Without a personal trainer, most people do not get to push their training to an effective level. By using a Tabata protocol, your Tabata timer becomes your coach and trainer. That’s why this form of exercise is so effective.
But how do you know if your training is improving or if your workout intensity is consistent?
This is where Tabata “scoring” becomes useful. The Tabata score is simply the lowest number of repetitions during your Tabata workout. For example, if you’re doing Tabata pushups and your reps are as follows:
Round 1 | 20 Seconds | 20 Repetitions
Round 2 | 20 Seconds | 20 Repetitions
Round 3 | 20 Seconds | 18 Repetitions
Round 4 | 20 Seconds | 16 Repetitions
Round 5 | 20 Seconds | 18 Repetitions
Round 6 | 20 Seconds | 15 Repetitions
Round 7 | 20 Seconds | 14 Repetitions
Round 8 | 20 Seconds | 12 Repetitions
Your Tabata score in this case is 12.
What are the benefits of Tabata scoring?
Firstly, It gives you a benchmark score to try and achieve or exceed each time you workout. This ensures each workout is at a consistent intensity.
Second, you will develop a personal best score for each of your main exercises. This lets you know if you’re actually getting stronger or fitter over time.
Finally, by knowing your abilities, you learn to pace yourself so that you do not end up not being able to complete all 8 rounds of the Tabata routine.
Here’s a video showing some experienced athletes pacing their repetitions on a Tabata pushup routine.
A key strategy you will notice is to stop before the 20 seconds is up in the first few rounds once the target repetitions is hit. If you push yourself too much in the first few rounds, you may risk not having enough energy to complete the later rounds or having rounds with very low repetitions towards the end.
Tabata scoring works best with single Tabata routines. For example, they’re great for:
- Chin Ups
So if you’re, not already doing so, start taking down your Tabata scores for a few key routines to benchmark your workouts.
By Patrick Cummings
I am a lifeguard on the ocean of potential.
I rescue success from the depths of fatigue,
breathe life back into lungs like arrows from muted tongues.
I am both singular and in unison.
I can be ignored like cloud cover, sold like medicine,
I can be spit out like oil spills & cleaned up like apologies.
I am a stray tornado at the bulkhead of your basement breath
& I am wondering if you will let me in.
You can tell them later how the radio of your mind came clear
like a car exiting a tunnel,
how standing back up felt like drowning in reverse
When the jackhammer in your chest settles,
tell them how you were pulled back into the boat of possibility,
how you took the oars and you found the shore,
how you listened to the voice inside when I whispered, “more, more, more,”
until I was quiet like satisfaction & still like pride.
“Tabata This” is the name of a classic Crossfit workout-of-the-day (WOD).
The 4 Tabata exercises and sequence of this workout is as follows:
- Tabata Row
- Rest 1 minute
- Tabata Squat
- Rest 1 minute
- Tabata Pull-up
- Rest 1 minute
- Tabata Push-up
- Rest 1 minute
- Tabata Sit-up
So to be clear:
You do 8 sets of 20 seconds on/10 seconds rest for rowing; then you rest one minute; then you do 8 sets of 20 seconds on/10 seconds off for squats; then you rest one minute, then you do 20 seconds on/ 10 seconds off for pull ups, etc.
The whole workout should take 24 minutes (4 minutes per Tabata interval per exercise, 1 minute of rest between exercise).
Now for clarification on the scoring:
The Tabata score is the least number of reps performed in any of the eight intervals. For rowing, the unit that is measured is “calories”. So for example – let’s say in your 8 rounds of pull ups, the lowest number was on your last round where you did 8, then your score for pull ups is 8.
Now let’s see how your scores stack up compared to these guys:
If you don’t have a rower, you can substitute that with sumo-dealift high pulls with 45 pounds for men and 30 pounds for women. Take the bar from mid shin to under your chin.
Her name is Wanja Sjödin from Sweden. She started exercising at age 46 but only once a week. In the last 4-5 years she intensified her exercise regiment to 6 times a week.
Who says you have to slow down when you age?
Photo Credit: angietorres
“New Year, New Life”!
At this time of the year, many people are busy contemplating their goals and resolutions for the new year. I’m willing to bet that getting into better health and fitness will be high on that list for most people. If its on your’s list of goals too then let me share with you a simple Tabata program that you will likely stick to in order to get you real results!
Firstly, here’s why a Tabata program is your best bet for a routine you will stick to:
- No equipment needed! Just a small Tabata timer that you should bring with you everywhere!
- Complete the entire workout in under 20-minutes (including warmup)
- Can be done anywhere! Even in a hotel room if you’re on the go!
Here’s the basic principle to make sure you get results!
- Keep it REAL simple. I meant really SIMPLE! Just do this ONE program. (see routine below)
- Do it consistently – every alternate day!
- Track your results so you know you are taking action consistently! Use this workout tracking sheet to record each workout!
Here’s the new year Tabata program:
- Warm Up with alternating Tabata Jumping Jacks and High Knees (4 mins)
- The main program is a total body Tabata routine of alternating Burpees and Mountain Climbers (4 mins)
- Cool down with deep breathing and total body stretching (10 mins)
(If you’re new here and not sure what the Tabata protocol is – its basically 20 seconds of workout followed by 10 seconds of rest repeated for 8 rounds for a total of 4-minutes)
Do this routine every alternate day for 3 months or until you hit your target body fat % or weight. e.g. Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday…..etc
You should be pretty beat and sweating after the warm up and the core workout. If you’re already in pretty fit condition and not sweating after the above, then just repeat the whole routine (including warm up) again.
If you’re game to take up this super simple and super effective program — leave a comment to share your progress!
I wish you an awesome year ahead and look forward to hearing about you kicking some butt and getting into the best shape of your life for 2012!
“Suicide sprints” is simply running from one point to another point and back with each sequential point extending further out.
For example you can use 4 markers. Place one as the start/ finish marker. The second one can be 10 yards out. The third and forth is placed 20, and 30 yards out. The drill is to run to the first point and back to the start, then run to the second point then back to the start, then on to the third point, and repeating again from the first point for several rounds.
This workout is very effective from training speed and endurance and is a fairly common drill for sports such as American football and soccer.
Tabata Suicide Sprints is a modified version. Just mark two points that are roughly around 20 to 30 feet apart. Then just run between the two points as many times as possible within 2o seconds. Then rest for 10 seconds and repeat for 8 rounds.
In the video example below, this is done indoors from wall to wall. You could also do it outdoors at a park or anywhere with sufficient running room. Just keep your Tabata timer on you and set it to beep to let you know when to start or rest. Simple, easy but brutal!
Here’s a unique Tabata workout from the MudRunManiac.com. It combines 4 different drills from 4 different sports, namely — wrestling, football, baseball and kick-boxing.
This workout is ideally performed outdoors at a a park. The only equipment you need really is some space, a bench or step and of course your Tabata timer.
Here are the exercises in the routine:
- Wrestling: Sprawl Drill (left hip/right hip)
- Football: Running Back Stumble Drill (left hand touch/right hand touch)
- Baseball: Round the Bases Drill (start first-base line/start third-base line)
- Kickboxing: Knee-Hook-Uppercut Drill (left side/right side)
Engage each exercise at maximum effort for 20 seconds. Then rest 10 seconds and repeat for 8 rounds in total. Total workout time is 4-minutes as usual.
Here’s the video:
Ok boys and girls — ready for some fun this week? If you’ve been sticking to the Tabata intervals, your body should be getting pretty fit by now. So I thought of trying something different for a bit of variety.
I’ve added a new category of workouts to this blog called “Interval Training”. This gives us more options to break out of the usual Tabata routines to try something new to challenge our bodies adaptative response. (a.k.a. getting fitter). This section will include High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts as well as other circuit and interval training workouts. Oh the fun!
For starters — I found this 12 min interval workout from the team at BodyRock.TV. I found it to be awesome fun because of the variety of exercises but at the same time, it was really really HARD! Instead of 20 second rounds of activity and 10 seconds of res for eight rounds - we’re going to do 50 seconds of activity, 10 seconds of rest for a total of 12 rounds! So the total workout time is going to be just 12 minutes so give it your best.
Aside from your Gymboss interval timer, will need a few other pieces of equipment for the 12 exercises below. These include a pull up bar and a dip station. If for some reason you can’t get access to these, you can replace it with a similar exercise for the same muscle group.
Here’s are the exercises for each round:
1. Chin Ups
2. Prisoner Jump Squats
3. Mountain Climber
4. Clapping Push Ups
5. Jump Lunges
8. Forward Lunge Jump Up/ Backward Lunge Jump Up (as one exercise on one leg)
9. Forward Lunge Jump Up/ Backward Lunge Jump Up (on the other leg)
10. Side Crunch – left
11. Side Crunch – right
A word of warning — you’re going to be pushed to the limit. So make sure you hydrate and maintain good form to avoid injury.
Write down your total reps for each exercise as your benchmark. You can schedule this workout in your calendar once a month to see how well you do.
Here’s a video demo of the workout:
This week, we’re going to bust a gut doing this! The equipment we’re gonna use are 30 inch box, a kettle bell, a 20 lbs medicine ball and of course, our trusty tabata timer.
If you don’t have a 30″ box – find a curb or other stable platform. If you don’t have a kettle bell, a dumbell will work too. If you ain’t got a medicine ball, try using your dog or cat (just kidding).
Are you ready?
20 seconds: Box Jumps
10 seconds: Rest
20 seconds: Explosive Push-ups (over the kettle bell)
10 seconds: Rest
20 seconds: Med Ball Slams
10 seconds: Rest
20 seconds: Russian Twist
10 seconds: Rest
Repeat from the beginning one more time for a total of 4 minutes of pure burn!
Warning: This workout is going to be tough!
Do eight rounds of double-unders (rope passes twice under the feet on each jump) on Tabata time.
If you can’t do double-unders yet, then just do normal jumps or alternate 1 round of normal skipping with 1 round of double-unders. Worst case scenario, if you can’t do skips consistently, then just do jumping jacks.