SF Bay Area Fit Body Boot Camp Workout of the Day 06/23/2010
Total Body Tabata Fat Loss Workout
TABATA: Perform each exercise for 20s with 10 s rest for 6 sets total, one after the other
Tabata Method Source: Tabata
A popular regimen based on a 1996 study uses 20 seconds of ultra-intense exercise (at 170% of VO2max) followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated continuously for 4 minutes (8 cycles). In the original study, athletes using this method trained 4 times per week, plus another day of steady-state training, and obtained gains similar to a group of athletes who did steady state (70% VO2max) training 5 times per week. The steady state group had a higher VO2max at the end (from 52 to 57 ml/kg/min), but the tabata group had started lower and gained more overall (from 48 to 55 ml/kg/min). Also, only the tabata group had gained anaerobic capacity benefits.
Studies by Tabata, Tremblay and others have explored the effectiveness of this method compared to traditional endurance training methods. A study by Gibala et al. demonstrated 2.5 hours of sprint interval training produced similar biochemical muscle changes to 10.5 hours of endurance training and similar endurance performance benefits. According to a study by King  , HIIT increases the resting metabolic rate (RMR) for the following 24 hours due to excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, and may improve maximal oxygen consumption (VO2 max) more effectively than doing only traditional, long aerobic workouts.
Long aerobic workouts have been promoted as the best method to reduce fat, as fatty acid utilization usually occurs after at least 30 minutes of training. HIIT is somewhat counterintuitive in this regard, but has nonetheless been shown to burn fat more effectively. There may be a number of factors that contribute to this, including an increase in RMR, and possibly other physiological effects.
High-intensity interval training has also been shown to improve athletic performance. For already well-trained athletes, improvements in performance become difficult to attain and increases in training volume can potentially yield no improvements. Previous research would suggest that, for athletes who are already trained, improvements in endurance performance can be achieved through high-intensity interval training. A recent study by Driller showed an 8.2 second improvement in 2000m rowing time following 4 weeks of HIIT in well-trained rowers. This equates to a significant 2% improvement after just 7 interval training sessions. The interval training used by Driller and colleagues involved 8 x 2.5 minute work bouts at 90% of vVO2max, with individualized recovery intervals between each work bout.
Recently it has been shown that two weeks of HIIT can substantially improve insulin action in young healthy men. HIIT may therefore represent a viable method for prevention of type-2 diabetes.
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In Fitness & Health,
Brien Shamp & Mike Salemi
SF Bay Area Fit Body Boot Camp
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