The Tabata Lie

Posted: September 23, 2014 in General
Tags: ,

Dr. Schwartz never mentioned “Tabata’s” – they were before his time. As the article demonstrates despite the popularity of the “Name” the principles are widely misunderstood. Schwartz’ protocols were for the more average person aiming to establish a solid base of fitness with exercise that was pleasurable – not dreaded because of its intensity. As the saying goes, “you know you’re really doing a ‘Tabata’ when you’re about to throw up!”

IanMellis.com

Tabata training is an example of how science has been used to skew a training protocol in to a weight loss regime- even though they are not related.  Tabatas are based upon a study where the participants performed a programme of high intensity/ low volume training peaking out at 170% of their VO2 Max. The original abstract is here for the science geeks. In summary, performing high intensity work over a six week period resulted in an improvement in maximal aerobic power and indicated that  intermittent high intensity training may improve both anaerobic and aerobic energy supply systems. That would be okay if the study stayed in cycling highlighting that a short period of high intensity work can bring about improvements in your performance.

However this study has been bastardized in to main stream fitness and “rebranded” as a fat loss protocol. Fundamentally though if you are not working at 170%…

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