The rise of quick work-outs has beenstimulated by people citing lack of time as a reason for not working out. The allure of a seven, five, or four-minuteworkout is appealing even to those who love the gym, which is why Tabatatraining was developed and is slowly becoming more popular with trainers andathletes across the country.
The Tabata training theory originated fromexercise research done by Izumi Tabata, who was studying methods of intervaltraining and their effect on overall fitness. The workout involves 20 seconds of high intensity physical activity,followed by 10 seconds of rest. Thissequence is repeated for seven to eight sets, equaling a total of four minutesof actual workout time. Thoughoriginally created to enhance the performance of professional athletes,numerous studies have found this method to be effective for anyone seeking toincrease their fitness levels.
Subjects in a small study conducted by AuburnUniversity in Alabama had participants measure their caloric expenditure beforeand after a Tabata workout. Resultsindicated participants burned approximately 13.5 calories per minute, and alsoshowed that at the 30-minute mark following the workout, the participantsmetabolic rate was double what it had been prior to the activity.
Best performed under the instruction ofa trainer or other fitness professional, there are some precautions totake when engaging in this style of workout. Be sure to warm up before hand, as the activity itself does not includea warming period. The exercises aredesigned to incorporate large muscle groups; be prepared for lunges, squats, oreven periods of cycling or swinging kettlebells to get the heart rate up. New participants should start small, withfour to six rounds of work, and use modifications such as bodyweight onlysquats and treadmill walking rather than sprinting during the intensity peaks.
Many sample Tabata workouts can be foundonline, and there is a variety ofoptions available for participants at any fitness level. As always, hydrate before and after theworkout, and be sure to rest properly in between training days.
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