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Thread: Tabata 2-a-days

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    Tabata 2-a-days

    In my experience, there are two types of on-bike training you can do and not need a measuring device: LSD rides and hard-as-possible anaerobic intervals. For the latter, I have used them effectively for 2-week tapers, once a day.

    A few times I've tried 2-a-days with Tabatas. This schedule is generally not recommended for bike training because, in the case of long rides, it probably halves the effectiveness of a single long ride if you devote the same total time to it. For intervals, it's normally not a long enough recovery period.

    First of all, so we don't waste time, yes I am well read on the science behind the workout. I know it has been greatly misapplied by crossfitters and weightlifter types. I'm curious, however, with the rather well-founded research showing that upper-level athletes, already trained, can gain VO2max, why this protocol is not more often employed by serious cyclists?

    More to the point: this is one interval set, maybe the only HIIT set, that you can do every day. Recovery from 4 minutes of total exercise is quick. In my experiments I've found that 2-a-days may be possible. For those of us who work for a living, a 2-a-day schedule of workouts makes sense.

    I think you'd want to experience some cumulative soreness after a while, which would let you know that such a short exercise period is actually doing something. I get terrific recovery from one-a-day, week-long blocks. I get some muscle tightness, maybe even a twitch of a cramp after 2-a-days. Sometimes I may not feel as if I'm not able to give 100%.

    The most gratifying effect after Tabatas is the "scorched lung" feeling that persists for hours afterward. That's how you know you really did turn the suck knob up to 11 that day, as Dr. Tabata required

    High-intensity interval training - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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    Tabata 2-a-days

    "Misapplied" by crossfitters and weightlifters..... BS....but then again everyone has an opinion. I use it for running steep inclines (14 at an 8 or 8.5) on a treadmill and spinning on road and mtn as well to supplement my workouts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by becker999 View Post
    "Misapplied" by crossfitters and weightlifters..... BS....but then again everyone has an opinion. I use it for running steep inclines (14 at an 8 or 8.5) on a treadmill and spinning on road and mtn as well to supplement my workouts.
    Like I said, "so that we don't waste time..." The proven results for the Tabata protocol involve a cycling trainer and it's only proven to raise VO2 max and anaerobic threshold. That's the science. Applying it to weightlifting routines or even running is not proven.

    Hoping we can get some good input on the periodization question, thanks.

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    let's just say weight lifters and X-fitters borrowed the overall patern

    what is you periodization question?

    Regarding trained athletes not using this particular protocol, I think it is simply too hard. Most people who ''do tabata'' don't actually do it. Going at 170% VO2max is pretty freaking hard and that is partly why I think highly trained athletes do not use this method. There are so many ways to reach training goals and physiological adaptations.

    I don't think the Tabata study ever shown an increased VT2 on their subjects or trained subjects. Increased anaerobic work capacity, yes, VT2, not so much.

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    Tabata 2-a-days

    Quote Originally Posted by chomxxo View Post
    Like I said, "so that we don't waste time..." The proven results for the Tabata protocol involve a cycling trainer and it's only proven to raise VO2 max and anaerobic threshold. That's the science. Applying it to weightlifting routines or even running is not proven.

    Hoping we can get some good input on the periodization question, thanks.
    Maybe you should read the study again or skip to the conclusion....

    To answer your periodization question, it is also proven that too much HIIT ( not high intensity interval cycling) can be counterproductive. With any workout regimen, different people will respond differently based on a variety of factors .....physiology, body type, fitness level, goals, etc, etc...which is pretty much common sense. We all figure out what works best for our bodies and our situation and adjust accordingly to find the greatest reward for our efforts. Personally I don't do more than two Tabata style workouts a week. Yes it has benefitted me, but for overall functional strength strength, speed, and endurance it's a supplement, or enhancement to a fitness regimen.

    I don't however see the benefit of 2 a days Tabata Style and in your view just cycle training at 170% (which I am sure you are reaching) as noted in the study, perhaps you do.

    Sorry for waisting your time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by becker999 View Post
    Maybe you should read the study again or skip to the conclusion....

    Personally I don't do more than two Tabata style workouts a week.

    Sorry waisting your time.
    Not a big problem in the grand scheme of things, but that's not the Tabata protocol. It's one that you do daily over a period of six weeks with a day or two of rest per week.

    As implied by my statement "2 week taper" I am aware of the adaptive limitations of HIIT. Is it possible that 2-a-days will not allow me to go at 170% VO2 max? Yes, that's why I'm asking the question. Is it possible that with 1-a-days over 6 weeks I can't do this? No.

    I would guess that a patchwork training regime of 2 days per week of Tabata-style running or whatever would be less likely to allow you to reach the required peak. With the prescribed 4-minute work interval, you maximize your chance of recovery. Longer training periods the day before might leave you too tapped.

    I linked the study in my initial post so that everyone could read it. Here's a link to the study's abstract so that we all know what exactly this is we're talking about:
    Effects of moderate-intensity endurance... [Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1996] - PubMed - NCBI


    Quote Originally Posted by Devincicx View Post
    Regarding trained athletes not using this particular protocol, I think it is simply too hard. Most people who ''do tabata'' don't actually do it. Going at 170% VO2max is pretty freaking hard and that is partly why I think highly trained athletes do not use this method. There are so many ways to reach training goals and physiological adaptations.

    I don't think the Tabata study ever shown an increased VT2 on their subjects or trained subjects. Increased anaerobic work capacity, yes, VT2, not so much.
    That is a very good point. When you achieve podium success in Cat 1 or above, you have proven your ability to go hard. I think you also learn to limit when and where you push yourself to the necessary limits. If you try to go super-hard every day, you'll burn out one way or another. For myself I'd imagine the 6-week HIIT conventional barrier is a mental one as well as physical.

    If you mean by VT2, aerobic capacity, or something we might term FTP if the study used a power meter, it did state an increase that was equal to the steady-state control group, with a much lower period of exercise. That should be considered consolation but unremarkable. This interval is primarily about increasing VO2max and anaerobic capacity, both of which showed a potential for increase beyond what other intervals might not be able to achieve.

    The ability to recover from a single 4-minute session so that you can do it twice a day: Seems easy, right?

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    "After 3 wk of training, the VO2 max had increased significantly by 5+-3ml.kg/min. It tended to increase in the last part of the training period but no significant changes [emphasis mine] were observed.
    Basically, the Tabata group improved for 3 weeks and then plateaued despite a continuingly increasing workload. Iíd note that anaerobic capacity did improve over the length of the study although most of the benefit came in the first 4 weeks of the study (with far less over the last 2 weeks)."

    "First and foremost, thereís no doubt that while the steady state group only improved VO2 max, it did not improve anaerobic capacity; this is no shock based on the training effect to be expected. And while the Tabata protocol certainly improved both, not only did the Tabata group still end up with a lower VO2 at the end of the study, they only made progress for 3 weeks before plateauing on VO2 max and 4 weeks for anaerobic capacity.
    Interestingly, the running coach Arthur Lydiard made this observation half a century ago; after months of base training, he found that only 3 weeks of interval work were necessary to sharpen his athletes. More than that was neither necessary nor desirable. Other studies using cycling have found similar results: intervals improve certain parameters of athletic performance for about 3 weeks or 6 sessions and then they stop having any further benefit.
    Iíve asked this question before but for all of the ĎAll interval all the timeí folks, if intervals stop working after 3-4 weeks, what are people supposed to do for the other 48-49 weeks of the year. Should they keep busting their nuts with supra-maximal interval training for no meaningful results?
    On that note, itís worth mentioning that the Tabata group actually did a single steady state workout per week. Is it at all possible that this contributed to the overall training effect (given that 70% VO2 max training improved VO2 max in the steady state only group)? Does anybody else find it weird that the Tabata promoters ignore the fact that the Tabata group was doing steady state work too?"

    Effects of Moderate-Intensity Endurance and High-Intensity Intermitten Training on Anaerobic Capacity and VO2 Max - Research Review | BodyRecomposition - The Home of Lyle McDonald

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    Tabata 2-a-days

    Ok really, can we read the OP before posting?

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    Tabata 2-a-days

    Scottz..... Pretty much nailed it!

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    Tabata 2-a-days

    No he said nothing relevant to the topic.

    I'd appreciate someone with perspective rather than an axe to grind. I'd wager that my offseason volume compares positively with most of yours.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scottz123 View Post
    "
    Iíve asked this question before but for all of the ĎAll interval all the timeí folks, if intervals stop working after 3-4 weeks, what are people supposed to do for the other 48-49 weeks of the year. Should they keep busting their nuts with supra-maximal interval training for no meaningful results?
    On that note, itís worth mentioning that the Tabata group actually did a single steady state workout per week. Is it at all possible that this contributed to the overall training effect (given that 70% VO2 max training improved VO2 max in the steady state only group)? Does anybody else find it weird that the Tabata promoters ignore the fact that the Tabata group was doing steady state work too?"

    Effects of Moderate-Intensity Endurance and High-Intensity Intermitten Training on Anaerobic Capacity and VO2 Max - Research Review | BodyRecomposition - The Home of Lyle McDonald
    I say plateauing depends on several things: what have you done before, how long have you been doing current regime, what was the progression, volume, intensity, recovery, etc?

    We can't conclude ''intervals'' in general lead to a plateau after a month or so. A wisely designed training plan will include a diversity of intensities anyways.

    Doing the same thing on end, days in days out, week after week, is not what I'd call a sound approach to training.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chomxxo View Post
    why this protocol is not more often employed by serious cyclists?
    I thought I was answering your question with facts, not opinions. No axe here.

    "Basically, the Tabata group improved for 3 weeks and then plateaued despite a continuingly increasing workload. Iíd note that anaerobic capacity did improve over the length of the study although most of the benefit came in the first 4 weeks of the study (with far less over the last 2 weeks)."

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    chomxxo

    I see very little value in doing 2x tabata a day. I can't say you can recover enough for it or not, it depends the intensity you're doing your workout. Sure 4 minutes total work time appears small, but at a given intensity well above VO2max, it stresses your CNS quite a bit and doing it twice a day might be a recipe to bad things in the long term.

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    Tabata 2-a-days

    Basically, it sounds like the OP picks and chooses what he wants to use as empirical scientific evidence to bolster one's belief on the subject matter.

    .......you have on off season? Geesh....
    Since you engaged with the grade school antics....

    devinci and Scottz.... Spot on..... Good info

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    Tabata 2-a-days

    Thank you for the direct reply Devincicx. I imagine cross racers might hit these quite a bit. My experience hints at that but I guess I also feel guilty about the short exercise period. Always trying to get in more value.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Devincicx View Post
    chomxxo

    I see very little value in doing 2x tabata a day. I can't say you can recover enough for it or not, it depends the intensity you're doing your workout. Sure 4 minutes total work time appears small, but at a given intensity well above VO2max, it stresses your CNS quite a bit and doing it twice a day might be a recipe to bad things in the long term.
    +1. And then the question? Are you really doing the 'Tabata Protocol' / intensity?

    "Itís also relevant to note that the study used a bike for training. This is important and hereís why: on a stationary bike, when you start to get exhausted and fall apart from fatigue, the worst that happens is that you stop pedalling. You donít fall off, you donít get hurt, nothing bad happens. The folks suggesting high skill movements for a ĎTabataí workout might want to consider that. Because when form goes bad on cleans near the end of the ĎTabataí workout, some really bad things can happen. Things that donít happen on a stationary bike.
    As well, I want to make a related comment: as you can see above the protocol used was VERY specific. The interval group used 170% of VO2 max for the high intensity bits and the wattage was increased by a specific amount when the workout was completed. Let me put this into real world perspective.
    My VO2 max occurs somewhere between 300-330watts on my power bike, I can usually handle that for repeat sets of 3 minutes and maybe 1 all out-set of 5-8 minutes if Iím willing to really suffer. Thatís how hard it is, itís a maximal effort across that time span.
    For a proper Tabata workout, 170% of that wattage would be 510 watts (for perspective, Tour De France cyclists may maintain 400 watts for an hour). This is an absolutely grueling workload. I suspect that most reading this, unless they are a trained cyclist, couldnít turn the pedals at that wattage, thatís how much resistance there is.
    If you donít believe me, find someone with a bike with a powermeter and see how much effort it takes to generate that kind of power output. Now do it for 20 seconds. Now repeat that 8 times with a 10 second break. You might learn something about what a Tabata workout actually is."

    Effects of Moderate-Intensity Endurance and High-Intensity Intermitten Training on Anaerobic Capacity and VO2 Max - Research Review | BodyRecomposition - The Home of Lyle McDonald

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    The intensity is often forgotten by people using Tabata protocol, They basically borrow the concept and do not nail the intensity right. I agree with you scotz that people generally won't hit the 170% like in the protocol, they might do it for the first 1 or 2 bouts, but then they will fade dramatically. Though, I disagree about the 500W part Bigger dudes and trained athletes have no problems hitting 500W. They won't hold it very long though

    For the OP, what are you trying to acheive doing Tabata, be it once or twice a day? There are many other way to train Tabata-like. Such a workout should be used with precise goals in mind: high intensity aerobic power repeatability? Neuro-muscular specific work? Trying to acheive VO2max? Lots and lots of variable, tell us what you want to reach as a goal, training or racing related!

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    I could talk a bit about myself but I do appreciate that the 170% VO2max was brought up as a reason for one-a-days, so my question is pretty much answered. The way I see it there are two types of training, aerobic and anaerobic. To increase aerobic systems you train longer. To increase anaerobic capacity you train harder.

    As far as adaptations go, my 3+ hour Zone 2 rides and Tabatas contrast each other greatly on a periodized schedule along the lines of Lydiard's observations, which should force adaptation well. My opinion is that everything else is middling. I'm not the best but this has allowed me to continue seeing gains and Cat 1 podiums after four years.

    Dr. Tabata's thesis was similar: intensity, not period, was most relevant to raising VO2max. Friel mentions that intensity becomes more important the more trained one becomes. I know all about Lydiard and his rules definitely play on my mind. I love the long rides, in fact I prefer them; they're guaranteed to work. The only interval I know with such guarantees is this one.

    Devincicx I am trying to maximize anaerobic capacity and VO2max, no more or less than the interval advertises. Having done quite a few (disappointing) road races this summer I was glad to return to XC where VO2max is probably relatively more important.

    Yes, I am an excellent sprinter off the line so I don't think turning the pedals at the necessary intensity is a problem for me. Obviously, it's 170% of my own VO2max, not anyone else's, that's required.

    And yes, I hopped the front wheel off the cradle this morning. I'm also concerned that I'm going to mar my frame at the dropouts while I thrash it on the trainer in 53-11. I'm tucked in a corner and I usually end up scooting one way or another, but it's better than trying them outside on a long hill. The last time I did that last year, I was mid-interval and came upon a tractor. I tried to pass him on the right but he as actually swinging wide to turn into a gravel drive and I ended up going over the tractor's front wheel and nearly getting run over. So yeah, I know how hard you have to go. I usually try to listen to Gorgoroth or Dark Funeral

    That said, if it were impossible for most trained athletes, it wouldn't be the criterion of the study. Actually only 6 intervals were required if the athlete was too tapped out at that point to complete all 8.

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    bah, Gorgoroth, try Atra Vetosus instead, or Wintersun

    my point is, there are many ways to skin your VO2max cat, Tabata ain't the only way to acheive this. You could benefit more intervals in the same session and/or longer intervals at lower intensity.

    You'll eventually probably cap off doing Tabata anyways so you'll need to diversify your stimulus to keep pushing things up and adaptating.

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    I've been racing and training for 10 years and did my first ever Tabata intervals on the trainer this morning. Yes, very hard with that partial recovery that gets you into the red for the next interval. Did only 2 sets since I have race Saturday.

    Based on my lower end Vo2max power zone, I should target the Tabatas at 476Ws. Hell, I could only hold that for the first two intervals, then the last few weren't even above 400W!! Anyone else experience the same power degradation? Maybe that will get better with more sessions.
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    Tabata 2-a-days

    It always helps to try something before giving an opinion on it; kudos

    I pretty much lock into 53-11 for these. I find they're great a week or two before a race as a tapering strategy. If you feel them in your lungs and not legs in the hours following, I think you've done them right. At worst it prepares you both mentally and physically for the first five minutes of a Cat 1 XC race which is usually critical if you're looking to win.

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