“Tabata” Intervals & The Worst 5 Minutes Of Your Day

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.

Arnold Schwarzenegger Tired From workout

This is Arnold's "tired after tabata" face.