4 Minutes To Better: The Power of Tabata.

Tabata is the name of a Japanese researcher who pioneered an interesting way to improve both aerobic and anaerobic potential at the same time. He was a cruel genius. Try it and you will see why. 

It is one of those unique training styles that's transcends sport domains and has carry over effects across all disciplines – fitness, strength, weight loss, weight lifting, cyclists, runners, footballers. 

It is a unique strategy that appears simple and easy, but once you start has you asking, "Why did I start this madness and should I go and sit down and do some bicep curls instead." 

Here it is, my simple-stupid-stupid-simple always wins philosophy at its best.

Pick one exercise and do it as many times as you can for 20 seconds. Then rest for 10 seconds. Then repeat 7 more times. 

So….8 x 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off. In the 10 seconds off, don't go send a text or ‘gram-yourself-training-extreme-today-for-dem-gains”. Look at the clock, take a few deep breaths and repeat.

You can use pretty much any exercise that involves full body movements for this, but here are my favourite exercises for the Tabata Protocol:

  1. Burpee- don't hunch over in your jump component, open those hips up!
  2. Front Squat with Barbell or double Kettle bell hold – leave your ego at the door and go light. Rack the bar in between sets but keep your hands on it for the whole 4 minutes.
  3. Barbell/dumbbell Thruster- go light, Rack the bar in between sets but keep your hands on it for the whole 4 minutes.
  4. Kick sit- just try and maintain that pace…….
  5. Cycle – 85-90 % max wattage that you can manage, in the rest periods keep Turing your ledges over super slowly, but don't lower the tension. 
  6. Running sprints- get to an oval or the beach. Use your phone, monitor the time closely.

Keys to this technique are :

  1. Go hard in the first round and try maintain that number of reps to the 8th Round.
  2. For weight based exercises, use a light load, aim for about 12 reps. Keep hands on bar when resting
  3. Keep your eyes in the clock!
  4. Maintain strict form, especially for weights exercises

Tabata was a cruel genius. Try it and let me know your favourite-worst exercise.