Intervals should be hard. How hard is yours? Intensity is the name of the game. Don’t settle for anything less, get the body you deserve.
Ever heard of an exercise protocol called a Tabata Circuit?
It’s not easy, although I have had people tell me it was. They didn’t think it was very hard. They took my recommendation and created their very own Tabata circuit. So what did they do? Before I get into that let’s get into exactly what it is and why. Tabata is an actual person. Sorry don’t remember his first name, but he is a Japanese Scientist who created the method in effort to burn the maximum amount of fat possible.
It was originally performed using only sprints. With a Tabata Interval you exercise as hard as you can with maximum intensity for:20 and then rest:10 and repeat for 8 rounds. Now sprinting is one of the hardest things you can do for exercise. And the results–lean muscle gain, fat loss, anaerobic and aerobic capacity, speed–are hard to match with any other type of exercise. But when combined with just:10 rest it turns into an awesomely hard workout, in a good way, body fat be damned. The only thing you really sacrifice is maximum speed.
Dr. Tabata found out that this interval of:20 on and:10 off was a 4-minute fat burning machine. The Ultimate Fat Burning Experience. Since being introduced to America some time ago, we have taken it and made it our own. Combining all sorts of exercises and different types of equipment. But one thing is for sure, it is supposed to be hard. Now back to what these people did. I had two young ladies email me saying the Tabata protocol was too easy. One of the ladies performed a superset she found in women’s fitness magazine, and she applied the 20/10 to it. She alternated between biceps curls and triceps kickbacks using a neon green 6-pound dumbbell.
The second lady used it at the gym using machines for her chest and back. This is exactly why it was so easy for them. Isolation exercises are just that–they isolate a muscle so only one muscle is working (most of the time). Combine little weights with isolation exercises in Tabata style (or pretty much any style) then you have just wasted time. That shouldn’t even break a sweat. Then we have machines, which are pretty much isolation exercises too. Not working any stabilizer muscles, just moving back and forth in a fixed track.
Remember when I said Tabata was originally for sprinting? What is sprinting? It’s a full body exercise. Every muscle is working. Your legs, hips, butt are your main movers, but your core, arms, back, chest is all assisting to help you move your entire as body weight as fast possible. So you need to involve and pick movements that get multiple muscles involved. Below are some of my favorite Tabata exercises to use, and most of these have endless variations you could use:
– Squat & Press
– Mountain Climbers
– Sledge Hammer Work
– Car or Prowler Pushes
– Animal Movements
– Medicine Ball Work
What’s really cool is all those exercise can be done with different types of implements: body weight, kettlebells, bands, sandbags, med balls, barbells, dumbbells, etc… There is a whole lot more you could be doing, but you get the point. It should be hard, not easy. Give it a try. 8 rounds by:20 of work by:10 rest. And of course there are modifications you can do. 12 rounds, 16 rounds, 6 rounds.:15 on:15 off. 1 exercise, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, etc… But the lesson is–do Tabatas hard and intense, become a lean, mean fat burning machine!