The Power of “Tabata Scoring” During Your Workouts

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:

  • Burpees
  • Pushups
  • Chin Ups
  • Squats

So if you’re, not already doing so, start taking down your Tabata scores for a few key routines to benchmark your workouts.

Time to Get Brutal!

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

6. Bicycle

7. Dips

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

12. Burpees

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:

High Intensity Tabata Combo Routine

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!