To Hell and Back in Four Minutes Flat

Want to know what the most efficient fat burning program is? For over a decade research has argued in favor of the Tabata method.

To Hell and Back in Four MinutesTabata Training is a form of interval training originally developed by Izumi Tabata in 1996 at the National Institute of Fitness and Sport in Tokyo. Published in the Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, Dr Izumi concluded that exercising at a high intensity for a short period of time was more effective than exercising at a low intensity for a longer duration.

Now before I begin, I want to be honest and admit that what I am about to divulge, I have never attempted. I can come up with a list of excuses as to why, but I know all of you would see right through me. After much thought and research, however, I feel as though I need to suck it up and try.

Here’s why:

Tabata Training is arguably one of the single best fat burning exercise techniques. It is simple to follow yet extremely difficult to complete. When working at a maximal effort this type of training is nothing short of exhausting. As with most interval workouts, it will raise your metabolic rate by increasing your excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) for up to 48 hours after you have finished training. This means your body, if you are eating properly, will continue burning fat long after you leave the gym.

To ensure your body’s engine continues to rev at a high intensity, it is important that you fuel it properly. ALLMAX Isoflex Whey Isolate Protein is scientifically formulated to ensure rapid absorption after working out. Isoflex includes an insulin support complex made up of Alpha Lipoic Acid, d-Pinitol, and 4-Hydroxylsoleucine that helps to increase protein uptake post workout. Not only will your muscles benefit from such a rapid uptake, but you will fuel your body with muscle-building proteins to keep you moving the next day.

Additional Benefits of Tabata Training

•    Improved cardiovascular function
•    Improved anaerobic endurance
•    Improved muscular endurance

One training day consists of 7 to 8 sets of a single exercise. It can be included in your regular program, but should definitely only be performed for ONE exercise. Performing it at the beginning is not recommended as you probably will not complete anything else. My best suggestion is leaving it till everything else is done. This way, you have completed a full workout and Tabata can replace your post-weight-training cardio.

When completed properly, a Tabata workout should last 4 minutes. It consists of eight rounds of as many reps as possible, in a 20-10 interval. Therefore, you must complete as many reps as possible in 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds and then repeat 7 more times.

Good luck. The intensity of Tabata training makes it both taxing and time efficient.

To make the most of Tabata training, perform it with exercises that utilize as many muscle groups as possible. Some of the best exercise options are front squats and thrusters.

To measure your progress, you should record the worst set out of the eight.

Tabata Tips

  • Use 50-75% of the load you would typically use in a 3×8-13 workout.
  • Tabata is best done with a partner who can both count your sets and keep track of time. If you do not have a partner, make sure there is a clock close-by. Interval timers are also a good substitution for partners.
  • To stay motivated throughout the exercise, stay attached to the weights. For example, if you are doing front squats, stay in the squat rack. If you are performing thrusters, place the dumbbells on a bench but don’t take your hands off them.
  • If you think you are brave enough to try this workout, ensure you supplement with a good source of energy that will help keep your ATP stores up. By constantly replenishing these stores, you can prevent muscle cramping that occurs due to lactic acid build-up.

I cannot lie, even with all the benefits of Tabata, I am still way too chicken to try. If, however, I find myself in a body fat bind before my next show, I can promise you that this will be my fat-incinerating method.

Valeria Fazio

Valeria Fazio holds a B.A. Honors degree in history from Carleton University and a diploma in professional writing from Algonquin College. She has been competing in amateur fitness and figure competitions for three years, and has recently qualified for the 2011 Ontario Provincial Figure Championships. As a certified personal trainer and nutritional coach, Valeria helps others in her free time to achieve their fitness goals.

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