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Tabata Training 101

Does This 4-Minute Fitness Technique Deliver?


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  • This is the best way for martial arts to be practiced, which makes it a very old exercise method. Some of us have been working out like this for a long time (over four decades in my case). And others worked out like this centuries ago, probably even millennia.

    The reason it's the best way for martial arts to be practiced is the principle of specificity: training effect is specific to training stimulus; you get good at doing the specific thing you do in other words. Martial arts in practice are done at full intensity, so it is best to practice them that way.

    All rules have exceptions and so does this one. Martial art exercises should also be done very slowly sometimes, to dissect the movement so to speak and perfect each detail of it. They should also be part of a larger exercise program that includes things like weight training, long walks, and so on. Variety is good, for all exercisers, not just martial artists. But short intense bursts throughout the day is a very useful part of the mix, and martial arts are very good ways to do that exercise.
  • Not sure about anyone else, but I use the "Cicuit training/bootcamp" option to log Tabata/HIIT workouts.
    We do this kind of stuff for fun, just to elliviate the boredom of exercising, did not know it had a name, lol. A lot of daily exercise is boring, so you speed it up in between to wake yourself up from the monotony.
  • I usually do intervals on my elliptical, but until today had not tried Tabata. I managed 2-1/2 minutes, then I just continued until I reached 15 minutes. I threw 2 more intervals in for good measure, but not the 20/10 consecutive seconds.
  • I've just started back with some interval areas on the recumbent bike. If I tried Tabata, I would either end up in the hospital or the morgue. Not for me.
  • It would be great if sparkpeople could list tabata workouts in the fitness tracker!
  • Sorry, there used to be a a way to save articles for later, without having to post to an external site. Where has that function gone? I'd like to revisit this article this week!
  • 10 minutes of warm up, 4 minutes of cardio, 10 minutes to cool down. that is closer to 25 minutes of work out than 4 minutes as stated.
  • Does SparkPeople have any of these Tabata workouts in the videos on this site?
    Sounds great for the already fit. If you are just beginning on your journey, just ramping up the effort for short bursts will be plenty. Don't go beyond your ability level.
  • MARYO125
    Tabata is a great workout that you can do at home with little to no equipment. I use the 'Tabata Coach' album of coached workouts by Motion Traxx. They have a certified fitness instructor guiding you through your Tabata routine. AMAZING!! It’s on my iPod so I can use it anywhere, anytime:
  • HEATHERL2011
    I think I will try this today as part of my work out and see how it goes:-)
  • I might think about it.
  • I've done a Tabata class several times and hated it in the most loving way possible. :) It was a GREAT workout, and such a different format from anything else that I have done, hence the loving it. Hated it only because I worked myself hard, I was tired, sweaty, sore (in the good way), and just done when it was over. :) Just wish that it was on the fitness tracker so that I could properly put in my workout. I try to remember each exercise that we do, but when I put all in it says that I've burned maybe 100 calories total, when I know it was so much more than that.
  • This is how karate is often practiced, and it's a very good exercise because it gets the whole body, and concentrates on the midsection (because everything starts from the center). I built a karate dummy out of old tires a few decades ago that I beat up with my hands and feet, baseball bats, and other things. The effort is always full speed and full power. It's an excellent workout, and good self defense training at the same time, so you get added value for the time you invest.

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