Tabata intervals, named for pioneering researcher Izumi Tabata, are High-Intensity Interval Training on speed.
The original protocal compared 5 days per week of steady state cardio (60 mins at 70% VO2 Max) with an extremely short, extremely intense protocal done 4 days per week:
- 20 seconds at 170% VO2 Max (extreme sprint – done on a spin bike in this case I believe, or an Airdyne)
- 10 seconds of rest
- Repeat for 8 total repetitions (4 minutes total)
That’s right, 10 seconds of rest between sprints. It’s the devil, but it’s over in 4 minutes. Tabata found that the groups had similar gains in aerobic capacity over the course of the trial, while only the high-intensity group had anaerobic improvements. Not bad for 56 fewer minutes per session. Fat loss results are pretty damn good with this too.
So if that’s only 4 minutes, what are the worst 5 minutes of your day? The 5 you spend lying on the floor in the fetal position when you fall off the bike after the last sprint.