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Old 03-26-2013, 01:35 PM   #1
Brent Amey
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Tabata This technique

I just finished a Tabata Everything Else workout at my box and being new to CrossFit I was wondering if anyone can clarify something with me. In my reading of Tabata it seems to me that you are supposed to give 100% on every 20 second interval. Not moderate intensity but rather HIGH intensity. For example I did 16 pull ups the first interval, 15 the second, and within a few intervals I dropped down to 8 reps. Knowing ahead of time that I could only do 8 at the end I could start out doing 9 reps and could probably maintain this throughout. I feel this is not really what tabata is all about. Am I correct in thinking this? Setting aside that in Tabata Everything Else it is a total score rather than the lowest interval score.
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Old 03-26-2013, 01:39 PM   #2
Tighe Crovetti
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Re: Tabata This technique

As I understand it, yes, you are supposed to go ALL OUT for each 20 second interval
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Old 03-26-2013, 03:26 PM   #3
Tristan Hoyle
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Re: Tabata This technique

If you are concerned about maximizing your score, then I would pick a number that you believe you can hold for the entire workout on each exercise. For maximizing gains, go all out. Give EVERYTHING you have to each interval. At failure is where the best results come from. Graham Holmberg said in one of his interviews that in training he never paces himself. He says that pacing a WOD is for competition use only and that when training he always pushes himself to failure to get the most adaptation out of each workout. seems to have worked pretty well for him.
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Old 03-26-2013, 04:18 PM   #4
Clint Harris
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Re: Tabata This technique

I don't know what the official line is here - but I've known it (in crossfit) to have two scores.
The first is total reps. This one you just try to get as many as you can each round - often it might be 20-20-19-18-10-10-8-7 type of thing. The total score is whatever these numbers add up to.
The other is the tabata-score, which is the lowest rep count for a given interval. For example, the above would be a score of 7. In this workout scheme, you try to pace it out, so it might look like 14-14-14-14-13-13-12-13.
Here, your tabata score is 12. (and often, you'll stop at that lowest score once you hit it .... there's no point wasting a rep).
The total score and tabata-score are quite different. As-is the effect you get from the workout. Two totally different things.

For your example, "Tabata This" is supposed to be scored as a tabata score. Where your lowest count, for each tabata interval, is your score. Regardless if you did 20 or 50 reps total, if your lowest round was 1, then that's your score .... you didn't learn to pace.
Another named tabata in crossfit land is "Tabata Something Else". In that wod, it's total score .... so you essentially go balls to the wall (or pace) each time.
It's just a way of scoring so you can track progress over time.
NOTE: not sure what "tabata everything else" is though - it could be something that is scored in anyway the designer chose. There is nothing written in stone.

For other tabata's - do as you please. It's not always about score, sometimes, you just do it for the love of it. So go hard and get it.

Also, in your example, you could start at 12 and try to hold, rather than 9, as there's a different exhaustion factor. You can still push yourself to a number you can hold. Sometimes you get it right, sometimes you don't, but you should always learn from it (and track).

Last edited by Clint Harris : 03-26-2013 at 04:23 PM.
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Old 03-27-2013, 08:59 AM   #5
Brent Amey
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Re: Tabata This technique

Thanks for the responses. I'm not really too concerned about my scores (maybe a little bit) but just want to maximize the work outs and do them as designed. I thought the theory behind Tabata was to go "all out" on every interval. I did some reading on it and I wasn't exactly clear to me. I know it says high effort instead of moderate effort. But high effort could be 85% or it could be 100%. If I go 100% the first 4 sets I have a lot of trouble doing many reps at all the last few sets.

P.S. When I said Tabata Everything Else I guess I really meant Tabata Something Else.
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Old 03-27-2013, 12:53 PM   #6
Adam Shreim
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Re: Tabata This technique

I always total up all of my reps, because when it was invented - it was designed to be max effort for 20 seconds. Every single interval. Trying to boost your average by not going all out wasn't the purpose.
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Old 03-27-2013, 02:05 PM   #7
Frederic Giraud
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Re: Tabata This technique

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Shreim View Post
I always total up all of my reps, because when it was invented - it was designed to be max effort for 20 seconds. Every single interval. Trying to boost your average by not going all out wasn't the purpose.
Ya that

The studies have been done on all out efforts each intervals. Within the crossfit community it is widely used with the different scores people already described.

I prefer beginners going all out style ( auto regulation of the effort ), and more seasoned athlete eventually having a game plan , but high so that eventually they do get to failure after a couple of sets...

I think most of the benefits comes from going to failure and then keeping at it in the following sets etc... ( really simply said )

If you are still new It would be my advice to just go all out for perhaps the next year or so. Slowly you will know yourself and your limits that much better and eventually will be able to come up with strategies that allows for pacing AND pushing each sets

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Old 03-28-2013, 08:32 AM   #8
Brendan McNamar
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Re: Tabata This technique

The maximum training value comes from an all out effort each time.

We started recording both a high and low number because my members get a little competitive and people where holding back in an effort to generate a higher score. The high number helps us detect early round sand bagging. Interestingly enough scores went down (quality of training went up) after we started this policy.
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Old 03-28-2013, 09:33 AM   #9
Joey Shishineh
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Re: Tabata This technique

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Originally Posted by Brendan McNamar View Post
The maximum training value comes from an all out effort each time.

We started recording both a high and low number because my members get a little competitive and people where holding back in an effort to generate a higher score. The high number helps us detect early round sand bagging. Interestingly enough scores went down (quality of training went up) after we started this policy.
I would argue that they are two completely different modalities until the athlete is elite and can maintain a constant number with all out effort for 8 rounds.

I would also say that most people can get more total reps 'sand bagging' early rounds. Does this mean that quality of training goes down when you are doing more work?
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