Monday, May 12, 2014

Tabata Time

Happy Monday Mornin! Hope y’all had a wonderful weekend and got to celebrate all the amazing mothers in your life. Changing up your workout is a great way to kick your own butt and keep your routine from becoming monotonous. I love me a good Tabata workout and actually used it as training method for my group exercise classes I taught during Grad school. Wondering what the h-e-double hockey sticks Tabata is?? Here’s the 411 on an awesome workout!

Tabata (Ta-ba-tah) is named after a researcher named Izumi Tabata who is a major player of the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Japan. If you have four minutes to spare (ya heard me!) only four minutes, you can get a killer workout in. Remember when I talked about HIIT training? Well, Tabata is a form of HIIT that is challenging, fun and will leave you breathless! You probably will never look at four minutes the same way ever again :)

Tabata can be performed anywhere (in the gym, at home, in a park) and you can program it to where no equipment is needed. This training method is designed to last four minutes in which you perform eight intervals. Each interval is 20 seconds long, performed at a very high intensity followed by 10 seconds of rest. You should perform the 20 second period of work at maximum intensity, rest for 10 seconds and repeat for a total of 4 minutes (20 seconds of HIIT + 10 seconds rest) x 8 = 4 minutes.


How do you know if Tabata is for you? Give it a try! If you are bored with your current routine or feel you have hit a plateau, this method might be just the thing you need to revamp your workouts. Always use caution with HIIT, if you are not used to pushing your heart rate to a maximum level or are very new to working out, this might be a tool you put in the back of your mind and use it when you are ready. **It is always a good idea to consult with your doctor if you are unsure if this is for you.

If you add Tabata into your routine, it is not something you would want to perform on a daily basis and you will want to keep your heart rate under your max heart rate. (You can use the age-predicted heart rate max equation to figure out what your max is by: 220 - your age). I encourage you to start slow and work your way up if you are not used to performing high intensity activities. Possibly start with only 4 intervals and work your way up to 8. I encourage you to incorporate it into your training once a month or so and if you really enjoy it maybe add it in a couple times per month to switch up your training program.

If you are ready to give it a try, you will need a stop watch or a counter (the app store has a couple great timers that talk to you through your head phones) or a partner to keep you on track with time. Don’t know where to start? Start with body weight movements or sprints/stairs. Sprint for 20 seconds followed by walking for 10 seconds and repeat for a total of eight times. Jump rope Tabata is awesome as is using the row machine, biking, elliptical, kettlebells, and circuit workouts. This is where you can be VERY creative and utilize the equipment you have (or lack thereof).

The benefits of Tabata training are plentiful. It is a great way to maximize your training in a short amount of time. If you only have 20 minutes to get your workout in, this is the way to go! You can do a couple different circuits and boom! You have finished your workout. It is great for aerobic and anaerobic training and it helps rev up your metabolism not only during but after your workout as well. Plus it beats the ho-hum boredom of your normal routine! I will post a couple great Tabata workouts later this week for those brave souls who want a kick butt workout!

Last night I was really craving something sweet. Since I have been trying to be really good about not eating sugar, I made mini protein balls that are made from whole foods, low in sugar and just one will take away that sweet craving. My hubby usually makes the big boys but I didn’t want that type of commitment lol so I made these perfect petite protein balls that are divine, especially if you put them in the freezer!

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