A Lotta Tabata
Today’s workout is play day:
Box drop pushups/clap pullups. 4/4, 6 sets. Okay, not everyone can do clap pullups (maybe inlcuding me after a few sets), so the goal is to just make them explosive. Same with the pushups.
1-arm barbell snatch/windmill. Heavy singles. What? Aren’t we only supposed to do heavy singles at the very beginning of a workout? Shut up, grab the bar and start lifting.
Driving Bueler Tabata. Ya know the drill, 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off, 8 rounds (4 minutes). This should be fun.
and then pop back up fast.
A Lotta Tabata
I’m wondering about the common use of Tabata drills these days in the fitness underground. I love ’em, and use ’em, and probably abuse them, but do we really have the right to call them Tabata Drills, or the Tabata Protocol if we don’t follow the concept to the letter? From what I’ve read of the original tenets of Izumi Tabata’s original studies was that the four minute drill WAS the workout, with the all the positive effects wrapped up in the fact that the 4 minutes (well, 3:50) it takes to complete should be intense enough to do the job, the ‘job’ being an increase in VO2 and with post workout metabolic increases that rival workouts of longer durations. Keeping the VO2 at 170% of max (yikes) for 20 seconds, 8 times is supposed to hard, hard enough to do the job(s).
So, this new trend of putting multiple ‘Tabata’ drills back to back into 12, 14 or 16 minute sweat fests makes me wonder if these are allowed to use the name Tabata. These are fun workouts, and tough to be sure, but, and I’m just thinking out loud here, isn’t the original idea to be DONE after one 4-minute round? Multiple Tabata’s sort of defeats the original purpose.
This isn’t saying that a new protocol can’t emerge, but calling anything more than a single 4 minute Tabata a ‘tabata’ is ignoring the concept of intensity. Seems to me that the whole point of the Tabata was to create an IMMENSE amount of intensity in a short period of time. So multiple 4-minute drills might mean that the first wasn’t quite tough enough.
Sort of reminds me of the confusions of the hey-day of Mike Mentzer’s High Intensity Training. Although HIT has fallen out of favor for most folks pushing weights these days, his concepts of intensity should be considered. His sets were meant to be done to FAILURE, which means, simply, you COULDN’T DO ANOTHER REP, even if a gun were placed to your head and a knife at your throat (have I been watching too much Dexter?). Whether there is validity in this or not isn’t the point. The point is how this was mistakenly interpreted by many practitioners. They couldn’t push themselves that hard, so they started adding volume to achieve the wiped-out effect, completely nullifying his entire concept.
Not a Tabata?
That sort of seems to be what might be happening to the concept of Tabata. Now the 20 second/10 second concept does make for a lot of interesting possibilities, and can be utilized in more than just the arena of hardcore intensity, but can it be called Tabata if you’re not trashed after 4 minutes? Might that be like calling 2 sets of almost-failure sets HIT simply because they were the same set and rep scheme, without any real consideration of intensity?
I have no answers, but am open to discussion. I don’t have Isuki’s email or phone number, so I can’t quite get any answers from the source. Thoughts?