The Tabata Formula – Fad, or Fat Shredder?

There are plenty of exercise fads are billed as the “next big thing in fitness”, only to fade into obscurity quickly. If you’ve been a fan of HIIT. training (as I have been for years) then you might want to check out Tabata.

You may not realize that workouts which are shorter-than-average often have the capacity to burn insane amounts of calories! Tabata delivers in this important respect – you can go hard, or you can go long, but you can’t truly do both!

With its origins in Olympic training Tabata can’t really be considered a fad, especially for how long it’s been around.

Get Better Results from Shorter Workouts

At the core of this training regimen is the ability to burn more fat in less time. Tabata is a popular type of HIIT (high-intensity interval) training which is composed of 8 rounds of super-high-intensity exercises, which are performed with an interval of “twenty seconds on, ten seconds off”.  This is extreme even compared to many HIIT programs that run one minute of intensity followed by 30 seconds rest, then repeat.

This regimen was created in Tokyo seventeen years ago, by Izumi Tabata. Fat-burning was not the original intent but rather to maximize athletic speed, output and recovery between sets. dr tabata

The creator of this workout style was employed as a researcher at Japan’s National Institute of Fitness and Sports. He developed these innovative workouts in order to assist athletes with their aerobic and anaerobic conditioning.

What Are These Workouts Like?

This type of workout usually lasts for just four minutes. It’s made up of repetitions which last twenty seconds each. The repetitions are intense exercise – think hyperventilation! After the twenty seconds of intense exercise, there is a ten second rest period, usually where I am gasping like a landed fish.

You’ll need a stopwatch or a workout buddy; don’t trust yourself to count accurately when under that kind of torture.

While it’s an “4-minute workout” I find that a good 10-minute warmup with some kind of cardio prior to the Tabata session is more effective, and easier on the joints.  Schedule a couple of cool-down minutes afterwards too.

Why Are These Workouts So Effective?

Studies have demonstrated that training of this type boosts the human body’s capacity to burn fat during the daytime. Basically, it helps you to burn fat hours after you’ve completed your short workouts! If you choose typical aerobic training over Tabata, your body will burn fat only while you do the aerobic training.

These workouts also raise VO2 max in certain people. VO2 max is the maximum quantity of oxygen which is utilized during workouts.

Who Are These Workouts Right For?

Understand that this workout style is very demanding. Many people hear the 4-minute workout part and think it’s a cinch – make no mistake, we’re talking about a 4 minutes beatdown that should leave you a slobbering mess if you’re doing it right.

The creator developed this form of exercise to help a speed skating team boost its fitness. As you can imagine, the speed skaters were rather fit to begin with! These workouts boost cardiovascular fitness and improve muscle endurance. To get through these intense workouts, you will need basic fitness, as well as mental toughness. You’ll have to push yourself through the workouts, because they are very hard workouts!

I recommend being in very good shape before embarking on this style of training. While you don’t need to have the conditioning of a competitive speed skater, you shouldn’t try these workouts if your idea of daily training is a stroll to a shop around the corner.

Tabata is perfect for those who already lead active and athletic lifestyles. It was designed to condition athletes. If you want to access a body which performs better during longer sessions of physical exertion, Tabata will deliver the right benefits.

But of course if you’re new to exercise talk to your doctor and get clearance for this kind of intense workout, or take his advice for adjusting the program for your situation.

Which Exercises are Performed?

Really, there are dozens to choose from. It’s possible to do it on fitness machines such as stationery bikes, elliptical machines and stair-climbers. Some people use real bikes or climb real stairs. Others use battle ropes, row or sprint. Some weighted exercises can work too like dumbbell thrusters or squats. In general, coaches and athletes like the following exercises the best:

Front Squats – Front squats which are performed with lighter weights are good because they activate a greater number of muscle groups. They are simple to begin and to complete. They will make you cry however (at least for me).

Kettlebell Swings – These swings with kettlebells boost coordination and conditioning and they feature rapid setup, which means that it will be simple to transition between your breaks.

Upper and Lower Body Combo – When you combine lower body and upper body exercise, you may stop certain muscles from getting tired. Go for four rounds of upper body exercise and then do four rounds of lower body exercise. One idea is four rounds of push-ups and four rounds of lunges.

If you want fast and efficient training, Tabata may be perfect for you. So, why not give it a try?

Bowflex Max Trainer M5 Review

image courtesy bowflex.com

Bowflex has been responsible for producing some of the most innovative and impressive fitness and exercise equipment over the last few decades, and the Bowflex Max Trainer M5 is no exception.

Designed from the ground up to provide a fantastic alternative to traditional elliptical machines and treadmills, the Bowflex Max Trainer M5 is a game changing new cardio system that will give you the workout you expect and the results you are hoping for without ever having to leave your home!

On top of that, you won’t ever have to worry about running the risk of bodily injury or wearing out your soft tissue when you use the Bowflex Max Trainer M5 the way you do with traditional treadmills and ellipticals. Your body isn’t going to be put through the ringer while you use this exercise machine, and you’ll still be able to get the body transformation results you deserve as well.

As if that alone wasn’t reason enough to choose to move forward with the Bowflex Max Trainer M5, like other non-standard conditioning equipment, has also been proven to dramatically boost the amount of cardiovascular results you would get from more traditional fitness equipment. The system allows you to burn calories at about twice the rate, allowing you to spend less time working out without ever sacrificing the results that you are hoping for in the first place.

Believe it or not, the folks at Bowflex recommend that you use the Bowflex Max Trainer M5 to get in a handful of 14 minute workout sessions a week – warning you that it’s really easy to go overboard with your cardio when you use the Bowflex Max Trainer M5 too often!

At the same time, you’d be crazy to think that any of the workout sessions with the new system are going to be “easy”. Nothing could be further from the truth!

Sure, you are going to be able to completely control every aspect of the cardio session, from the resistance levels you deal with while working out to the overall duration and energy that you put into each workout session with the Bowflex Max Trainer M5, but you’ll find that this fitness equipment challenges you every step of the way (no pun intended) to help push you faster down your body transformation journey.

Friendly enough for brand-new fitness enthusiasts to take advantage of but complete enough for fitness veterans to get a fantastic workout in, the Bowflex Max Trainer M5 can be used in “Manual Mode” with 16 different resistance levels or you can take advantage of eight different professionally designed training protocols to help give you the results you are specifically looking for.

At the end of the day, this is a game changing new solution that you’d be crazy not to try and take advantage of.

Top features that the Bowflex Max Trainer M5 brings to the table include:

  • A total body training platform
  • The ability to improve your arm strength while training your lower body
  • 16 individual levels of resistance that you are in control of
  • Eight professionally designed workout programs
  • Two month subscription to the Daily Burn with more than 600+ workout video
  • Bluetooth 4.0 compatibility
  • Compact storage form factor

… And that’s just the tip of the iceberg!

Final verdict

If you’ve been searching for the kind of home fitness equipment that can transform the way you exercise – and the way you look and feel – the Bowflex Max Trainer M5 is everything you could hope it to be and then some!

Highlighting the 5 Best Battle Ropes for Building Strength

Highlighting the five best battle ropes for building strength

 

A lot of people are surprised to learn just how impactful “battle ropes” can be when it comes to different pieces of exercise equipment.

 

Essentially oversized ropes (that can get up to some pretty significant widths and weights), these battle ropes are going to really put each and every one of your major and minor muscle groups to the test when you use them the way they are designed to be used – burning every inch of your body and forcing you to grow stronger and more powerful with every battle workout session.  There’s a good training article here

 

At the same time, not all battle ropes have been designed to equally.

 

Some take advantage of higher quality construction materials, others take great care to craft specifically designed exercise instruments for specific types of workout programs, and others still produce ropes that are more “general-purpose” than specific better rope style pieces of equipment.

 

You’ll want to know exactly what you’re getting into before you pull the trigger on this kind of purchase – which is exactly why we have highlighted five of the best battle rope options available on the market today!

 

Let’s dive right in.

 

Battle Rope NEXPro

Designed and developed by one of the most innovative fitness equipment producers in the market today, this undulation rope is going to activate every muscle in your body when you go through a traditional battle rope routine thanks to its 100% polypropylene and polyester composition.

 

Utilizing three strand construction with heat shrunk caps at the end and full waterproofing as well, you are going to be able to really put this rope through its paces. Available in lengths between 30 feet and 50 feet, you’ll be able to utilize this 1.5 inch wide battle rope for cardio and strength training exercises.

 

Zeny Black Battle Rope

Available in two different width sizes (one for cardio and one for strength training), this particular battle rope comes in a variety of different lengths and with a variety of different material finishes to provide you with the kind of durable and long-lasting solution you are after.

 

 

Rep V2 Color Battle Rope

 

Manufactured to take advantage of space-age construction materials, this 100% poly dacron material is one of the most durable in the fitness battle rope industry. You will be able to really abuse this rope on a daily basis (if you like) and still be able to count on it for years and years to come.

 

Power Guidance Battle Rope

Many consider the Power Guidance 100% wrapped battle rope to be the very best of the best when it comes to the 1.5 inch diameter ropes, and it’s easy to understand why. This rope includes an anchor so that you can leverage it in small spaces, is 100% wrapped to protect the rope itself from frightening, and makes the most of 100% polydac materials for longevity.

 

Garage Fit Polydac Battle Rope

 

Another of the battle ropes available on the market today that makes use of 100% polydacron construction materials, this rope is available in both 30 foot lengths and 50 foot lengths, offers easy to handle grips on the last 10 inches of the battle rope, and includes a variety of different battle rope training guides that you can use to get right into these types of exercises without any previous experience.

How Women Can Benefit from Kickboxing

 

How Women Can Benefit from Kickboxing

You have been told up until this point that kickboxing is a sport dedicated primarily to men – that women who practice kickboxing are too masculine or rough around the edges. Well, we’ve got some news for them. Kickboxing is actually super beneficial to a woman’s health.

Recent studies have monitored women who love to kickbox and have discovered some amazing things along the way. Ladies who take on this gentleman’s sport seem to develop several improvements to their well-being, including things that aren’t physical at all. Emotional and mental health support can come from this activity as well, believe it or not.

The Main Benefits of Kickboxing

Ladies, get your boxing gloves on because the world of sports has just opened up to you a little bit more. Kickboxing is not only fun and challenging, but it also provides the following amazing benefits:

  1. It Helps You Burn Fat

Girls, we are always worried about our figures. Fortunately, kickboxing can help to reduce body fat by burning carbs and calories like a furnace (up to 750 calories per hour, to be exact). This high-impact, high-intensity sport keeps you moving for long periods of time while forcing you to flex muscles you don’t typically use. Meanwhile, you often don’t even realize you’re working so hard. Enjoyable and rewarding, kickboxing may soon be taken over by energetic women with weight issues.

  1. It Can Help to Tone Your Whole Body

With workouts and training exercises that include MMA drills, circuit workouts, and core-building courses, kickboxing is a lot more than simply kicking and punching an opponent. It’s a highly structured art form that requires dedication and hard work. As such, it can tone the muscles of the body to perfection in just a short time.

  1. It Can Teach You Self-Defense

Kickboxing may consist of more than just kicking and punching, but that has a lot to do with it as well. In fact, self-defense instructors use many kickboxing techniques to teach students ways to protect themselves against assailants. By practicing this sport, you will most likely learn vicariously how to defend yourself when the time comes to do so.

  1. It Can Help to Reduce Your Stress

Getting out there and becoming hyper-physical in some healthy activity is always a great way to decrease anxiety and stress. Kickboxing provides the ideal environment for such things by creating a safe zone for aggression alleviation. In other words, kicking and punching things for an hour or two can work wonders on your mental and emotional state of being.

  1. It Can Dramatically Boost Your Confidence

There’s nothing like looking better, feeling less stressed, and being able to adequately protect yourself. Kickboxing provides all those benefits and then some, even to the men and children who enjoy it. Considered a challenging yet safe sport to participate in, people are encouraged to supplement their self-esteem with activities that boost their health in several ways. Kickboxing can make an individual feel great physically, mentally, and emotionally.