Tired of squinting at my wristwatch during classes and training sessions (I blame too much reading rather than middle age ), yesterday, I ordered a GymBoss interval timer. It can keep track of intervals, it fits in a pocket and it’s pink; what more can a girl ask for?
While playing around on their website (which has lots of great workouts, including high intensity intervals, kettle bells and Cross Fit, to name a few), I followed a link called ‘Tabata’.
Tabata training is a very specific form of interval training in which an exercise is performed for 20 s, followed by 10 s (no more!) of rest for a total of 8 cycles. That’s four minutes per exercise.
Any exercise can be used, although multiple-joint exercises (e.g. pushups, lunges, squats) are better than single-joint ones (e.g. bicep curls, leg extension), because they will elevate your heart rate quicker and you won’t need to perform as many different exercises in your training session to get a full-body workout.
The training format is metabolic and very intense. It’s great for increasing functional and core strength, improving cardiovascular fitness and burning calories. It’s also very efficient; perfect for those days when an hour in the gym isn’t going to happen. You can even do a Tabata interval workout at home with minimal equipment.
Here’s what I did today;
Pushups; 5 cycles on toes, cycles 6-8 from knees (this was a really tough set!)
Squat to press; 8 cycles with a 30 lb sandbell
Reverse lunge; 8 cycles with foot dragging an 8 lb sandbell
V-sit with core rotation; 8 cycles with a 12 lb sand bell
Sixteen minutes, plus a bit of transition time between exercises.
Totally. Kicked. My. Butt.
You can bet that I’ll be doing it again (I love a good butt kicking!) and that Tabata training will be creeping into my group fitness classes and personal training sessions. Bet you can’t wait!