What is Tabata?

Tabata training is named after the lead scientist Dr. Izumi Tabata from Japan who co-developed the protocol. Dr Tabata. and his colleagues at the National Institute of Health and Nutrition experimented with a variety of different exercise intensity levels, time, and rest intervals to develop a superior aerobic and anaerobic workout.

In a paper published in PubMed titled “Effects of moderate-intensity endurance and high-intensity intermittent training on anaerobic capacity and VO2max.” Tabata’s team compared two groups of athletes training over a 6 week period.

The first group did moderate intensity training (70% capacity) for 60 minutes, 5 days a week for 6 weeks. The second group trained did extreme high intensity aerobic exercise  (170%) for only 4 minutes per day, 4 days a week for 6 weeks.

Amazingly the results showed that the second group who trained high intensity for only 4 minutes improved just about every marker for health and strength than the first group training for 60 minutes. Most importantly, the first group had no improvement in anaerobic , yet the Tabata group improved by 28%.

In conclusion, this study showed that moderate-intensity aerobic training that improves the maximal aerobic power does not change anaerobic capacity and that adequate high-intensity intermittent training may improve both anaerobic and aerobic energy supplying systems significantly, probably through imposing intensive stimuli on both systems.

In plain English, a 4 four minute high intensity Tabata workout will improve your fitness markers & burn more fat than a 60 minute bike ride at moderate intensity.