Tabata Intervals

Perhaps the most horrid experience of my life! Not recommended for anyone fast!

Interesting spot Shumon.

Couple of points :

  1. In that study, Quote sixteen active but untrained students, average age 22.
  • I wonder what the effect would be on people reasonably fit to start with ?
    I have heard comments before about the number of studies involving people who are starting from a low base. Basically any trainig will help them…
  1. The training protocal (hard with short rest) sounds like extensive tempo. Those that follow CFTS would say that more serious and trained athletes should follow High (max V, SE…) or Low intensity (tempo) approach. Rather than this kind of in between work.

Therefore I doubt if this approach would work for the athletes on this board.
But lets see.

We used some tabata protocols with our varsity men’s basketball team during preseason training this fall, and we (me and the coaching staff) loved it.
We lifted 3x/week, and ran an additional 3x/week from Sept. until fall practice (with a ball) was allowed in Oct.
After 4 weeks of increasing intensity and volume, We introduced the tabata style one day a week. We varied the work:rest ratios, and kept the length of sprint time to no more than 5 seconds, and varied rest from 2-10 seconds. We would do this for 1-2 minutes a set, and then took anywhere from 1-5 minutes rest before the next set.
I’m trying to come with a formula to see how much ground the players should cover in a given session, taking into account their position and the sprint times we use…
I want to improve upon this next year, so that we can more closely imitate the metabolic demands of a college game…

can this training become dangerous, if you are totally overloading both anerobic and aerobic energy systems. I do agree it is immense, i first starting reading about it on

i would use it for weighted circuits i do, and it was immense, both phsyical and psycholgical.

I also use it for Cycling, on a stationary bike on highest resistance just abit of cross training i do, really hits my legs hard, sprinting intervals sitting down.

No pain, no gain.

The results Tabata got speak for themselves. The subjects in the original research were elite orienteers–not enexperienced people–but similiar results have been received with untrained volunteers.

John Smith has something simiiar, which is 2 sets of 4X100 with 45 sec rest or 3X3X100 with 30 sec rest. These do a great job of setting up Charlie’s alactic stuff, which is how I use them, but you have to be careful not to do too much of this high intensity stuff–once a week for 2-3 weeks, then cut to the alactic works very well.

It doesn’t seem dangerous as long as you’re fit for the workout–this is definitely not GPP stuff–and as long as you have enough recovery in the following days. But this is VERY heavy load (just try to do a decent weight session the day after 2X4X100 with stated rest).

All the research seems to be oriented to aerobic training, though. There don’t seem to be published studies on High Intersnty Intermittent Training oriented to sprinters.

Tabatas are great and intense. There a great training aid for combat athletes(MMA,Boxing,Wrestling), as for sprinters i have no idea.

Tabatas on bikes or pools would also be something ot think about with the loading on the legs.

I believe the research was designed to help Japanese speed skaters.

Excuse me

what do you mean loading on the legs.

Excuse me

what do you mean loading on the legs

Excuse me

what do you mean loading on the legs

Sprint 20 seconds, rest 10 seconds, perform 8 of those. Better yet, sprint across a soccer field and back in 20 seconds, rest 10 seconds with the clock starting as soon as you cross the line, now when you stop, and see if you can get in 8.

Then do them on the bike or in a pool.

Intense runs of 20-10 are very demanding on the legs. The point of tabata is a short duration high intensity effort with a shorter rest.

This is the citation and abstract for Tabata’s original paper on the exercise protocol:

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1996 Oct;28(10):1327-30. Related Articles, Links

Effects of moderate-intensity endurance and high-intensity intermittent training on anaerobic capacity and VO2max.

Tabata I, Nishimura K, Kouzaki M, Hirai Y, Ogita F, Miyachi M, Yamamoto K.

Department of Physiology and Biomechanics, National Institute of Fitness and Sports, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan.

This study consists of two training experiments using a mechanically braked cycle ergometer. First, the effect of 6 wk of moderate-intensity endurance training (intensity: 70% of maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max), 60 min.d-
1, 5 d.wk-1) on the anaerobic capacity (the maximal accumulated oxygen deficit) and VO2max was evaluated. After the training, the anaerobic capacity did not increase significantly (P > 0.10), while VO2max increased from 53 +/- 5 min-1 to 58 +/- 3 (P < 0.01) (mean +/- SD). Second, to quantify the effect of high-intensity intermittent training on energy release, seven subjects performed an intermittent training exercise 5 d.wk-1 for 6 wk. The exhaustive intermittent training consisted of seven to eight sets of 20-s exercise at an intensity of about 170% of VO2max with a 10-s rest between each bout. After the training period, VO2max increased by 7, while the anaerobic capacity increased 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.

But for application to sprint training, I would look at this one:

Not sure, though, that I’d want to attampt what is effectively 6X150 with 10 sec recovery!

Exactly! :slight_smile: On a bike or in a pool it is manageable. the study was done on a bike.

Good find. Tabata now generally refers to the 20:10 work:rest, in this case, dynamic squats:isometric holds

What days would I do this on if my High Intensity Days are Tuesday Thursday Saturday?

If you take the time to work through some numbers…

If you take a good recreational sprinter who can run, say, 11.0 and 22.5, so he hasn’t huge SE but as been doing his tempo, you might have something like:

100m = 11.0
200m = 22.5
mile ~ 5:15-5:30 (this for fixing VO2max only)

If we assume that the guy doing 1-2K tempo 2-3X/week can run a mile time trial in 5:15, Dr. Daniels “Oxygen Power” equations gives a figure of roughly 61.5 for VO2max. Tabata used 170% VO2max in his study, which results in a target workload pace of ~103 VO2max, and the Daniels’ equations give this pace as 1500m in 192 seconds (yes, way below WR pace, but this is just workload pace, and remember this is supramaximal effort).

For this John Q Sprinter, who might be able to run 150m all-out in 16-16.5 sec, if you want to call this extensive tempo, the speed limit is 80% intensity, or 20-21 sec/150.

So the question is, can you run around 1000-1200m of volume 5% faster than extensive tempo pace with 10 sec/150m recoveries?

Maybe you can.

Something to think about for next year’s GPP.

Another question- can you finsih at the same pace you start with?? I don’t think this would end up as extensive tempo.
Did you see the article suggesting this with weights? WTF!

Everyone with a hardon for Tabata intervals seems to have forgotten that

a. it was originally developed for a specific sport (speed skating which has some very odd specific requirements)
b. it was run on a bike

this is important. When you start to get tired around interval 5-6, on the bike you don’t get hurt because technique doesn’t fall apart. either you turn the pedals or you don’t.

done with other activities, form deterioration is a real issue. I think doing it with weights is idiotic and I’d be real hesitant doing it running. Any possible benefit is far outweighed by the risk of injuring the athlete when he loses form and turns an ankle or blows out his knee.