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Old 05-27-2008, 11:41 AM   #1
Steven Quadros
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Tabata Hills and Weak Lungs!

Hey all,

Recently I had been reading a thread over at Power and Bulk, a great forum packed with good information. A thread came up in which using Tabata for sprints was considered a poor idea, mainly because, as I understand it, the Tabata protocol called for less than maximum output during the 20 second intervals, and for that output to be relatively sustained.

Link is not really WFS, as sometimes language gets adult: http://powerandbulk.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=33656

With this in mind, assuming my interpretation was correct, would a weighted jog or fast walk up a hill be a good tabata exercise? I suppose this also depends on one's ability to descend the hill in the ten seconds of rest and set up for the next climb, which might also negate the "rest" portion, rendering the Tabata a "non Tabata."

If anyone has any info or oppinions, please share.

On a side note, this thread was started because I'm looking for low intensity- for the body but especially legs- cardio vascular work to increase my ability to breathe during my SS workouts. I used to smoke, and find that my squats feel more limited by my inability to breathe through them than by an inability to recruit muscle.

I basically need a way to increase lung capacity or my ability to use oxygen or whatever will inable me to breathe well that won't tax my legs that much considering the squat volume of SS. Also, it needs to be relatively light enough not to adversely affect my recovery overall from said workouts.

Thank you,

Steven
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Old 05-27-2008, 12:06 PM   #2
Steven Quadros
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Re: Tabata Hills and Weak Lungs!

I just read more about Tabata and will be trying out the stationary bike today to see how much it affects my leg workouts.
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Old 05-27-2008, 12:24 PM   #3
John Seaburg
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Re: Tabata Hills and Weak Lungs!

I think 100% effort hill sprints are great for Tabata intervals if you're on the right hill. The idea of running up fast and then walking all the way down just won't work for a 20/10 protocol... not even close. I run on a big enough hill where I can get 3-4 intervals before I reach the top. I believe 3-4 intervals is enough to improve VO2 max if you're going all out. I've seen improvement with myself and others using that type modified Tabata protocol using hills, rower, and kettlebell variations.

Last edited by John Seaburg; 05-27-2008 at 12:41 PM..
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Old 05-27-2008, 12:27 PM   #4
Stuart Buck
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Re: Tabata Hills and Weak Lungs!

"as I understand it, the Tabata protocol called for less than maximum output during the 20 second intervals, and for that output to be relatively sustained."

I bought the original Tabata article (for $25), and here are some portions of his article:
Quote:
This study consists of two training experiments using a mechanically braked cycle ergometer. First, the effect of 6 wk of moderate-intensity endurance training (intensity: 70% of maximal oxygen uptake (˙VO2max), 60 mind-1, 5 dwk-1) on the anaerobic capacity (the maximal accumulated oxygen deficit) and ˙VO2max was evaluated. After the training, the anaerobic capacity did not increase significantly(P > 0.10), while ˙VO2max increased from 53 5 mlkg-1min-1 to 58 3 mlkg-1min-1 (P < 0.01) (mean SD). Second, to quantify the effect of high-intensity intermittent training on energy release, seven subjects performed an intermittent training exercise 5 dwk-1 for 6 wk. The exhaustive intermittent training consisted of seven to eight sets of 20-s exercise at an intensity of about 170% of ˙VO2max with a 10-s rest between each bout. After the training period, ˙VO2max increased by 7 mlkg-1min-1, while the anaerobic capacity increased by 28%. In conclusion, this study showed that moderate-intensity aerobic training that improves the maximal aerobic power does not change anaerobic capacity and that adequate high-intensity intermittent training may improve both anaerobic and aerobic energy supplying systems significantly, probably through imposing intensive stimuli on both systems.

. . .

Subjects exercised for 5 dwk-1 for 6 wk. For 4 dwk-1, they exercised using exhaustive intermittent training. They were encouraged by the supervisor to complete seven to eight sets of the exercise. Exercise was terminated when the pedaling frequency dropped below 85 rpm. When they could complete more than nine sets of the exercise, exercise intensity was increased by 11 W. One day per week the subjects exercised for 30 min at an intensity of 70% ˙VO2max before carrying out four sets of the intermittent exercise at 170%˙VO2max. This latter session was not exhaustive.

. . .

The high-intensity intermittent training in experiment 2 improved anaerobic capacity by 28%. Medb and Burgers (5) reported that 6 wk of the intermittent training (their group B) increased the anaerobic capacity of untrained men by 16%. Since there are no clear differences in exercise intensity, exercise duration, and number of exercise bouts between the two studies, this quantitative difference in improving anaerobic capacity is probably explained by the difference between the two studies in magnitude of the anaerobic energy release during each training session. The peak blood lactate concentration after each training session in the previous study(5) was 69% of the peak blood lactate concentration after the 2-min exhaustive running. Therefore, anaerobic metabolism, and especially the lactate producing system, was probably not taxed maximally. In contrast, the peak blood lactate concentration after the intermittent training in this investigation was not significantly different from the value observed after the anaerobic capacity test that recruited anaerobic energy releasing systems maximally. In addition, our subjects exercised to exhaustion, but in the previous study, the subjects' rating of perceived exertion(1) was only 15 (hard). This difference may also reflect the recruited level of anaerobic energy release. Therefore, these results support our hypothesis that the higher the anaerobic energy release during each training session the higher the increase in anaerobic capacity after a training period.
170% of VO2max is working pretty hard -- thus Tabata keeps describing the routine as "maximal" or "exhaustive."
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Old 05-27-2008, 02:34 PM   #5
Alex Reynolds
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Re: Tabata Hills and Weak Lungs!

This is a dilemma you have. This is why I could never stick with SS, because I hate when I have to alter other things I do, such as sports or whatever to be ready for my workouts. Not to mention heavy squats make you so sore you can't sit down on the toilet.

Maybe just try some light sprints, 80% effort?? Or maybe do light kettlebell swing circuits, I don't really know, practially anything is going to affect your squats a bit, maybe run a mile on a treadmill once a week??
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Old 05-29-2008, 07:44 AM   #6
Tim Luby
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Re: Tabata Hills and Weak Lungs!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Quadros View Post
I basically need a way to increase lung capacity or my ability to use oxygen or whatever will inable me to breathe well that won't tax my legs that much considering the squat volume of SS. Also, it needs to be relatively light enough not to adversely affect my recovery overall from said workouts.
Fran and company (short, intense metcons) will be of some help. Scale em down if need be to keep your legs fresh.

But I guess there's really no better way to increase Vo2 max than with sprints.

If you're that concerned about burning out your legs, maybe tabata heavy bag or tabata push-ups can help.
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Old 05-29-2008, 08:18 AM   #7
Eric Machus
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Re: Tabata Hills and Weak Lungs!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Quadros View Post
Hey all,

Recently I had been reading a thread over at Power and Bulk, a great forum packed with good information. A thread came up in which using Tabata for sprints was considered a poor idea, mainly because, as I understand it, the Tabata protocol called for less than maximum output during the 20 second intervals, and for that output to be relatively sustained.

Steven
I apologize if this is thread hijack but I have some questions on Tabata protocols from a cardio perspective. I have done some research/searching on this site and others but haven't really found any answers. I have read the CF fitness article and the linked articles therein.

My question relates to intensity as brought up by Steven Q.

When I read the Tabata articles cited by Coach I was struck by the thought that I'm not sure I can sprint all out for 20 seconds even once, much less 8 times in rapid succession. I felt a bit justified when I read that no one on the Japanese national speed skating team could complete 8 intervals when they first tried the protocol. This confirms to me that the intensity and effort level is pretty friggin' high. I know the study included another type of workout at, I think, 240%, of VO2 max.

I guess my question is how hard/high intensity is appropriate? My take is that you go hard as you can for 20 seconds, rest 10 seconds, repeat 7 more times.

My second general question is what is the general opinion of the crossfit endurance Tabata treadmill protocol?

I have done it once at 7.2 MPH and it was hard but probably not hard enough. It was relatively fascinating that in the later rounds I didn't think I could go again but by 5 seconds of rest I reconsidered and by 8 felt a lot better. Pretty cool actually.

My plan of attack is to keep increasing the speed until I can't complete the 8 rounds and then recalibrate.

I would really like to hear the experiences of others with high intensity tabatas. I presume/hope that Mr. Low has thought deeply and/or typically insightfully about this.
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Old 05-29-2008, 10:32 AM   #8
Jamie J. Skibicki
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Re: Tabata Hills and Weak Lungs!

Try raising the incline on the treadmill, that will make it more difficult as well
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Old 05-29-2008, 11:05 AM   #9
Tim Luby
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Re: Tabata Hills and Weak Lungs!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Machus View Post
I apologize if this is thread hijack but I have some questions on Tabata protocols from a cardio perspective. I have done some research/searching on this site and others but haven't really found any answers. I have read the CF fitness article and the linked articles therein.

My question relates to intensity as brought up by Steven Q.

When I read the Tabata articles cited by Coach I was struck by the thought that I'm not sure I can sprint all out for 20 seconds even once, much less 8 times in rapid succession. I felt a bit justified when I read that no one on the Japanese national speed skating team could complete 8 intervals when they first tried the protocol. This confirms to me that the intensity and effort level is pretty friggin' high. I know the study included another type of workout at, I think, 240%, of VO2 max.

I guess my question is how hard/high intensity is appropriate? My take is that you go hard as you can for 20 seconds, rest 10 seconds, repeat 7 more times.

My second general question is what is the general opinion of the crossfit endurance Tabata treadmill protocol?

I have done it once at 7.2 MPH and it was hard but probably not hard enough. It was relatively fascinating that in the later rounds I didn't think I could go again but by 5 seconds of rest I reconsidered and by 8 felt a lot better. Pretty cool actually.

My plan of attack is to keep increasing the speed until I can't complete the 8 rounds and then recalibrate.

I would really like to hear the experiences of others with high intensity tabatas. I presume/hope that Mr. Low has thought deeply and/or typically insightfully about this.
I think Mr. Grimes can offer you plenty of insight on this matter.
Check this out: (WFS) http://board.crossfit.com/showthread...ata+experiment
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Old 05-29-2008, 11:05 AM   #10
Steven Low
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Re: Tabata Hills and Weak Lungs!

Steven:

Brian Degenaro was discussing with me about sprinting and how 10s on, 20s off (basically reverse tabata) would work well.

However seeing as how you said this:

Quote:
I basically need a way to increase lung capacity or my ability to use oxygen or whatever will inable me to breathe well that won't tax my legs that much considering the squat volume of SS. Also, it needs to be relatively light enough not to adversely affect my recovery overall from said workouts.
I honestly don't know of too much that can significantly tax your VO2max without extensively using your legs. If you wanted to go straight upper body, it's possible to get some effect. For example, my 30 MUs time is pretty low that I end up recovering for ~3-5 minutes afterwards, but it's not a huge VO2max requirement that I would probably see some good gains from it. Sprinting, unfortunately, can be more CNS intensive than actual squatting sometimes, but I don't think more than DLs.

If you really don't want to compromise the squats, it might be possible to rid the 1x5 DL and do some sprints coupled with some upper body 'metcon' like JT. That might work somewhat. But.. trying to improve strength and Vo2max which are kind of on the opposite ends of the spectrum is like trying to improve strength and endurance which doesn't work so well when combined together.


Eric:

If I recall the study correctly I think the biking was supposed to be at approximately 90 or 95% of maximal effort (because it's unsustainable to do 100% for intervals unless you're taking ~10-15+ minute breaks between them which elite sprinters do), but strong enough that you should be struggling by the 5,6,7,8th sets and on.

Again though, I think Brian had the right idea with sprints with the 10s on, 20s off. Try that and see how it works. Run very close to maximally but not maximally, and try one maximally and see how they compare. Hopefully Brian will chime in since he has acutally had fairly extensive experience sprinting because he does track.

As for other types of intervals, refer to Gant Grimes tabata thread.

edit: someone posted the link in here for you.
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