may sound like a dumb question, but why is the dl a bad exercise?
The dead lift would be a bad exercise to chose because of the nature of the Tabata method, to perform as many reps as possible in the 20 second period. I would guess that the dead lift would be a great way to injure yourself if you were really trying to perform as many as you can, as quickly as you can.[/quote]
I agree, the fact that you are trying to do as many reps as possible means that you really have to throw yourself into the exercise, and I reckon that if I was doing that for deadlifts I would not be able to focus on the correct sequence of extending the knees first before the hips. I think most people would probably jerk the weight up with some form of ugly stiff-legged deadlift, with many risks for the lower back coming into play. The reason that front squats and dumbell thrusters are recommended is that the movement is literally straight up and down, with no “unfolding” of the body required in deadlifts. This makes it easier to stay “in the groove” with perfect form, even though you are performing the reps very quickly. It also means you somehow can do the last few sets on autopilot when you are fast becoming unconscious from the lactic acid buildup, LOL!
Read the original Tabata article here on T-Nation by Dan John. His recommendation is on average to do them only twice a month, and even then you are very tough! You would then fit in some sort of other conditioning training on other weeks. With this advice coming from a guy like Dan I don’t think I would be willing to push these boundaries too much, he knows his training!
The other thing to consider is the frequency that you are doing deadlifts. Yes, they are one of the best exercises to do, but I think it is acknowledged that it is very easy to overtrain doing them as well. I know that Tabatas use very light weight but the number of reps means that your volume is way up there.
If you still wanted to use deadlifts for a conditioning workout I would look at something like Charle’s Staley’s EDT for Fat Loss, where you do a lot of reps of an exercise over a 15 minute period, but you can do it in a manner which will allow you to focus on form more than Tabatas will let you.
Hope this helps