As a personal trainer I probably should not admit this but, I too experience lulls in my workouts and find myself doing the same old routine all the time. So upon some investigating, I decided I wanted to give a workout called Tabata a try. What is this you might ask, well my definition is 45 minutes of pure and utter sweaty hell with the after effects of a GREAT workout! So basically for 45 minutes your jumping, cursing, crunching, cursing, pressing, cursing, squatting and cursing! Then when it’s all over, you stand up and pat yourself on the back for mustering up the strength to not give up 15 minutes into the workout!
Now I am not telling you to go run a marathon or jump into a Tabata workout with out being conditioned. I want you to keep in mind your personal fitness level. I am at a point where I know I CAN DO all of the exercises with good form, but the order and the pace at which the exercises were being performed was what made this workout challenging for me.
What I want to do for you today is talk a little about this Tabata workout,its purpose, and the pros and cons of the workout. Then I will leave it up to you to decide if this workout is right for you. So if your workout has it a lull like mine did, you have the knowledge you need to decide if Tabata is your next workout challenge!
Tabata, is a form of high intensity interval training that has a circuit of exercises that run 20 seconds of all out effort, then 10 seconds of recovery this is completed 2-4 times depending on the circuit and there could be 8 different circuits that you run through with a minute of recovery after each circuit set.
For example in the workout we did:
20s mountain climbers
20s bicycle crunches,
20s squat jumps,
20s plank press ups.
This circuit is performed twice through, then you get a one minute break. Then a new circuit of exercises starts and the cycle repeats. Right from the get go, your moving, warming up getting the body ready to workout.
The warm up was a decent indication of what the workout was to bring, what I had not anticipated was how much I was gonna sweat, how quickly the lactic acid was going to build up in my legs and how I was going to need more than a ten seconds to a minute to recover.
OK first circuit, not bad, I got this I tell myself, I do this stuff all the time. I feel good! Fast forward 10 minutes later…who knew there were so many different ways to combine words to create cursing phrases!
My mental game went from YEAH this is AWESOME to are you F@#%*ing kidding me my legs are going to fall off. Holy hell how many more of those do I have to do?
Twenty minutes later, ok … I …got…this…sh*t what am I thinking? Ugh I hate squat jumps!
However, before I knew it I was done! I laid on the floor dripping and slowly feeling the lactic acid in my legs painfully despate back into the blood stream. It was almost painful making that exchange of fresh oxygen to my muscles as the blood stream picked up the waste products created by this crazy workout, but I DID IT! Once I made a full recovery, I got up off the floor and rewarded myself with a pat on the back.
I may not have done all the press ups or squat jumps as the fitness instructor, but I sure as hell did more squat jumps and press ups than I had done in a LONG time. I felt great, a burst of adrenaline kicked in and I was pumped. I set my mind to completing a new workout and I did it start to finish!
Will I go back and do it again, HECK YES! It really was an awesome workout, besides now I have a new goal, I’m gonna do that Tabata workout til I walk away standing on my feet! Til then Im gonna push, press, jump, sweat and crunch my way through to a tougher stronger me! What I also have taken away from this and I hope you do too, is that even personal trainers fall into a lull, get stuck in a routine, we are human too! Life is tough and the human body likes to always find the path of least resistance… remember this and challenge yourself everyday!
You may throw all your effort in, curse and cry all the way through, but in the end isn’t that what makes you proud of your accomplishments? Isn’t our ability to stand up and face the difficult tasks the reason why we set goals and feel that sense of pride when we have attained them? Whether it’s Tabata, or any other exercise that falls out of your comfort zone, my challenge for you is to GO GET IT! Set a goal, work hard and reap the rewards of a healthier, stronger, happier you!
Written By Julie S.