NEW: Tabata Trax – Workout Songs For Your Tabata Workouts

MIT-C-Cardio-150pxWe are pleased to announce 3 BRAND NEW Tabata Trax songs.   These Tabata Protocol workout songs are each 8 minutes of music, and include a 2 minute warmup, 8 intervals (20 seconds fast, 10 seconds slow) and a 2 minute cool-down.   There is a voiceover countdown so you don’t need a Tabata Timer or stopwatch any more!

We will be adding more songs soon in different styles of music so check back!


Regain Youth and Energy with Tabata

Well, I wish someone would have told me of this unexpected consequence!

What I’ve noticed after working out with the tabata protocol for the past couple weeks is I now have more energy than I’ve had since I was a little kid (and I’m 40 yrs. old now).  I’m not joking.  It’s actually pretty hard to deal with – I spend most of the day bouncing off the walls!

My wife and 13 yr. old daughter have also both been doing the Tabata Protocol, and they have noticed the same thing, so it seems to be a universal effect across ages and sexes.  My daughter told me today that she can’t sit still in class now – she has to go out into the hall and run around during class breaks.  Nothing shocking about a young teenager having youthful energy, but she was ALREADY hyper – now she is so full of energy she can’t sit still!

My wife wants to run around the house to let off some energy during the day.  And I want to do something like lift weights or SOMETHING because I have too much energy.  (I DON’T lift weights even though I want to because it would interfere with my recovery between my MIT workouts, which currently require 30 days between workouts – more on that in another post)

You may think I’m making this up…I assure you this is VERY MUCH real.  Yeah – some problem to have!

So, if you find yourself low on energy and want to get your energy levels back to where they were when your age was in the single digits, start up with the Tabata Protocol – just don’t say I didn’t warn you!  You may need to start taking barbituates to settle down…

Workout Number 8

Wow!  Who knew?  Today I did my 8th Tabata workout on my Linex recumbent bike, but upped the tension from a setting of 8 to 9.

I had no idea it would make it so much harder!  My max. heart rate went up to 181 BPM (from a previous high of 176) and my recovery heart rate was 117 (last workout it had dropped down to 110, which is why I increased the tension on the bike this time).

The workout was signicantly harder.  Same number of intervals (5) but harder to pedal.

Tabata Results So Far

I did my weigh-in this morning and fat-caliper test. Here’s what has transpired in the past ~10 days:

Start Date: 12/23/07 – Weight=210 lbs, Fat=16.3%, Lean Mass=175.8 lbs, Fat=34.2

10 Days: 1/3/08 – Weight=211.6 lbs, Fat=15.8%, Lean Mass=178.2 lbs, Fat=33.4

That’s 0.8 lbs of fat less, and 2.4 lbs of muscle gain.

To be honest, I attribute the muscle gain to my MIT workout on my Explosive Fitness equipment, since there isn’t much going on with Tabata that would stimulate muscle growth and the MIT workout is all about stimulating muscle growth, so no surprise there. I am only doing the Tabata workout to burn off the stubborn fat that I haven’t been able to get rid of any other way.

Plus I look and feel thinner, and have more energy and can tell my heart/lungs are stronger too!

That’s after 10 days. I am now at 5 intervals and will be doing another workout today and will see if my Recovery Heart Rate goes back down, at which time I will increase the bike tension on my next workout.

Second Week into Tabata Training

I just finished my 5th workout today since starting on 12/23/07.

I added another interval (taking it up to 5 now) since my last workout saw my recovery heart rate go from 113 to 104.

This workout my recovery rate is back up to 110.  When it drops back down again, as per the instructions I was given, I will next crank up the bike tension from 8 to 9.

My motivation to continue this workout has not waned which is a very good thing.  Since there is only currently 2.5 minutes of actual ‘hard’ exercise, one can see how maintaining this program isn’t difficult.  Even at 8 intervals (instead of my current 5) amounts to only 4 minutes (don’t think for a second these are EASY minutes – far from it!)

Tabata Workout Number 2 – Lighter Already

Yesterday I did my 2nd Tabata Workout. My Max. HR got up to 176 BPM (from a high of 174 on my first workout), and my recovery HR was 113 (not improved from 109 last time).

Therefore, I will NOT be adding another interval tomorrow when I do my next workout.

Of particular note, and I should have posted about this before: My heart rate definitely goes up a few ticks when I enter the rest interval. This is desirable and Dr. Sears says this phenomena is an indication that one has created an oxygen deficit. In other words, after the 20 seconds of hard-and-heavy, as soon as one starts pedaling slower during the rest interval, one’s heart rate is supposed to go up a few beats per minute. This is the body compensating for an oxygen deficit whereby the heart pumps faster to get more oxygen to the muscles.

Even though the PACE workout is supposed to cause this elevated HR too, I never saw it happen. I thought it was because my heart rate was already very high and had no where to go. I am pleased to report that with Tabata, every single time I went from the exercise interval to the rest interval I saw my heart rate go up a few notches.

I did my weekly weigh-in today and I am down 1.2 pounds from last week. Hopefully, that is fat and not muscle (I feel thinner and my pants feel a little looser, so when I do my Accumeasure fat caliper pinch tonight we will see if I lost mostly or all fat, or if the weight drop is some muscle). I suspect it is all fat loss, because I can actually FEEL this Tabata workout doing exactly what it is supposed to do – melt away the fat!

My First Tabata Protocol Workout

Today I did my first Tabata Protocol Workout.  I started with 4 intervals (as recommended by Shawn Bennett).  I did a 3 min. warmup (gradually increasing the tension on my Linex recumbant bike from 3 to 5), then I started my intervals of 20 seconds exercise, 10 seconds rest pedaling as fast I could go at a setting of 8 on the bike.

My warmup RPMs on the bike were about 70 RPMs, and for each exercise bout I was up over 100 (my first interval I took note of 114 RPMs, but I’m sure I got a little slower over the next 3 intervals).  Bottom line is I pedaled as fast as I could without my feet flying off the things!

My Max. Heart Rate achieved during exercise got up to 174 BPM (well above the normal ‘cardio zone’ that aerobics training specifies).   The universal guideline for aerobics is 220 minus one’s age as the Max. BPM and 60% to 80% of that number is the recommended ‘aerobic/cardio target Heart Rate zone’.  For me, that would mean a traditional range of 108-144 BPM (220-40 yrs old = 180 Max, and 60%=108, 80%=144).  Like PACE, the idea is to get into what Dr. Sears calls the ‘supra-aerobic zone’ where you start panting from lack of enough oxygen to get fuel to your muscles, thereby creating an oxygen deficit that triggers the anaerobic energy system on top of the aerobic energy system.

You can see that Tabata is much more intense and my Heart Rate got well above the ‘upper limit’ recommended for aerobics training.

A word of caution:  As I mentioned in my previous post, I had been doing the PACE program for the past 5 weeks, which is why I knew 174 BPM wasn’t going to be a problem.  I had achieved a Max. HR of 174 during my recent PACE workouts (and didn’t collapse) so I knew I would be OK.  One should NEVER attempt this workout without first conditioning oneself gradually over time to be able to handle these elevated heart rates.

My recovery Heart Rate (taken exactly 1 minute after my cool-down period) was 109 BPM.  My best recovery on PACE after 5 weeks (also achieving a Max. Heart Rate of 174 BPM) was 112 BPM.  So, I attribute this better recovery rate to the shorter duration of exercise and perhaps my being in even better shape since my last PACE workout about 1 week ago (4 intervals is only 4 minutes of actual exercise, not including the warm-up and cool-down stages).

I caught a cold a few days back due to the weather changing here in Florida (like I do this time every year) so I didn’t workout out at all for the past week.

My observations so far:

– The shorter workout duration makes it more enjoyable than even the PACE workout which is only 12 minutes long.  This Tabata workout was only 7 minutes long (INCLUDING warm-up and cool-down).

– I didn’t sweat much at all.  Compared to PACE, which isn’t exactly a drenched-in-sweat workout, this was probably do-able without even changing into workout clothes.  Maybe I didn’t pedal fast enough? (I couldn’t really pedal faster anyway if I tried – maybe the bike setting was too low…but my last PACE workout was at a 9 setting, and the bike only goes to 12, which is why I chose to start my Tabata workout at 8 to leave plenty of room for growth)

– The 10 seconds of rest between intervals is almost like not resting at all, but it is definitely welcome after going all out for 20 seconds.  By the 4th interval, that 20 seconds seemed like a LONG time!

That’s it for now – I plan on doing the workout at my current settings 3x per week until my Recovery Heart Rate improves, at which time I will first add another interval (bringing it up to 5 intervals) and then increasing the bike tension one notch.  This staggered progression is what Shawn Bennett recommended to me so I can continue to make progress.