T Nation

Tabata Tidbits

Me and two of my close friends have been training together for the past year and a half, and for the past 16 weeks or so we have been using the Tabata method. We have three full body work outs a week each day with a different focus tues=max strength, thurs=endurance, sun=explosive. Our thurs/endurance day is centered around a tabata front squat push press combo, and I thought I would share some of the things we have learned about using this training tool.

First use 25-35% of the one rep max of the weakest link in the complex, example we do a front squat push press combo, my push press is lower than my front squat so I load up the bar with 35% of my push press 1 rep max.

Second have a training partner, this way you can have somone call out the intervals for you and since your are both using a weight that should be of equal relitive difficulty you can always endevor to out do your partner for some extra motivation.

Third you can do Tabata sets as often as you want, Dan John, my favortie writer here, recomended once a month which is a good idea as tabata is hell on motivation but if you can stomach it you can do it more often without ill effect and with many positive effects.

Forth tabata excercises should be weighted, the body weight drills are much easier, for example we started using the tabata method for AtG body weight squats, but I can do 200+ straight, so doing the tabata method I just end up doing 8 sets of 20-23 reps and even my one friend who had previously been completely sedentary, found the bodyweight excerises to be nothing compared to the hell on wheels the weighted excercises are.
Thats it I hope this can be of help to somone out there

Great post.

I hope this saves some people some pain regarding this method. I learned most of this stuff the hard way.

yeah … good post

THIS is the stuff that IS T-Nation!


As an aside, I purchased a timer from Gym Boss and it is ideal for Tabata. You can set the dual intervals to beep and it counts how many rounds you have done. It is difficult to focus on a clock when you are working hard and also I tended to let the rest intervals “drift” a little longer.