For those who do not know:

The Tabata protocol-after the name of Japanese Izumi Tabata- is actually a very short and very strenuous form of ΗΙΙΤ(high density interval training).
Its main part lasts only 4 minutes and its target is to burn maximum fat in minimum time.

It is well proven that the workouts based on the Tabata protocol improve both the aerobic and the anaerobic capacity of the exerciser.

A Tabata workout is as follows:

-first you warm up for 5'

-then you sprint all out for 20".

You can also try this on e.g. a stationary bike or an elliptical machine(it would be difficult on a treadmill).
Or you might try it with push ups,dumbbells,kettlebells etc.

-then you rest for 10"

-you repeat this 30" cycle for seven more times for a total workout time of 4'

- finally you cool down for about 5'

I am very experienced with various Tabata workouts and I can assure you that they are very demanding and dangerous as well.They are destined only for individuals of high fitness levels.If you don't belong there you have to be very cautious and proceed gradually.

Main limitations and dangers pertaining to  Tabata workouts

1 Even if you are a well trained individual try to limit your Tabata workouts to two/week if you are under 40 and no more than one/week if you are older.The danger for injuries is very high.
Generally this form of training is not suitable for the vast majority of amateur athletes.

2. The short duration of  the Tabata workouts  means that their EPOC/afterburn effect is lesser that many would expect.

To elicit a strong and pronounced EPOC/afterburn effect a long duration together with the high intensity is needed .

It is most obvious that our expectations for the number of calories burned during a Tabata workout should be low and unluckily the intensity cannot compensate for the short duration.

Personally I use HIIT workouts of around 20'.I find it as a golden mean between the intensity and the duration of similar events.This allows me to burn some good calories while enjoying a decent afterburn effect.

To your health!

Chris Strogilis



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