Wednesday, December 1, 2010


When I first heard about Tabata, I thought "ta-what-a"?  I read about it in a fitness magazine.  Turns out it is a type of interval training.  I'm a huge proponent of interval training.  I love it!  Nothing feels better than putting on my playlist specifically made for intervals.  One mid tempo song folowed by one high energy song followed by a slower song, then the cycle repeats.  It's by far the quickest way to get in shape.  It works for elliptical, treadmill, bike, anything really.  My personal favorite is to do it on the elliptical.  Almost invariably, the last song I play during my intervals in "Lose Yourself" by Eminem.  I do intervals just in that song alone.  Something inside me clicks when those guitar licks start.  I start running harder, then the chorus comes and I love to all out sprint, then I go back to hard running until the next chorus comes up.  A few months ago, I saw on my iTunes counter that I've played that song alone almost 1000 times.  I guess it's my go-to song. 

So when I read about Tabata, I was immediately intrigued.  It's basically a 4 minute cycle of intervals.  4 minutes, that is it.  But my goodness, are those 4 minutes killer.  The premise is to run on an all out sprint for 20 seconds, completely stop and rest for 10 seconds, then do another 20 second sprint and 10 second rest.  You do the cycle 8 times for a total of 4 minutes.  I decided to try it tonight after already doing 35 minutes of intervals on the elliptical.  For the elliptical, tonight I did something called the Countdown.  It's a 5 minute warm-up, then you go hard for 4 minutes, easy pace for 4 minutes, hard for 3, easy for 3, hard for 2, easy for 2, hard for 1, then easy for 1.  After that, you do 30 seconds of all out sprint, 1 minute of easy pace.  Those you do 4 times for a total of 6 minutes, then it's a 4 minute cool-down.  So by the time that was over, I was already spent, but I was determined to try out this Tabata thing.  So, over to the treadmill I went. I walked for 2 minutes just to get ready, then I did those 4 minutes.  They went by surprisingly quickly, but I thought I was going to die.  It took forever, it seemed, for my heart rate to come down during my 4 minute walking cool-down.  I felt like I was on the Biggest Loser and I had just finished my last chance workout.  I left the gym feeling like I left everything I had there.  That's a successful workout to me.  And the whole thing took just 45 minutes.  It earned me 10 WW activity points.  For those who don't know WW points, suffice it to say, it's a lot.  I see a whole lotta tabata in my future...

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