Health benefits of Tabata

Tabata is a high-intensity interval training program developed by Dr Izumi Tabata.  A session is completed in just 20 minutes, but participants are required to work at maximum intensity with only the 10 second rests prescribed in a 20/10 interval programme.  It is split into 4-minute workout sessions repeated eight times.  It is full on and will raise the heart rate, so what are the benefits of Tabata on your health?

Fat Burning
Firstly, because of the intensity, Tabata will keep working on the metabolism after the workout has finished.  Without a doubt, your heart rate will rocket, and this, in turn, raises the metabolism.  In order to work out at that level, the body has to work.  If you then develop a routine whereby Tabata becomes part of your week, the BMR, which is your base or resting metabolic rate increases.  This means even away from a class you are going to be burning more energy than you were before, and in class you are looking at 15 times increase to that BMR.  Burn baby burn!

The Two A’s
We are all familiar with the term aerobic, and of course, Tabata is a form of aerobic exercise.  Your aerobic capacity it the maximum amount of oxygen you consume during vigorous exercise.  Tabata can significantly increase this.  Anaerobic refers to the maximum amount of energy your body can produce during the absence of oxygen.  To get this energy the body burns carbohydrates.

In the original test studies that Dr Tabata carried out, participants saw a 28% increase in the anaerobic capacity and a 14% increase in their aerobic capacity.

Good for Muscle Tissue
When we use diet to lose weight, we are also running the risk of losing not only fat but muscle tissue.  To keep muscles in good condition we need to work them, and the high-intensity interval training method offered by Tabata does just this and helps the body develop muscle tissue rather than damage it.  Longer cardio workouts such as endurance running can place strain or damage muscle tissue.  With Tabata, participants will find that their lean body mass fast goes up.

Short and Sweet
Ok, so time is not a direct benefit to health, but this can be a driving factor when it comes to exercise routines.  Many people do not want to go to the gym for hours, and others simply do not have the time.  Because a Tabata session is only 20 minutes long, the motivation to work is higher. Due to nature and intensity, it is also is not something that you would do daily.  Rather something to be done twice a week, and with such benefits on offer, this again is a great motivator to those short on time.  No equipment is needed, so there is nothing to purchase, just turn up to classes and pay the class fee.

It is, of course, necessary with all forms of exercise that you warm up the body before diving in, otherwise there is a risk of injury from cold muscles.