Iím going to spend the next 12 weeks doing a little Tabata experiment. I wonít call it research because Tabataís already done that, Iím not taking physiological measurements, thereís no control, and Iím not an elite athlete. That said, Iím going into it with the expectation that it will improve my scores in relevant benchmark tests and have a positive effect on my overall performance.
: Pullups, pushups and squats following the original Tabata protocol (20 seconds of work, 10 seconds of rest, until the intervals are complete. In this case, I am using SIX rounds.
I plan to do these every Wednesday (following a run-centric workout on Tuesday). These are done ďall-out.Ē I will start each round and go until I burn out, pass out, or run out of time. Every fourth Wednesday I will do Cindy instead of the Tabata workout.
: I am recording the numbers for each round. I am also charting the total, high, low, delta (high-low), average, and standard deviation. I will chart and graph these each week.
Assumptions and reasoning
: Tabata intervals are best performed with bodyweight movements that can be executed at high speed. Iím using six rounds because many of the subjects in Tabataís research could not even complete the seventh round. Given the measurements Iím taking, I think six rounds will give me more meaningful statistics. I also picked exercises that I can do for the prescribed time period.
: Iím going to do Cindy in place of the intervals every fourth week. I will do three of these cycles for a total of 12 weeks. I believe Cindy is a good benchmark for this exercise because it uses the component movements and it tests speed and muscular endurance (not to mention the lactate threshold). Angie could be used as well, but I'm not doing situps for speed since the 150 GHD situp disaster a few weeks ago.
Expectations: Obviously I expect all the raw numbers (reps per round, total, high, low) to improve, which will also increase the average. Improvements in the high number represent an increase in speed, while improvements in the low number represent an increase in muscular endurance.
I donít know whether the difference between the high and low numbers will improve (shrink) or not. Ideally, the standard deviation would shrink and there would be more of a linear (vs. exponential) decline, meaning I could do the same work from beginning to end. However, I think the Tabata protocol will stick it to me and my work will decline regardless.
Tabata intervals are supposed to increase speed and endurance, so I expect my Cindy scores to improve even though I donít do the volume in Tabatas that I do in Cindy. Iím also curious to see what my Tabata scores are the week after doing Cindy.
: M/5í10/205/32 (33 by the time this is over)
Started CrossFit late 2/2007 after 7 year layoff from weight training
070821: 19 + 5 pullups
070812: *14 + pulls/push + 1 squat [20 pound vest]
070720: 17 + 5 pullups
070318: 13 (half of the pull-ups done w/resistance band)
Again, this is UN-scientific, but thereís been enough talk about Tabata intervals lately to merit a little self-study. Iíll update once a week.