Tabata training has been improving exercise capacity in athletes since the mid-1990’s. Research continues to be published on the benefits of this type of high intensity training. When done correctly, this type of training can increase both aerobic and anaerobic pathways in athletes and (now) non-athletes alike. Most recently, a paper published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine showed benefits in trained subjects, 8 males and 8 females (average age 31.8) with this type of training protocol (using a 2:1 work/rest ratio). The study was funded by the American Council of Exercise (ACE), read review here. ACE wanted to find out just how beneficial Tabata type training actually was and a training protocol was developed by John Porcari, Ph.D., head of the Clinical Exercise Physiology Program at the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse and his group of researchers.
Original research by Izumi Tabata, Ph.D employed cycle ergometers as part of the testing protocol while this current research project used body weight exercise.
Each of the 16 subjects completed two identical workouts. Each of the workouts consisted of four, 4-minute segments. Each segment consisted of performing the exercises listed here twice in succession. Subjects completed as many repetitions of each exercise as possible in 20 seconds followed by 10 seconds of rest. There was 1 minute of rest between each segment.
Results of the study indicate that a 20-minute Tabata session (this includes a 5 minute warm-up), which utilized multiple rounds of body-weight and plyometric exercises, meets ACSM guidelines for improving cardiorespiratory endurance.