TABATA

Dr. Tabata examined several different protocols but
settled on eight sets of twenty-second work intervals
alternating with ten-second rest intervals as the most
effective interval times for improving VO2
max. In
the original study the intervals were performed at a
quantifiable 170 percent of VO2
max. (Just think max
effort.) In the field, where measurements are more
subjective, the effort should be such that on the eighth
set the trainee is nearing exhaustion. In the original
study, the test subjects doing 4-minute “Tabata”
intervals saw greater VO2
max improvement than the
control group that did 60-minute sessions of moderateintensity exercise. Moreover, as Greg Glassman points
out, these high-intensity efforts produce this dramatic
aerobic benefit without the muscle wasting brought
about by endurance training.
Dr. Tabata’s research tested subjects on stationary bikes,
but in the CrossFit world his protocol is applied to all
variety of functional movements. The Tabata protocol is
applied to exercises including squats, pull-ups, push-ups,
sit-ups, rowing, and, in my practice, dumbbell moves.
We generally score Tabata intervals based on the
lowest number of reps completed in any one of the eight
twenty -second work intervals. (For more on Tabata
intervals and their relevance to aerobic conditioning,
see Glassman’s article “Metabolic Conditioning” from
the June 2003 issue of the CrossFit Journal

Dr. Tabata examined several different protocols but settled on eight sets of twenty-second work intervals alternating with ten-second rest intervals as the most effective interval times for improving VO2 max. In the original study the intervals were performed at a quantifiable 170 percent of VO2 max. (Just think max effort.) In the field, where measurements are more subjective, the effort should be such that on the eighth set the trainee is nearing exhaustion. In the original study, the test subjects doing 4-minute “Tabata” intervals saw greater VO2 max improvement than the control group that did 60-minute sessions of moderateintensity exercise. Moreover, as Greg Glassman points out, these high-intensity efforts produce this dramatic aerobic benefit without the muscle wasting brought about by endurance training.Dr. Tabata’s research tested subjects on stationary bikes, but in the CrossFit world his protocol is applied to all variety of functional movements. The Tabata protocol is applied to exercises including squats, pull-ups, push-ups, sit-ups, rowing, and, in my practice, dumbbell moves. We generally score Tabata intervals based on the lowest number of reps completed in any one of the eight twenty -second work intervals. (For more on Tabata intervals and their relevance to aerobic conditioning, see Glassman’s article “Metabolic Conditioning” from the June 2003 issue of the CrossFit Journal

1 Comment