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Stefani produces videos and immersive, interactive installations that explores the influences of corporate culture and industrial food production. Her current project works with gastroenterologist Dr. Braden Kuo at Harvard University where they just completed the first ever clinical study to use the M2A™ and SmartPill devices that look at how the human body responds to processed versus whole foods. She is an Honorary Resident at Eyebeam Art +Technology Center in New York and teaches in the School of Art, Media and Technology at Parsons The New School for Design and in the Food Studies Program at The New School for Public Engagement.
TABATA is timed high-intensity interval training.
Each exercise – whether it be body-weight, with weights, props, or a combination – is done in 20-second intervals, with 10-second breaks, and a 30-second break between each sequence. Typically the exercises are done on average of 8 sets; and the 20/10/30 is the most common combination, however, variations do include altered lengths of sets and breaks. That’s about 4 minutes of each.
Professor Izumi Tabata, well known for his research into high-intensity intermittent training, is a former researcher at the National Institute for Health and Nutrition and currently a professor and researcher at Ritsumeikan University’s newly established Faculty of Sport and Health Science. He created Tabata training originally for speed skaters. Please visit the Faculty of Sport and Health Science’s English Website for more details.
“The current regime consists of repetitions of 20 seconds of intense work, followed by 10 seconds of rest. This means that, excluding warming up and cooling down, the exercise can be completed in only 4 minutes if repeated 8 times, more than enough to make even a fit person exhausted. The idea has become bigger than I imagined and now if you search this on Google, you will get about 200,000 hits.”
While a number of research studies have explored Dr. Tabata’s 20-seconds-on, 10-seconds-off interval training format for cycling and running activities, fitness professionals, athletes and casual exercisers are now applying the Tabata training concept to all kinds of different exercises, including weight lifting, swimming, athletic drills and more. Unlike other intervals where you just want to “work harder,” by definition, Tabata training is working at an intensity level that is as hard and as fast as you can physically go—generally an anaerobic effort.
Does It Really Work?
A number of studies have suggested that Tabata training does, in fact, work. Further studies have also made a case for Tabata training and other variations of high intensity interval training. A 2007 study in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that seven sessions of high intensity interval training over two weeks resulted in marked increases in whole body and skeletal muscle capacity for fatty acid oxidation during exercise in moderately active women. A 2009 study from the same journal found that young men cycling to maximum effort for four bouts of 30 seconds with four minutes of rest doubled their metabolic rate for three full hours after training. Also, a 2008 study in the Journal of Physiology found that these short, yet intense types of interval workouts can be a time-efficient way to get in shape and may help participants achieve fitness improvements comparable to longer, less-intense workouts.
Should You Try Tabata Training?
Tabata training promises big results in little time, but true Tabata training requires participants to push themselves to the max—and that level of intensity is definitely not for everyone. Working out at such a high intensity is only appropriate for healthy, intermediate to advanced exercisers who have experience and knowledge in the type of exercise(s) they’re doing. Tabata training takes your body to the extreme, so it’s best if you’ve been working out regularly and are very comfortable with the exercises you’ll be doing (more on that later). This ensures that you have better awareness of how hard to push your body (or when to back off) and that you have the know-how to maintain form (or modify your weight or exercise) when your body tires as you go through the intervals.
With that said, beginners can try Tabata-inspired intervals at a lower intensity that’s more appropriate for their fitness level. However, anything less than maximum effort won’t get the true Tabata training results. As always, if you’re trying Tabata—or any new exercise—for the first time, it’s a good idea to get it approved by your doctor and work with a fitness professional until you feel comfortable doing it on your own.
On the first Thursday of every month, EBFA (link below), hosts a free 20-30 minute FREE webinar at 8pm!