Got 4 minutes? Then you can work out with the Tabata high intensity approach to boost aerobic and anaerobic fitness. While 4 minutes a day may not be enough to lose those unwanted extra pounds, adding Tabata to your fitness routine may be just the exercises you need for speedy weight loss.
The “Tabata protocol” was observed by Japanese scientist Izumi Tabata as part of a training regimen for the Olympic speed skating team. The results of incorporating the 4-minute, high intensity exercises were impressive. The original tests were done on a group of already fit male college-aged physical education majors who were also participating in a variety of sports. Following a 10-minute warm-up, the men did a sequence of stationery bike sprints between 7-8 times for 20 seconds with 10 seconds of rest in between. They performed this 4-minute workout for 5 days per week for 6 weeks.
The impact on their fitness levels was quite amazing. While there was an overall increase in aerobic fitness of 14 percent for the Tabata method as compared with 10 percent for those doing an hour of moderate bike riding, the anaerobic fitness boost of 28 percent seen in the Tabata participants was not observed for the comparison group. Anaerobic capacity is the amount of time that someone can perform an exercise at top effort. After an anaerobic workout like sprints, the body needs to replace the depleted energy stores, so will burn calories at a higher rate during recovery. Burning more calories over time speeds weight loss efforts.
It is not practical to apply the type of fitness protocol used in the study as doing consecutive bike sprints at full effort eliminates the ability to do additional fitness exercises that would speed weight loss. So BJ Gaddour, fitness expert and owner of StreamFIT.com, has adapted the Tabata protocol into a series of exercises targeting different parts of the body that can be added to any fitness regimen.
Each of Gaddour’s sequences alternates between two body-weight exercises that focus on different muscle groups, postponing muscle fatigue and enables incorporation of the Tabata method to any fitness routine. Adding a 1-minute rest between each of the 4-minute high intensity sequences and piling the 4-minute workouts together, a regular one-hour workout becomes 45 minutes of aerobic exercise with 14 minutes of high intensity combined aerobic and anaerobic drive. When time is short, the 14-minute high intensity stacked routines can be enough to boost the body’s metabolism and burn more calories.
The exercises Gaddour chose to include in the sequences pair up a cardio component with an exercise that engages the core muscles to aid stability. The outcome is burning the fat layer that covers the abdominal muscles and strengthening the muscles themselves. The modified Tabata method provides exercises for speedy weight loss and boost fitness capacity at the same time.
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