If you’re anything like me, and most of you are, the one thing you hate most about training is conditioning. Not many people enjoy pushing a prowler around, spending a half hour at the track running sprints, or wasting an hour of your time on the elliptical when you could be actually doing something useful. What if I were to tell you that you could get a GREAT conditioning session done in 4 minutes with the same or even better results? Enter Tabata.
Simply put, Tabata is an interval protocol performed on a bike that has been shown to highly improve both aerobic and anaerobic capacity in numerous scientific studies. The Tabata protocol calls for 20 seconds of ALL OUT sprinting followed by 10 seconds of active rest, repeated 8 times for a total of 4 minutes. Pretty straight forward, but difficult to say the least.
I, for example, perform Tabata a couple times a week. I’ll jump on the bike, perform a 1 minute warm up followed by the 4 minute Tabata protocol and then another 1 minute cool down for a total of 6 minutes. Remember, this is after a strength training session so my body is warm and ready to go, therefore the 1 minute warm up is more or less just getting comfortable on the bike and maybe a little bit of a stall tactic.
Do yourself a favor and add 1-2 Tabata sessions a week after your regular strength training like I have. If done right, the protocol is a quick, intense, and mentally challenging interval session that will eat away at those love handles. It’s tough, but it’s will be one of the best fat burning sessions you’ll encounter, and it’s over in only 4 minutes!