If you attend the gym where I work you have noticed that I have added a new class. Next session it will be called Tabata Tuesday. It is a version of interval training or HIIT- high intensity interval training, where we work as hard as we can for 20 seconds and then take 10 seconds to rest, and we repeat this cycle for 8 rounds. After each round, we walk it off and rest for one minute before we begin the protocol again. This gives our body a chance to recover. Each round lasts about 4 to 5 minutes and we do this for 20-25 minutes. We then do some standard muscle conditioning and stretching to complete the hour.
If you were attending my Aerobic Interval class for the last year, you know that I have been doing this type of training for quite awhile but the intervals were longer. Tabata rounds are more intense by design i.e., jumping jacks or jogging with high knees, as most of us can push ourselves to do something challenging for 20 seconds. This type of training is a great way to safely push ourselves out of our comfort zone. I always offer a low impact option to the high impact exercises so everyone can participate.
When we attend the same classes all of the time we can suffer from a condition where our body has adapted and we stop seeing improvements in our fitness. Adding this type of class to your weekly workout regime is a great way to shake up your system. Sherri told me last week that she felt she had so much energy after our Tabata workout that she was ‘bouncing’ through the rest of her day. I was so happy to hear this.
Tabata is named after Dr. Izumi Tabata who studied two groups of exercisers in 1996. One group who worked at a moderate intensity for one hour, 5 days a week for 6 weeks versus another who trained at high intensity for short periods of time with rest periods in between. The results were impressive enough that HIIT became a huge part of the fitness industry. You can do your own research on the amazing benefits from training in this fashion. Google will lead you to lots of great articles.
As Len Kravitz, Ph.D., explains in his article published in the June 2018 issue of canfitpro magazine, Why Less is More, “the higher your Vo2 max, the greater cardio protection you have from cardiovascular disease” (Kravitz. pg.29). When we train at our upper limit (Vo2 max) for short periods of time we are attempting to improve the functioning of our cardiorespiratory system. We work hard at the gym to gain strength and flexibility but we also want to challenge our heart to keep it in top shape.
Since this is heart health month, lets give a bit of love to our hard working hearts and try this new workout.
I hope to see you soon,