Cue excited face…
I can feel your excitement. Probably the same as my spin class. Whenever I mention tabata a look of hate starts to creep in to their eyes. I don’t take the hate personally, I take it as I am doing my job. I’m making them work for it. I mean, you don’t come to a class (any class) to take it easy. Well, maybe restorative yoga, but that’s about it. You come to work. You come to change your body. You come to change your mind. You come to prove something to yourself. And that is what tabata is great for…pushing yourself to your limit. To leave it all out there. To sweat your little heart out.
Tabata is the hot workout word right now, but if you aren’t up on all the hype, here’s the dealio:
- It’s named after Dr. Izumi Tabata
- It’s a HIIT workout (high intensity interval training)
- It requires an all out effort for 20 seconds followed by 10 seconds of recovery for 8 rounds (4min total)
- Did I mention it’s intense?
- It’s recommended to be done no more than 1-2 times a week
The great thing about tabata workouts is that they pack a punch without a ton of time commitment and can be done with a really wide variety of exercises. I have been wanting to do a tabata ride for a while and figured that Monday was the day.
The class profile is pretty simple. The gist:
- Climb with 3 turns to the top
- working recovery
- working recovery
- and repeat two more times
I did vary the climb songs a bit. The first climb (Black Cat) wasn’t as heavy as the last (Express Yourself) and the middle (Electric Ave) was jumps on a hill. The working recovery was important so that everyone could have enough energy to give 100% for the tabata and then be able to recover properly before starting to work again. I also varied the tabata songs by how much resistance was used. The first two were strength based tabatas. The first (Applause) was at a 7-9 for 20 seconds and then recovering at a 5. The second (Bad Medicine) was at a 8-9 for 20 seconds and recovering at a 6. The last tabata (Ho Hey Remix) was a sprit and was at a 6 for 20 seconds and recovering at a 4.
So what should tabatas feel like? Well, kinda like death. The first two to three should be manageable, but by the end you should be in an anaerobic zone. It really is more of a mental game. You have to believe you can do it and then push yourself through what you think you can do and give it a bit more. If you do this workout right, it should be tough– really tough. You should be begging for that working recovery song.
The quote above is so true. You can’t just stay in your comfort zone. Well, you can, but you won’t ever see change. That goes for workouts and for life! How are you pushing yourself today?