capacity.
Most people think go long all the times because you’ll burn more calories. But going slow for hours on end doesn’t get you near the benefits of going hard as you can for 10 minutes.
A. Gymnastic Strength
1) 6 strict pullup
2) 6 strict ring dip
B. “Tabata, Or Else”
For max reps:
Tabata Calorie Row