I wrote this article series to help explain some of the commonly used words in bootcamps.
Today’s article is about the training protocol called Tabata.
The Tabata Protocol is something that we see regularly on this website. You are probably already familiar with it, but I thought I would cover it in a bit more detail for those interested in the mechanics.
It is a great tool to use as a warm up with low intensity exercises or as a finisher with harder exercises. You can also use it for fitness tests or for something extra challenging, an entire workout.
The basic premise of tabata is interval training and when someone refers to tabata, usually they are just refering to the interval timing.
Tabata involves an exercise being completed at maximum intensity for 20 seconds followed by 10 seconds rest. This is then completed 8 times for a total of 4 minutes. The traditional tabata drill always used running/sprinting as the set exercise.
Use in Bootcamps
We, in the bootcamp industry can have a little more fun.
When doing a repetition exercise I recommend challenging your clients to at least equal their reps each round.
A clients first round might be 14 push ups. Next round they would try and get 14 again.
Each time they miss their top score they reset their goal to their new lowest. So if the client misses that 14 and only does 12 push ups. They would now try and equal 12 push ups each round. Of course, you can still get them to aim for the 14 if you like.
When using this for a fitness test, you would only record the WORST score that they achieved (12 in the above example assuming they didn’t get worse). The key here is to build endurance along with speed.