T Nation



GUYS! i just did a tabata method workout for the first time...holyyyy sheeeet!
it works guys. it works. im proud to say, that i finished all 8 sets, front squats, with 85 pounds. Had my girlfriend timing me and checking my form so you know that kept me honest. first set, eh, not to bad, 2nd, wow, felt the burn but could handle it. 3rd and 4th i was hurting. 5th and 6th my quads were on fire and i couldnt breathe. 7th my legs damn near gave out. 8th, they did. racked the bar for the last time, and literally fell down. sucking wind and holding my lunch down and stretching my legs in agony. couldnt move for 5 minutes and could barely stand after that. it was awesome. so i just wanted to let ya'll know, that i had one of the best workouts of my life. thought i should share.

btw, my girlfriend kicks all your girlfriends asses. she got through 5 sets with 55 pounds. made me proud.


Kool! Always been interested in trying tabata.......how do you work it into your leg routine to avoid problems with recovery?


I loved Tabata front squats, until FattyFat rambled off about doing those with 275 lbs.

So one time I did it with 145 pounds...

And. It. Fucking. Blew.


well i was supposed to do sprints yesterday as part of my normal routine. but since the track was closed cuz of bad weather and upcoming graduation i ended up doing tabata. To be perfectly honest, it might just be me, but my recovery went pretty well so far. dont get me wrong, it sucked like hell at the time, but my legs just arent as sore as i thought they would be. maybe i need more weight? i'll find out next time i guess haha


dude i cant even imagine hahaha


Yeah, it's obscenely brutal. I've been doing them on exercise bikes lately after Dan John mentioned it in a fairly recent article.

Legs feel like they're going to assplode when I'm done.


Excuse me, that was actually supposed to be 245, lol. It wasn't a true Tabata, unfortunately. By the last few sets I could only muster a few reps, haha.


My girl can squat 185 for 6...and she's only 115.


Not disagreeing. Just wondering how you reached this conclusion after doing them once.


I love tabatas, I usually do them a little different though. 8 sets, each set goes push-ups, then abs(bicycles), then speed squats then


I've been doing 'em 1-2x weekly on an erg (rowing machine) for a few years.

Yeah, they're fun.

They're especially fun when you can convince someone else they're fun :wink:


going off of how shitty i felt doing them, and how much wind i was sucking, it works. fat loss wise i couldnt tell ya obviously, only one day. but i got faith haha


like your girlfriend. front squats never looked hotter.


For the record. You can do things with a Tabata "influence," but unless you're doing Front Squats or whatever that other exercise is (like a push press or something, IDK,) then it's not actually Tabata.


i completely agree. front squats man, they tear you up. bike and sprinting just dont compare i think. that articel by dan john really hit the nail on the head.



You're aware that the original protocol was based on exercise bikes, and used by speed-skaters?


Any whole-body / large muscle movement works. Erging counts, bikes, front squats, burpbees, etc.

The key is heartrate elevation and hitting VO2 Max. Not the specific movement or resistance used.


i dunno man, i guess i could give both a shot. whenever we would do PT with the recruiters we would do something similar to Tabata. 60 seconds of work (pushups, sidestraddle hops, airsquats, box jumps, and other stuff) with 10 seconds of rest for 6 or 8 rounds. just didnt compare to doing front squats even though the work was longer. maybe it has to do with the resistance used making it just a hard ass workout rather then just bodyweight?


I stand correct. I was probably thinking of the random TMag article I read one time or something like that.

Either way, the only non Front Squat variation of Tabata that really seems to dominate me in the same way is Tabata Sprints. These are seriously the worst, and most horrible things I've ever done physically-speaking. The other ones aren't bad but at that point I'd almost rather just do some other variation of HIIT for longer. :smiley:


As far as i can see it the tabata protocol is very specific i.e 20 seconds flat out/max effort work followed by 10 seconds rest-just repeated 8 times.

Not supposed to matter what exercise although i do find that anything that needs perfect form needs the weight dropping way back.

The routine quoted earlier ie 60 seconds isn't a tabata--i have called it called 'stappers' ie workload over 1 minute.

Tabatas done to protocol are absolutely murderous due to the high lactate production and oxygen debt build up.


That's an interval, but it's not Tabata protocol.

There was some follow-up where the original researcher (Dr. Tabata) tested other interval protocols for their training effect.

First: note that as with any training protocol, "best" automatically implies "for what", and in the case of Tabata, the goal is increasing VO2 (maximum aerobic potential) in the trainee.

Varying the interval timing / workfactors from the 20/10 to other values reduces the VO2 max increase. The mechanism seems to be lactate production / oxygen debt, followed by a very brief recovery period. You can do other interval periods, and they may have their own training benefits, but if you're looking for a VO2 max benfit, toss in a 1-2x weekly Tabata set.

The whole matter of interval length and workfactor ratios (work to recovery) is something I've tried to research from time to time but there's surprisingly little written on the subject at least in lay accessible sources. The research on the strength training side (sets, reps, rest, training protocols) is much more accessible and advanced, from what I can tell. Hrm.... Wikipedia's actually got a good summary and compendium of references: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-intensity_interval_training