Saturday, April 14, 2012

Well, the T and the A and the B and the A and the T and the A and the OMG...

(If the title makes no sense to you at all, watch this music video, and at the 2:45 mark, it'll all become clear...)

Taking a break from my established format of taunting you with yummy-yummy food, I'm instead going to write a quick post about a Tabata workout I did on Friday.

In case you've a.) never heard of Tabata, or b.) don't remember what's involved, here's a breakdown:

Tabata protocol:

  • 4 different exercises, repeated twice
  • 20 seconds for each exercise at 100% intensity (provided you can do the exercise properly the entire time)
  • 10 seconds of rest in between each exercise
  • Rotate through each exercise once in order, repeat immediately (1, (10 sec), 2, (10 sec), 3, (10 sec), 4, (10 sec), 1, (10 sec), 2, (10 sec), 3, (10 sec), 4, done)
Four minutes of total ass-kicking. Don't believe me? Give this a try:

Friday's Butt-Whompin':
  1. Jackknife w/ Bender Ball exchange
  2. Pilates toning-- side leg lifts (right leg 1st round, left leg 2nd round)
  3. Push-ups
  4. Glute bridge w/ full ROM pulses (never touching the floor)
I started off with about 5 minutes of cardio at about 80% before I did this series and made sure to stretch afterwards. Tabata is more fun for me if each series has a theme to it; this one didn't require me to stand at any point, but rather go through a full circle- on my back---> on one side---> face down---> on my back---> repeat. Sometimes I'll do full-body exercises for all four segments: mountain climbers---> burpees---> walk-out push-ups---> squat w/ curl/press. What makes Tabata fun is that I can tailor it to my body's current status. Since Thursday's Kickboxing class was a challenging one, I needed a chance to focus on getting stiffness out of my lower back and hips.

Tabata is quickly becoming my favorite new exercise format simply because I can do it without any equipment if I need to, can do it any time of day in almost any location (might be hard to do stuff inside my little little car), and can mix it up with different exercises, even if they're exercises I normally hate doing. After all, I'm only doing that dreaded exercise for a total of 40 seconds-- who can't do that? It's very easy to stay motivated with Tabata; the mantra becomes "anybody can do this for 20 seconds". And it's always done to your 100%, not the 100% someone else can do or expects out of you. It gives you the chance to know exactly how hard you can push your body and when you can dial it down a bit. I was surprised at how this mindset of "anybody can do this for 20 seconds" started helping me through harder and longer rounds in Kickboxing. "Anybody can do this (soul-crushing exercise) for one minute!" Turns out, yep, I sure can!

Oh, by the way, have you been able to get the song from the afore-mentioned music video out of your head? Rather catchy, isn't it?

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