When comparing Tabata to other cardiovascular training, Tabata really stands out. The reason is because Tabata is the shortest of them all; but is the most effective when it comes to burning fat and improving cardio. However, it is good to know what the pros and cons are to using Tabata. Below I will explain the benefits and non-benefits of using Tabata.
What are the Pros?
From the results of the test that Izumi Tabata did, it has been proven that high intensity interval training (specifically Tabata) increases both the aerobic and anaerobic system of anybody using it. Moderate high intensity training (jogging, biking, swimming, and so forth) increased the aerobic system (not as much as Tabata did) and little to no increase in the anaerobic system.
Basically, if you use Tabata, you will be improving your aerobic system much more than traditional cardio training and you’ll be improving your anaerobic system at the same time.
Other than the short time and anaerobic increase, using Tabata will also fire up the metabolism during the workout and have an after effect after the workout (meaning even after you are done your Tabata workout, you’ll still be burning calories). Having high metabolism will help you burn fat and Tabata is a really good fat burning type of exercise.
As well, Tabata also improves mental toughness (or will power) because of the high intensity of it. At first when you do Tabata training, you might be having the thoughts of quiting.
However, if you pull through the exercise, you’ll be gaining physical benefits as well as mental benefits. Because let’s face it, doing a exercise for 20 seconds at 170% might seem short and easy, but when you do it, those 20 seconds are actually longest 20 seconds of your life (when you’re in session 4 or 5 you’ll understand what I mean).
What are the Cons?
Well, this section will be short because there are very few cons when using the Tabata. However, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t.
Because of the high intensity Tabata requires you to do, it could be dangerous when you perform this exercise when you are prone to strokes and heart attacks. If you know that you have high blood pressure or have had a history of strokes and heart attacks, consult with your doctor first to see if you are physically capable of performing the Tabata exercise.
The other danger about Tabata is that if you’re not careful and are using weights when doing Tabata, depending on the exercise, you could hurt yourself. For example if you are benching real quickly when using Tabata, there’s a chance the bar might slip from your hands.
So should I use Tabata?
Depends, how bad do you want to see results? If you really want to lose weight or improve your cardio, use Tabata. The pros outweigh the cons and it’s a short, four minute workout session. However, if you aren’t physically healthy to perform Tabata, speak with your doctor to finding an alternative way to exercise for health.