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As Krank Nashville gets ready for the grand opening on February 17th and 18th, you may have noticed that your Krankologist tells the class that they are going do a “tabata.”  I don’t think there has been a time that I have used this training modality, and haven’t had everyone in the class ask me, “What did you say?” or “Can you repeat that please?”  There are lots of fun names for exercises like Half Moon, Deadman Surfer, UGI Squats, and Woodchoppers.  Why is it called such a weird name like “tabata?”  It’s called a tabata because it came from a study done by Japanese Physiologist Izumi Tabata and his fellow colleagues.  No wonder no one understands what we are saying, it’s a foreign name.  Believe me though, it is something that will not be foreign to Krank.

What is a tabata and why do we use it?  A tabata is a form of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) or sprint interval training.  It is an exercise method that uses alternating periods of short intense anaerobic exercise followed by less-intense recovery periods.  The original study used 20 seconds on and 10 seconds off for 7-8 sets.  Here is the cool thing.  It is a killer fat burner, improves your glucose metabolism, and is a stellar cardiovascular conditioner.  I am going to quickly get scientific on you.  Regular moderate-intensity endurance training showed a increase in maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) by 5 ml/kg/O2, but showed no increase in anaerobic capacity over a 6wk test trial.  When they used the tabata, the VO2max increased by 7 ml/kg/O2 and the anaerobic capacity increased by 28%!  There is also a soaring difference in their after training excess post oxygen consumption (EPOC).

What does that mean in laymen terms?  It means that you are getting a crazy calorie burning workout, much more than if you were just doing regular cardiovascular training.  By increasing your anaerobic threshold, you are increasing the amount of fat that your body is burning.  Increasing your VO2max is going to allow your body to intake more oxygen while doing your cardio.  My favorite one is the dramatic increase in EPOC, which means that when you stop exercising your body is going to continue to burn more calories for a longer period of time as you recover!  So I say thanks to Mr. Tabata!  After explaining that, I can’t wait to throw a tabata into my next Krank class.  See you there!

Krankologist Matt Spear