Tabata what?

Fire Team Whiskey's .22 Caliber Fitness Protocol is a Tabata style workout. What the heck is Tabata?

Tabata is a style of high-intensity interval training that is focused on getting a person to muscle fatigue and/or target heart rate. Tabata is a just a specific approach to HIIT that focuses on the timing of the sets you complete. A Tabata style workout has you perform an exercise as hard (or fast in the case of cardio moves) as you can for 20 seconds, then take a 10-second break.  This is repeated with the same exercises for 8 sets.  For strength training, this should get you close to muscle failure. With cardio, by set 8 you should be near your target heart rate. High-Intensity Interval Workouts are similar, and may very well use this same 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off approach. Some HIIT workouts vary the intervals form s short as 20 seconds to as long as a minute. You can use Tabata and HIIT for any strength training or cardio move. 

What are the benefits of using the Tabata or HIIT methods are as stated above, to get you to as close to muscle failure and target heart rate as you can for each exercise. Why? Becuase this is the most time and energy efficient way to workout. Sure you can reach muscle failure by doing 100 bicep curls with light weights. You can also reach your target heart rate by running for an hour. But as the saying goes "Aint nobody got time for that!" The best benefit to a Tabata or HIIT style workout is that because it is so efficient, you only need to workout for 20-30 minutes to get the same if not better benefts than a steady state hour long workout (or more). 

Research also shows that HIIT type training has many more benefits than traditional slower to moderate paced exercise. HIIT has been shown to stimulate a significantly higher, total workout calorie burn and EPOC (post workout afterburn) compared to continuous steady pace training. There is also a significantly better increase VO2 max, strengthening cardiovascular output as well as size and number of mitochondria, increasing energy production.

Here is an example of a mixed cardio and body weight strength Tabata Circuit. Remember to work as hard and as fast as you can during the 20 second work period (staying safe with your form). 

High knee run in place 20 seconds, 10-second break for 8 sets. 

Push-ups  20 seconds, 10-second break for 8 sets. 

Jumping jacks  20 seconds, 10-second break for 8 sets. 

Tricep Dips  20 seconds, 10-second break for 8 sets.  

10-meter sprints  20 seconds, 10-second break for 8 sets. 

Squat jumps  20 seconds, 10-second break for 8 sets. 


The above is a 24-minute workout. Short, sweet and super efficient. 

Happy Sweating!