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Alotta Tabata

Before last October, I was blissfully unaware of the term “tabata,” but now it’s part of my everyday vocabulary. Lucky me.

The Tabata Protocol consists of 20 seconds of maximum intensity exercise, followed by 10 seconds of rest. The cycle is repeated eight times for a total of four minutes of work. It’s named after Izumi Tabata, Ph.D., a former researcher at Japan’s National Institute of Fitness and Sports.

According the man himself,

“[Six to 8 very hard 20 second intervals with 10 second rest periods] may be one of the best possible training protocols…”– Izumi Tabata, Ph.D.

This Men’s Fitness article (“The secret of Tabata: this 14-minute workout may be the best you’ve ever had!“) gets into a little bit of the science.

“The key to the Tabata Protocol’s effectiveness appears to be the short rest intervals between sprints. Conventional interval-training guidelines suggest keeping a 1:3 work-rest ratio. That is, your rest periods should last three times as long as the duration of your sprints. But the Tabata Protocol’s work-rest ratio is 2:1, which means your rest periods are only half as long as the time you’re working.”

I thought of none of that while sweating through our workout this morning. In fact, I tried to think of nothing at all — just focused on breathing and counting my reps.


The workout:
  • 6X Tabata Overhead Press, 13-lb. kettlebells
  • 300m Run
  • 100 Russian Twists, 8-lb. med ball
  • 6X Tabata Jump Squats
  • 300m Run
  • 75 Russian Twists, 8-lb. med ball
  • 6X Tabata Pushups
  • 300m Run
  • 50 Russian Twists, 8-lb. med ball
  • 6X Tabata Triceps Kickbacks, 10-lb. dumbbells
  • 300m Run
  • 75 Russian Twists, 8-lb. med ball
  • 6X Tabata Planks
  • 300m Run
  • 100 Russian Twists, 8-lb. med ball

My blueberries tasted especially good after all of that.

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One Response to “Alotta Tabata”

  1. Tony Y says:

    Sounds very similar to Dr. Mercola’s Peek Fitness that I read about no so long ago.

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