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06-13-2009, 09:06 AM
Semper Sens
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Join Date: Nov 2007
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I second Tabata method. It's basically HIIT with everything optimized... the duration of work, duration of rest, number of rounds.

It was desgined by a Japanese scientist whose last name was Tabata. While working for the Unversity of Tokyo he used mice to test different durations and numbers of rounds. When he was finally set on all then umbers, he was given a few olympic athletes and put them through the Tabata method. They recorded a marked (some sites say 28%, some say 14&) VO2MAX increase (VO2MAX is some measure of oxygen intake; I think it measures anaerobic capacity, not too sure) in 6 weeks.

These were fully trained olympic athletes who had already had ridiculous stamina. Imagaine what it could do for you! I sprained my ankle but will be starting the Tabata method with burpees once i'm healed.

Anyways, for Tabata method you want to pick a full body exercise. Some people do use weights for exercises like power cleans, thrusters or front squats. There is an article somewhere on T-Nation (here) about this if you want to try, but I wouldn't reccomend unless you are really comfortable with the movement, otherwise it could be dangerous.

Good bodyweight exercise choices would be burpeers or sprints. When Tabata first did it with the olympic athletes, he used some sort of stationary bicycle, I believe, and they did bicycle sprints.

In general, you want to use something that works at least a few large muscles in your body. Doing it with curls is stupid (obviously). I'm doing burpees because they're a good time even without tabata. It's alot of movements combined into one and so it works alot of different muscles.

Once you have your exercise chosen, find a bucket in case you need to puke at some point. Tabata requires MAXIMUM EFFORT for every second you are supposed to be working.

So, a round goes like this:

20s of work (again, maximum effort)
10s of rest
Total = 30s

You do that 8 times. 8*30s = 240s
240s* (1min/60s) = 4 min.

So you will be done in just 4 minutes. It will be a hell of a four minutes, but that's something to remember while your halfway through and feel like giving up.

Obviously, you will need a clock with a second hand that you can see, or there are tabata clocks available online (one here).

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