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What about Tabata?

21 Oct Posted by in Fun Facts | Comments

In 1996, Dr. Izumi Tabata published the results of a study demonstrating, with speed skaters, that the aerobic and anaerobic pathways could be trained simultaneously (Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 28). This was a significant finding, as most authorities had regarded the two pathways—and training for them—as compartmentalized. Aerobic training was largely long slow distance (LSD) work, and anaerobic training was typically regarded as some hard-to-measure dark component left to the explosion sports.

Dr. Tabata examined several different protocols but settled on eight sets of twenty-second work intervals alternating with ten-second rest intervals as the most effective interval times for improving VO2 max. In the original study the intervals were performed at a quantifiable 170 percent of VO2 max. (Just think max effort.) In the field, where measurements are more subjective, the effort should be such that on the eighth set the trainee is nearing exhaustion. In the original study, the test subjects doing 4-minute “Tabata” intervals saw greater VO2 max improvement than the control group that did 60-minute sessions of moderate-intensity exercise. Moreover, as Greg Glassman points out, these high-intensity efforts produce this dramatic aerobic benefit without the muscle wasting brought about by endurance training.

Dr. Tabata’s research tested subjects on stationary bikes, but in the CrossFit world his protocol is applied to all variety of functional movements. The Tabata protocol is applied to exercises including squats, pull-ups, push-ups, sit-ups, rowing, and, in my practice, dumbbell moves. We generally score Tabata intervals based on the lowest number of reps completed in any one of the eight twenty -second work intervals. (For more on Tabata intervals and their relevance to aerobic conditioning, see Glassman’s article “ Metabolic Conditioning ” from the June 2003 issue of the CrossFit Journal.)

~ CrossFit Journal Article 2007

For today’s workout, we will be scoring it with total reps instead of lowest per interval to keep all the athletes that like to “game” their Tabata working for the full 20 seconds!

Workout of the Day

WARMUP

4 Rounds
:15 Jumping Jack
:15 Pushups
:15 Mountain climber
:15 Jump Squat

Then

4 Rounds
:15 Plank
:15 Superman
:15 Side Plank – L
:15 Side Plank – R

WOD

Complete 8 intervals per exercise. Score total reps.

Tabata :20/:10 x 8 Rest 1:00 between exercises

Medball situps
Power Snatch
Burpee
Push Press
Sumo Deadlift High Pull

RX – 14/20lb ball, 65/95lb BB
Zone 3 – scale bar to 55/75lbs
Zone 2 – scale ball to 10/14lb, bar to 35/55lbs
Zone 1 – scale as needed

CASH OUT

Roll out your chest, shoulders, upper back with a ball

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