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.