Above: The ladies pump-out the squats during their Tabata rounds!

The Science of Tabata Drills

As appeared in Men’s Fitness, May 2004 (probably the only worthwhile article appearing in that magazine).

The Tabata Protocol–named after Izumi Tabata, Ph.D., a former researcher at Japan’s National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Kanoya–is an interval routine developed by the head coach of the Japanese speed-skating team. (It’s called a protocol because Tabata and his team took the speed-skating coach’s workout and studied it to quantify just how effective it really was.)

In Tabata’s study, the researchers found that guys who used the routine five days a week for six weeks improved their maximum aerobic capacity (a measure of your body’s ability to consume oxygen–the more oxygen you can take in, the longer and harder you’ll be able to run) by 14%. What’s more, it also improved anaerobic capacity (which measures your speed endurance, or the duration you’re able to sprint at full effort) by 28%. So the Tabata Protocol is the rare workout that benefits both endurance athletes and sprinters–hard to accomplish. Consider: A study of traditional aerobic training–running at 70% of aerobic capacity for 60 minutes–for the same number of weeks showed an improvement in aerobic capacity of 9.5% and no effect on anaerobic capacity.

Today’s Workout:
Keep seperate score for each element.
Tabata Squats
Tabata Push-Ups
Tabata Sit-Ups
Tabata Burpees

*Tabata – 8 rounds of 20 seconds work and 10 seconds rest.
**The round with the smallest number of reps is your score for that element.

Post 4 scores to comments.