5 Things to Know About Tabata

Exploring Intensity

5 Things to Know About Tabata

1. The Tabata Protocol is a 4-minute interval sequence of 8 bouts of intense exercise for 20 seconds separated by 10 seconds of rest.

2. Izumi Tabata, a Japanese researcher started using the interval technique in a study examining high-intensity interval training or HIIT. In 1996 he studied two groups of Olympic speed skaters and compared 4 minutes of HIIT to 30 minutes of steady state exercise. He discovered that both groups improved their aerobic (endurance) training, but the HIIT group showed greater gains in anaerobic performance (short-burst intensity).

3. The original Tabata Protocol included 5 minutes of warm up, 4 minutes of HIIT, and 2 minutes of cool down exercise. Total time each day was 11 minutes.

4. The Olympic athletes studied were in peak physical condition and could safely work their bodies to 170% of VO2 max – similar to what you might feel sprinting up a hill at top speed.

5. At Cardio High we advise starting out with moderate intensity intervals of 30 seconds or 45 seconds before trying to do the high intensity 20 seconds on and 10 seconds off.