Short Workouts: Revisiting the Tabata | Concept2

Short Workouts: Revisiting the Tabata

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Jun 14, 2023

bikeergThe Tabata workout has been around for a while now—a testament to its effectiveness. First studied by Izumi Tabata in 1996, the workout format was being used by the Japanese National Speed Skating team with good success.

To quickly summarize the results: Tabata workouts were found to produce similar improvements in aerobic fitness to those produced by longer aerobic workouts. Additionally, they produced anaerobic capacity improvements as well. In other words, this specific type of HIIT interval workout provides benefits to both your aerobic and anaerobic systems in one time-efficient workout.

Simple Format
One round of Tabata intervals consists of 8 x 20 seconds hard effort/10 seconds easy effort, for a total of four minutes.

Build up to a total of four of these 4-minute interval sets for one workout.

The Exercises
Tabata workouts can be done with many exercises, including rowing, skiing or riding on Concept2 ergs. Make sure to choose exercises that you have done before and that you know you can do with good intensity. If you have a RowErg, SkiErg or BikeErg at home you can use that for one to two of your four sets.

For example, your Tabata session could be as follows:

  • RowErg: 4 x (20 sec hard/10 sec easy)
  • Push-up or squat (20 sec hard/10 sec easy)
  • Your favorite ab/core exercise (20 sec hard/10 sec easy)
  • RowErg: 4 x (20 sec hard/10 sec easy)

Here are some tips for how to approach your Tabata workout:

  • Don’t start out too hard.
  • Experiment with different exercises.
  • Start with once per week and build toward three per week if you have time in your fitness routine.
  • Continue to include longer aerobic workouts as well.
  • Give yourself enough recovery time afterwards—these are challenging workouts even if they’re short!

Long Story Short
When you only have time for a quick workout, Tabata is a great choice. And even when you have more time, the addition of Tabatas to your training will add anaerobic benefits to your fitness routine.

Interval Training
Original Tabata Research Abstract

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