T Nation

Tabata Challenge

The Tabata Personal Challenge

Getting back into the swing of things. Slowly. No time and an older body means I have to focus a lot on injury prevention for awhile:


  1. Get back into the habit of training (e.g. lifestyle changes)
  2. Lose a bit of my extra fat
  3. Improve athleticism/flexibility/feel less like an old man everyday.

This started as a personal challenge between myself and two friends started 1.9.2016. At the beginning goals were fuzzy and being developed. My initial goal was to hit 178 lbs by 5.28.2016. That was about 1lb/week of loss. My friends had different goals.

However, both of them have had some injuries that are keeping them out of things. I started slacking off. Then when I wasn’t slacking off I think I’m bugging them by “checking in” so frequently. They’re supportive, but as they can’t participate, I thought I’d change this into a blog/log.

Right now I’m sitting at 193 as of my weigh in yesterday. That’s 8 lbs away from where I wanted to be at this point. I’m going to make an effort to “catch up” by may 28th. But realistically, 15lbs in 7 weeks probably isn’t realistic. I guess I’ll just see how I do. My main focus is slow and steady progress and lifestyle changes.

Tabata Challenge (pt1)
Tabata Challenge Pt1 was a 14 day challenge that went went well so I’m doing it again. It’s a part of my larger goal. Basically, every workday, I woke up early and busted out Tabatas for 2 weeks. I gave myself weekends as “rest” and (realistically) catch up days. I accomplished this goal and only missed one workday. I was surprised at how good the activities made me feel. So I’m doing it again

Tabata Challenge Pt 2:
So I’ll do a “Tabata Challenge pt.2” Another 2 weeks. This time I want to do one “weighted” exercise that is unrelated to the Tabatas before I do my Tabatas. This can be skipped if too late in the morning (no time) but must be made up on the next day. Again I’ll take weekends as “rest” days.

So basic structure:

Wake up and drink coffee (10 minutes)
Warm up (5-10 minutes)
One Weighted exercise (5 minutes)
Tabatas (4min)
Lay on the floor dead (6 minutes)
Stretching and Mobility work (20 minutes)
Total time needed to wake up early to be successful = 60 minutes

​Monday 4.11.16: Day 1 of 14: Arnold DB Push press (30s): ​Tabata goblet squats holding one 30lb DB.

Most of my mobility and stretching work was “subbed out” so that I would have time to prep meals. I cooked everything last night but had something come up and couldn’t finish. So I woke up early today and prepped some meals. No time though, so not a lot of stretching.

Tuesday 4.12.2016: 2/14: BO DB rows (30s): Tabata DB Deads (alternated between Deads and SL Deads). DeFranco’s Agile 8. Ankle mobility work (Both ankles are bad…my left ankle never fully healed from the last sprain in 2013).

Wednesday 4.13.16: 3/14: DB Curls supersetted w/ overhead DB tri extensions. Tabata Burpees . Flexibiltiy work w/ some mobility stuff.

Note: Tomorrow I am limited on time and can’t do it all
Note2: Next Tuesday, I’m limited on time and can’t do it all.
Both days I’ll need to modify it. (probably only tabatas)

Thursday 4.14: 4/14: No weights, no time: tabata bw squats, stretching and ankle mobility
Friday 4.15: 5/14: up too late the night before so I woke late. Tabatas only. I did “various” exercises including squats variations and some kicking variations,

weekend scheduled rest… I also got un some stretching and food prep

Monday: arnold press : bw tabata squats : stretching and ankle mobility.

Tuesday : Break. I was scheduled to wake up early and just get some tabatas in… but burned the candle a bit too long on the other end and decided just to take a rest day.

Wednesday 4/20/2016: SL DB Deads (30s) : Tabatas sets of Pushups then BO DB rows (30s) . Stretching & ankle mobility


  1. I:ll try to “make up” tuesday on the weekend.

  2. “habituation” is starting to set in. Working out is the first thing I think of in the mornings and I felt bad taking yesterday off.

  3. “old man body” is a problem. Left shoulder was giving me hell last week (r. cuff?) Monday and Tuesday it was my left ankle and knee. Mostly the ankle. I think the knee hurt later on cuz it was compensating for my ankle . I’ve got to think about and address this. I don’t want injury to sideline me just when I’ve gotten started.

  4. Diet is marginally better, but I’m going to have to kick it into gear if I actually want to move the scale.

Thursday: 11/14: 4/21/2016: Bi/Tri/trap: tabata thrusters all with DB 30s

Friday BO DB rows 30s. tabata kicks and squats

saturday. tabata bw squats

tomorrow is scheduled rest. I still haven’t finalized pt3 yet, but pt2 is effectively finished

I need to think about and create a challenge #3… I’m just winging it now.

Monday: 30s (DB): floor press, bo rows: rom deads done “complex style” with breaks cuz I’m tired and old. 20reps/set 3 sets. Stretching.

Today’s biggest challenge was not to kill the damn cat

Tuesday seder rest
Wednesday: SL deads / BO rows / floor press complex 30s DB 3 sets of 20 reps

note felt good this morning. very little test. (still not a true complex though)