New on ROK: Tabata Intervals

I have a new Return of Kings article on tabata interval training: a highly intense cardiovascular workout that you can do in just 20 minutes. Perfect for people that hate cardio, like myself.

Tabata Interval Training is named after Dr. Izumi Tabata, sports medicine doctor most famously affiliated with the Japanese Olympic Speed Skating team. He designed a program of intensive interval training for his skaters, alternating between sprints and slow jog/rest periods in equal 30 second intervals to provide a brutal cardiovascular workout that quickly forces the trainee to reach VO2Max (maximum oxygen consumption capacity, aka the closest measure of cardiovascular exertion there is), and exhausts the glycogen stores of the muscles in no more than 20 minutes.

And I emphasize 20 minutes max: simply put, if you are not pouring sweat and utterly exhausted by that point in time, you’re doing it wrong, and need to increase the intensity of your exercise program. I myself can’t even do 20 minutes, I can only do around 13 minutes of this delightfully hellish regimen.

The trainee doing tabata intervals will immediately notice results with this cardio program—most notably vastly increased cardio capacity in all respects—which is to say both in sprinting and moderate intensity sustained cardio. When I started doing this program, I couldn’t even break 10 minutes of intervals, and now that I’ve reached 13 minutes I’ve noticed that my stamina in jogging, swimming, and other sustained cardio activities is much greater than it was before.

Another immediately noticeable benefit to interval training is weight loss—the trainee will notice rapid weight loss alongside their increased endurance capacity. In fact, studies show that it is every bit as effective as regular cardio for increasing endurance and losing weight, but in a fraction of the time.

And lastly, forcing yourself to do just one more 30 second sprint will do wonders for your mental and/or willpower training.

Read the article here