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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 03-14-2004, 08:38 PM   #1
Brad Hirakawa
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Just for ****s and giggles, I tried a few Tabata cycles today with weighted squats (155lb back squat). The results of my experiment... pain of course. During and shortly after my workout, I began questioning myself, which is only surprising because there was very little blood left (all was shunted to the legs) for my brain to use. Regarless...

I wonder if the Tabata interval looses its functionality if too much weight is used. Specifically, if I'm only pushing out 4-5 reps on the last few intervals, am I really taxing my cardiovascular system to a degree that would elicit the benefits typically seen with the Tabata cycle? I slapped on my heart-rate monitor (that had since been collecting dust in the closet for past year) to collect some data during my second Tabata cycle, that might help answer my question. It turns out, that while I was only completing 4-5 reps during the final 20 second intervals of the cycle, my heart rate was still screaming. Now, this could certainly be because I'm not in good enough condition to pull this experiment off, but it does raise some interesting questions. That is, what do you think varying the amount of weight lifted during Tabata interval training lends or detracts from its primary function? It is likely that I may have its "primary" function confused, and perhaps one of the wonderful things about the Tabata (or any interval training for that matter) interval, is that it elicits a variety of benifical responses (strength gains, cardiovascular gains, neuromuscular adaptation, etc.), and that the actual amount of resistance employed is simply a function of your immediate goals. Of course, I know part of the answer to my question... it's likely a good idea to simply vary the weight, with a pattern dictated by a quick roll of some dice. :-)

Thanks all.
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Old 03-15-2004, 08:07 AM   #2
Matt McManmon
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What you did it similar to a bodybuilding workout. Lots of reps, little rest, and a huge pump in your legs.

I have two questions. What is your 1RM in the back squat? And did you do the standard tabata cycle or did you do more then eight rounds?
I ask because if you can only 1RM 250 in the backsquat then that weight is a little high to start at. i would personally start somewhere in the 30-40% range when first introducing any exercise tabata style.

You surely were getting a good cardio workout from this venture, however its not very functional to be sore for an excessively long time. Which would mean you overshot on the intensity.

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Old 03-15-2004, 10:29 AM   #3
Ross Hunt
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Mr. Hirakawa,

I envy your strength, but I question your sanity.:wink:
Seriously, though, it seems likely to me that high-weight Tabata would produce hypertrophy along the same lines as Escalating Density Training or Crossfit's couplet workouts. But what about strength? Would Tabata-style intervals work for the development of strength?

Ross Hunt


In this article, C. Thibaudeau suggests that you should manipulate the time of sets, rather than the number of reps, according to your goal. The one thing the article DOESN'T give you is rest periods... I need to buy his book, I guess
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Old 03-15-2004, 11:18 AM   #4
Dan John
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Yes, if you go t heavy, you can't use Tabatas. I can open with 308 in the Clean and Jerk with ONLY using 65-96 pounds in the Tabata Front Squats. I think that you need to be "around" 8 reps in each of the last two "blasts" the fourth minute. If you are getting one rep in twenty seconds...too light.

On the other hand, some of these guys will report "25 reps" in a Tabata lift...I think a. you are going too light...waaaaaaaaaay too light or, b., you don't understand the methods of counting.
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Old 03-15-2004, 01:55 PM   #5
Matt McManmon
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Dan John thats a cool snatch clip!
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Old 03-15-2004, 08:47 PM   #6
Jason Lauer
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I would agree it seems you went too heavy. However, I would also point out that you seem to have been taxing your lactate threshold, if you couldn't pump out any more reps. Tabata's as you said can elicit a great many benefits.

While Crossfit has made great use of the Tabata interval they regularly use it in different ways than it was originally intended. The "Tabata This" workout is a great example of using the interval for a different response than it was invented for. It was originally used on speed skaters and was used only for sprint training. Crossfit has applied it across a wide variety of stimuli and has used the same work/rest ratio while playing with the set/rep scheme.
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Old 03-16-2004, 06:06 AM   #7
Graham Hayes
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Matt every time I see that clip I stare at it like a lava lamp, beautiful!
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Old 03-16-2004, 09:43 AM   #8
Ben Gimball
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Absolutely awesome clip, thanks for the post!
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