Tabata is a type of workout that combines interval training and aerobic exercise. What sets it apart is its short duration of only 4 minutes. In today’s article we present the myths that have grown up around this popular activity.
Tabata is a training formula that was developed in 1990 by a Japanese scientist – Izumi Tabata. Initially, the physical activity created by him was intended only for professional skaters. With time Tabata started to be popular also among sports amateurs.
What exactly does such a training consist in? It lasts 4 minutes and is based on alternating interval and aerobic training. During the first one we train anaerobic activity. Muscles work so intensively that blood is not able to keep up with providing them with sufficient oxygen. Then in the body we deal with the process of burning without oxygen. The second element of tabata – aerobic training – is a moderate activity during which muscles are not loaded with excessive effort. This allows oxygen to be delivered to them.
How does a tabata workout look like? You perform as many repetitions of a given exercise as possible for 20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of rest. Repeat the exercise session 8 times. It is advisable to start with a 5-minute warm-up, during which you can do some trotting or jumping jacks. Then select an exercise and start the stopwatch. As this type of training is very intensive, it is recommended to start with one session per week. Gradually, the number of sessions can be increased to 2-3.
This is not true. Tabata assumes working out at 170% of the oxygen ceiling (this term is used to define the ability of absorbing oxygen by the body. It is one of the most popular indicators of physical fitness), which makes it unsuitable for people who are just starting their adventure with sport.
This is another popular myth connected with tabata. This type of training is not based on doing your favorite exercises. It is based on activities that allow you to reach the above mentioned oxygen level of 170%. The list of exercises included in tabata is very short and includes burpees or kettlebell swing.
This myth is associated with classes conducted by many fitness clubs, which only pretend to be tabata. Yes, the intervals between individual exercises are kept here between 10 and 20 seconds, but the whole training lasts 45-60 minutes and consists of a large number of series. This type of classes are usually just interval training, which has nothing to do with real tabata.
As already mentioned, tabata training lasts 4 minutes. To this must be added the time for warm-up and stretching. The total time of such physical activity is too short to achieve the effect of burning fat. While training tabata we are able to burn about 250-300 calories and to burn 1 kg of fat we need as many as 7700 calories.
As long as we perform tabata correctly, 10 seconds break between exercises is intended for short rest. It’s also important to realize that tabata is an interval workout, and keeping your heart rate up by doing jumping jacks or running in place destroys that premise.
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