If you are looking for some really intense workout in a shorter period, Tabata workouts can be great. When you want to exercise for less time but are ready to give in your maximum efforts during that short period, Tabata protocol or interval training is just right for you.

Tabata Protocol: How Effective Is High Intensity Interval Training?

What Is Tabata Protocol?

Tabata protocol or Tabata training is an advanced form of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) that can raise your fitness levels by working out for few minutes. Tabata workout is aimed for those would be able to put in their best efforts for few minutes, to soar up their fitness levels. Tabata training is great for burning fat as well as to build up your muscles packs and maintain endurance.

Tabata workouts can be divided into sets of exercise training for a total period of 4 minutes. Each set of Tabata interval includes intense exercises to be performed for 20 seconds followed by a period of rest for 10 seconds. This is continued for the entire period of 4 minutes of Tabata workout.

Tabata training can be modified according to your requirement. Those who want a shorter workout would like to perform only one Tabata set exercise, while some may perform a larger set combining different exercises during the intense interval training.

Tabata protocol needs intense efforts and muscle strength. You would like to confirm your fitness levels or develop a personalized program from a fitness expert. If you have sustained any injuries or have any medical illnesses, it is advisable to seek medical opinion before beginning with Tabata exercises.

Effectiveness Of Tabata Protocol Or How Effective Is High Intensity Interval Training?

The main idea of Tabata training comes from a team of Japanese researchers and particular initiative taken by Dr. Izumi Tabata. These researchers from National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo worked on a study using two intensities of exercises for athletes.

Their research included moderate intensity level training for one group and high intensity level training for another group. The moderate intensity training was for 6 weeks that included work out of 1 hour duration for 5 days a week in the first group. The high intensity training was for 6 weeks that included a work out of 4 minutes with 20 seconds rest for 4 days a week in the other group.

The results showed that moderate intensity training group improved their cardiovascular or aerobic system but did not have much effect on the muscle or anaerobic system. However, the high intensity training group showed greater increase in cardiovascular system and sufficient increase in the muscle system as well.

What Is The Principle Behind Tabata Protocol?

Tabata Protocol is an enhanced form of high intensity training with intervals of rest period. The idea behind Tabata training is to have short periods of intense training that focus on anaerobic exercises alternated with rest periods for recovery. This is particularly useful for those involved in sports or other intense fitness activities.

Tabata protocol can help in burning body fat and improving muscle strength. Fat burning is more when the intensity of exercises is greater. While performing high intensity exercises, the body feels deprived of oxygen, hence called anaerobic exercises. In order to make up for the energy loss, the body burns down the fat and glycogen stores. The interval periods of rest allow gaining control over the oxygen demand; following which another set of intense exercises can be performed.

What Does A Tabata Cardio Protocol Include?

Tabata protocol involves short bursts of intense muscular movements or Tabata exercises, instead of traditional long periods of aerobic workouts. You need to build your endurance and exercise capacity gradually to be able to reach the exercise training performed at high intensity in Tabata workouts.

Tabata Protocol Includes:

  • A warm-up period of 5 minutes.
  • A set of maximum intensity exercises to be performed for 20 seconds, followed by a rest or low intensity exercise period of 10 seconds and continue with this for the specified period of 4 minutes of Tabata workout or 8 Tabata intervals.
  • A cool-down recovery exercises for around 5 minutes.

A Tabata Cardio Training program of high intensity training can last for 4 minutes (if you want to keep it short) to 30 minutes (if you are fit go that hard). However, beginners can keep it simple at moderate to high intensity level Tabata workouts while maintaining their overall health.

How To Perform Tabata Cardio Training?

Tabata Cardio training involves short Tabata intervals where high intensity exercises for 20 seconds are alternated with rest periods of just half of the time (10 seconds). The idea of performing exercises for a small period may sound simple but it is not that easy. As the rest period is also less, the Tabata interval works in the ratios of 2:1 and you need to work really hard during the exercise period.

You can choose the exercises and perform them in sets alternating with rest periods. These exercises should be performed in as many repetitions as you can during the intense workout period. You can use Tabata timer or Tabata clock to help to work through the timed Tabata training. Many Tabata apps are available to help your Tabata method of exercises.

Some examples include jumping jacks, seal jacks, rope skipping, etc. for 20 seconds alternated with rest period of 10 seconds and repeating the exercise, totally 8 times; the whole set lasting for 4 minutes. There are many options of Tabata exercises that can performed as Tabata Sprints, Tabata Squats and specialized Tabata workouts for those 6-packs, flat-abs, muscle strength, weight loss or cardiac training.

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Last Modified On: August 21, 2015

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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