Even when you don't have a ton of time, you can still squeeze in a quick and effective training session. Tabata training, developed by Dr. Izumi Tabata and his colleagues at the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo, is a high-intensity interval training method—suitable for either cardio or weight training—that can prepare any athlete for his or her sport.
How to do it:
- Pick an exercise—like Push-Ups, Burpees or Squats—or a movement like swimming, running or skating
- Warm up for five minutes
- Perform the exercise or movement for 20 seconds at maximum effort
- Rest for 10 seconds
- Repeat for eight sets
- Cool down for two minutes
Research has shown that Tabata training improves VO2 Max (i.e., maximum oxygen consumption, a measure of an athlete's endurance) by approximately 14 percent. Amazingly, it also boosts anaerobic capacity (i.e., the ability to perform short bursts of high-intensity activity) by 28 percent! When beginning Tabata training, start with cardio and don't try to do too much too soon. Perform two or three intervals and work up to eight over time.
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