The Tabata Protocol – High on gain, low on pain

Effects of moderate-intensity endurance and high-intensity intermittent training on anaerobic capacity and VO2max.
Tabata I, Nishimura K, Kouzaki M, Hirai Y, Ogita F, Miyachi M, Yamamoto K.
Department of Physiology and Biomechanics, National Institute of Fitness and Sports, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan.

.. so begins the Tabata Protocol abstract; Tabata was developed by Dr. Izumi Tabata in Tokyo. In short, the Tabata Protocol describes an efficient workout method that can be completed in four (4) minutes. Yes, four minutes. Adding a warm-up of 10 minutes, and a five minute cool-down period, you have a great exercise tool that won’t eat your precious time 🙂

It goes like this:

Do something at maximum load for 20 seconds; rest for 10 seconds
Repeat for a total of eight 20+10 sets (four minutes in total).

This method has a serious advantage to many other workouts in that you can do it almost anywhere, at almost any given time. What’s better, it works — it really works. The key concept here is “maximum load“. We’re looking for 100%!

There are a zillion links and sites talking about this (and now there are a zillion + one), here are a few:

The Tabata Tune-Up
Lean & Hungry Fitness: Tabata Intervals Tabata Intervals
PeakPerformance: aerobic interval training
TDKtutor: Tabata method
Kuzora Personal Training: Cardio Ideas
The secre of Tabata
Fat Loss in Four Minutes

A Tabata Clock for Windows/Linux/Mac/Mobile:

Tabata Clock

(of course, one could simply create an MP3 file with 20 second music intervals, followed by 10 second intervals of something else, sustained for four minutes — TRUE software at its best 😉

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