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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tabata intervals - kind of...

Only Wednesday – wow – long week already.

Monday I did the abs – BOSU- lutey class again followed by a 4 mile run around campus. I did not make a lunch workout.

On Tuesday I did the Power 90 advanced Sculpt program. I now remember this workout from a few years ago. It was tough then and pretty hard now. I would say that it is manageably hard – no, more like comfortably hard – I can complete it. When it comes to workouts I seem to fall into that working HARD mentality. When I was done with the DVD – I was not thrashed, destroyed, collapsed on the floor in my own fluids – I was just done. Logically I know that I do not have to be rung out to have an effective workout but I do find these symptoms gratifying. I do this in running and biking and swimming also. And I know that this is flawed. I got done with the workout video and I decided to jump on the trainer for just a few minutes. I had been batting around the idea of Tabata intervals.

The Tabata protocol is a high-intensity training regimen that produces remarkable results. A Tabata workout (also called a Tabata sequence) is an interval training cycle of 20 seconds of maximum intensity exercise, followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated without pause 8 times for a total of four minutes.

I have done similar things with running but I did not call them Tabata intervals. As part of EPIC day in the past I would run 100 yard dashes on the football field with very little recovery. Now, a 100 dash for me is about 12 – 13 seconds so it is not as long as 20 seconds. My dash times would drop off very quickly! This Tabata protocol would almost double the work session. I fumbled around with my trainer for a few minutes. I thought about putting a movie in – but I knew that I would not last long. I cranked up the music and did a very short warm up and then hit the first interval. I shifted in a large gear and stood out of the saddle to gain momentum. I then dropped into the aero bars and churned out big numbers for 20 seconds. It was an all out hard effort. I sat up in the saddle and watched the clock tick down. Session two was much the same – maybe just a moment longer to get up to speed. Sweat was dripping off of me already. The rest interval could not have gotten to me any sooner and on the flip side the recovery flew by. On the third interval it was everything to just hang on and complete the 20 seconds with max power. There felt like there was zero recovery and I was immediately back into the fourth repetition. I ramped up to power but I could not hold for the 20 seconds. I was done, spent, collapsed on the floor. Mission accomplished I guess. This will definitely be an area to work on in the future – I would like to increase the intervals to 8 x MAX for 20 seconds. Something to work on!


  1. Ahhh the joy of doing other things besides sbr. I am joining you next week

  2. Tabata sounds brutal. I'm pretty sure I'd need a bucket.

  3. You need a power meter for those, but I have tried them and I'm dead at 5...come on! 8 second recovery...PLEASE!!!

  4. James and I did something similar for weight lifting. A different day each week, and thus a different body part each time, we would pick one basic exercise--say bench press--and do as many reps as we could for 20 seconds. Rest 10 seconds. 20 on. 10 off. Repeat for 4 minutes. It can be scary with free weights, but with a good spotter, the results are deliriously good.