Words have meaning in the Fitness Industry just as they do in the Fire Service. If firefighters are discussing “Metabolic Conditioning” or “Olympic Weight Lifting”, most would have a good sense of what those phrases mean and the type of training implied.
The “Tabata Method” on the other hand has been a source of confusion for many people. Most grasp that this is a form of interval training utilizing a twenty second work period and a ten second recovery period repeated eight times. Where people seem to get off track is when they are selecting exercises to incorporate into their interval training.
The idea is to select compound movements with a high oxygen demand when performed at maximum effort. There is really no such thing as “Tabata Arm Curls” or “Tabata Crunches”. Folks are missing out on the tremendous benefit of this training method if not carefully considering the exercises selected for the workout.
Dan John does a tremendous job of addressing the issue here: The Tabata Method Perfected
The 20/10 interval is a staple in many of the TACFIT programs. It is extremely effective in improving firefighter fitness, conditioning, and body composition. We recommend that you wear a heart rate monitor during your training. This will give you a sense of the intensity of your training and the effectiveness of your exercise selection. Give it a try and let us know what you think.