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Volume 4: Minimalist Tabata Training

Updated: Apr 8

Minimalist Conditioning


Volume 4:

Minimalist Tabata Training






© Copyright 2023 by Minimalist Conditioning. All Rights Reserved Any unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited. Please obtain a physician’s approval before engaging in any exercise program. Please get checked out from a doctor, and be safe. Exercise common sense more than anything.









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“Less is More”

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Minimalist Conditioning

Volume 4:

Minimalist Tabata Training


“Gold medals aren’t really made of gold. They’re made of sweat, determination, and a hard-to-find alloy called guts.”

Dan Gable 1972 Olympic Wrestling Champion Head wrestling coach at the University of Iowa

Equipment needed:

Mat

Water bottle

Jump rope

Notebook

An iron will to succeed

(Hint, hint: This pretty much all I needed for a while)


I have always wanted the most of bang for my buck, especially when it comes to training. I never saw the sense in using a lot of different machines or gadgets when I could accomplish the same thing with less exercises, my bodyweight, a mat, and a pullup bar and maybe some dumbbells, kettlebell, or barbells. I love to jump rope so that is in my regular rotation.

I also never have been a huge fan or marathon cardio sessions on the treadmill or a bike. I do like rowing but I usually cap those training sessions at 30 minutes, and I throw in higher intensity intervals to keep it interesting. Most of the time when I do cardio machines, I end up giving in more to boredom than fatigue. If I do longer cardio training, I opt for the pool or trail.

For the most part, I have always wanted to make the best use of my time. Circuit training always made sense to me. When I first discovered what circuit training was a light bulb went off. I could do my strength training exercises back to rest with little or no rest between sets, and then skip the cardio machines because my heart rate would stay elevated, I was so excited. It seemed logical. Perform strength training, get cardio benefits at the same time, and get in and out of the gym make total sense to me.

I love spending hours in the gym hitting it hard, and practicing movements when I have the time. Usually, though, I don’t have all the time in the world to spend hours at the gym so I have to get the maximum work done in the minimum amount of time.

Unless, I am doing pure strength training, high-intensity, low repetition sessions, I usually limit my rest between sets.

As a general rule, I use the talk test. Once I am done with a set, I don’t start the next one until I can talk without difficulty. The better shape I am in, the less rest is needed between sets.

However, if I am looking to crush myself in a short period of time, do something a little different, or if life has left me minimal time to train, I need to do shorter condensed training sessions.

This is where the Tabata method of training comes in.

Tabata training in its simplest form is 20 seconds of work at maximum intensity, followed by 10 seconds or rest, for a total of four minutes.

Japanese professor Dr. Izumi Tabata developed Tabata in 1996 while he researched how to train the Japanese Olympic speed skating team efficiently. His findings showed that HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) improved aerobic capacity and also increase anaerobic capacity at maximum and medium intensities. What this means is that by doing HIIT workouts at whatever level is your best not only shows gains in strength and burning fat, but also improves the cardiovascular system as well. The bottom line is whatever intensity level is my best, I will see improvements. The higher the intensity, the faster the progress. Even at lower intensities, I will still see progress no matter what in this style of training. If I can’t go all out, I can still follow the format, and make gains in many different areas.

I like to do 4-minute rounds of different exercise per round.

The variations on this style of training are endless. My imagination is my only limiting factor.

I have tried working out in this style every day and saw crazy results, but it also is intense, so I like to alternate days to give my body a chance to recover.

The high intensity training can build up lactic acid in your muscles, which is the culprit for muscle soreness, so long-term, it is best to give the body time to work the acid out of your muscles. I typically avoid trying to build up lactic acid on a regular basis.

I prefer to use exercises that work a lot of the big muscle groups at the same time such as squat thrusts, 8-count bodybuilders (squat thrusts with a push-up at the bottom), squats, tuck jumps, mountain climbers, jumping rope, and sprints.

These exercises done even at a lower intensity will get the heart pumping, so done at a higher intensity, they can really work me over.

Remember: Its 20-seconds on, 10 seconds off. Repeat for 4 minutes, or 8 rounds. That’s it.

Simple, but not easy.

If I am really getting crazy with it, I will set up a circuit of 4 different exercises or so for 20 seconds each, and rotate between stations.

Something like this:

Station 1: Squat Thrusts

Station 2: Jump Rope

Station 3: Mountain Climbers

Station 4: Push-ups

Station 1: Squat Thrusts

Station 2: Jump Rope

Station 3: Mountain Climbers

Station 4: Push-ups

Again, I am only limited by my creativity. There are endless variations of exercises. I can add rounds if I want to go longer.

This format can be a great way to finish a training occasionally, or it can stand on its own. It is a great way to use my energy, especially if time is not on my side. As with most things in life, I will get out of it what I put into it. The results can be incredible.

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