2

votes

Is there a tabata-light exercise?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created February 06, 2011 at 2:19 PM

I've had great success losing weight on the paleo diet, but I've hit a plateau. I walk a fairly fast pace for 30 minutes most days. Lately, I've increased the amount of walking time to an hour, but it hasn't jump-started the weight loss.

I've seen several posts about the effectiveness of tabata sprints, but after 55 years of poor eating and exercise habits I don't think I'm ready for sprints yet. Has anyone tried fast walking the intervals instead of sprinting? If so, was it effective?

33eae4fd8b255252902c6479c0a6fa2e

(-4)

on November 17, 2011
at 05:20 AM

burpees just had to say that. I too, have a love/hate relationship with them.

B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

(10778)

on April 05, 2011
at 12:21 PM

One of the main reasons that my bodyweight-centric TacFit works so well on me, is that it done in Tabata-time. The twistyness and strength just make it more fun.

1f24d4895246892ef4ee4d79b7f9eeeb

(373)

on March 28, 2011
at 03:34 PM

I now weigh 238, down 10 pounds since starting SlowBurn (and that includes a splurge that added 5 pounds in one day.)

1f24d4895246892ef4ee4d79b7f9eeeb

(373)

on March 28, 2011
at 03:32 PM

Following up on my progress with SlowBurn, I have made very good improvement in strength in 7 weeks. Started 2/6/11 and have done a total of 8 workouts. For example, when I started, I could do 3 pushups from my knees and now I can do 6 real pushups from my toes in slomo. For curls, I started with 5 reps with 10 lbs and now I can do 5 reps with 20 lbs. Started with 3 crunches and now I do 22. Very pleased, and no injuries.

Cfb5d4fb4d21d1260fb8cf0e916ad816

(10)

on February 14, 2011
at 12:15 PM

I'm just relating my experience. I didn't get hungrier. In fact, I got more energy than I've ever had before. Walking energized me. Shilstone was right. I could see I was losing fat all over. I'm not disparaging interval training. But walking is natural. I'm sure our Paleo ancestors walked everywhere.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on February 07, 2011
at 04:25 PM

I'm a beginner, just starting Tabatas and mostly doing squats or kettlebell swings. I also started at 4 20-second sets, then 5, 6... Now I'm working up on speed and then will add weight. I'm 53 and at a low fitness level, but there's no way to go but up.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on February 07, 2011
at 01:14 AM

Hahaha, I have a love hate relationship with burpees. I can kick their ass, but they kick mine too! I agree though, there a million ways to do tabatas it's all about your level of exertion. Adding body weight exercises is a great way to increase fitness without equipment.

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11488)

on February 06, 2011
at 10:27 PM

@dc, walking does not burn fat for most folks, no matter how long you do it. The longer you walk, the hungrier you get, and the more you eat, resulting in no net fat loss. Kim has the right idea by starting an interval training program.

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9 Answers

5
4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

on February 06, 2011
at 02:33 PM

Its 100% about effort. Sprint is a relative term.

The High Intensity Interval Exercise that really gets hormones rolling and kickstarts your metabolism, its about whats effort for YOU.

Heres my simple rule: If you're not

  • Sweating
  • Breathing Hard
  • Smiling(at least between sets)

then you're doing it wrong.

If walking is easy, then its not enough. Dont hurt yourself trying to run when youre not able, find a different exercise that your body can handle and achieves the 3 above.

4
1471beca8e3adff4ae2f89d10e5f7acb

on February 06, 2011
at 02:38 PM

You can do all sorts of exercises Tabata-style if you're no comfortable with sprinting...jumping jacks, squats, burpees (ow!), jumping rope, rowing, etc.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on February 07, 2011
at 01:14 AM

Hahaha, I have a love hate relationship with burpees. I can kick their ass, but they kick mine too! I agree though, there a million ways to do tabatas it's all about your level of exertion. Adding body weight exercises is a great way to increase fitness without equipment.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on February 07, 2011
at 04:25 PM

I'm a beginner, just starting Tabatas and mostly doing squats or kettlebell swings. I also started at 4 20-second sets, then 5, 6... Now I'm working up on speed and then will add weight. I'm 53 and at a low fitness level, but there's no way to go but up.

B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

(10778)

on April 05, 2011
at 12:21 PM

One of the main reasons that my bodyweight-centric TacFit works so well on me, is that it done in Tabata-time. The twistyness and strength just make it more fun.

33eae4fd8b255252902c6479c0a6fa2e

(-4)

on November 17, 2011
at 05:20 AM

burpees just had to say that. I too, have a love/hate relationship with them.

2
1acc4ee9381d9a8d998b59915b3f997e

(2099)

on February 06, 2011
at 06:15 PM

Yup, its all relative to what your body is used to. Intense is what is intense for YOU at whatever level you happen to be at. And don't forget that what is not too intense on one day, might be too intense for you on another day because of what has been going on in your life...like maybe lack of sleep or a hard day at work, etc. Don't think that just because an exercise was easy for you the last time you did it, that you have to force yourself to an intensity that is too high for you this time. For me, one of the most delightful things about paleo is relearning to trust my body as it is at this moment. Not having to be a slave to formulas and/or strict routines makes it much easier for me to "stay with the program", so-to-speak. p.s. I am 54.

2
1f24d4895246892ef4ee4d79b7f9eeeb

on February 06, 2011
at 03:30 PM

I'm in the same boat. I'm 61 and haven't lost a pound in the last 6 weeks despite pretty good adherence to Paleo principles that have brought my weight down from 312 in March, 2010 to 248 now. Have not been able to do much exercise until now due to a painful hip. I just finished reading The Slowburn Fitness Revolution and it makes a lot of sense to me. http://www.amazon.com/Slow-Burn-Fitness-Revolution-Exercise/dp/0767913868 The idea is to do 90 seconds of slow-moving lifts to failure that will engage all of your muscle fibers. Heres an excerpt. http://www.enotalone.com/article/4605.html Good luck.

1f24d4895246892ef4ee4d79b7f9eeeb

(373)

on March 28, 2011
at 03:34 PM

I now weigh 238, down 10 pounds since starting SlowBurn (and that includes a splurge that added 5 pounds in one day.)

1f24d4895246892ef4ee4d79b7f9eeeb

(373)

on March 28, 2011
at 03:32 PM

Following up on my progress with SlowBurn, I have made very good improvement in strength in 7 weeks. Started 2/6/11 and have done a total of 8 workouts. For example, when I started, I could do 3 pushups from my knees and now I can do 6 real pushups from my toes in slomo. For curls, I started with 5 reps with 10 lbs and now I can do 5 reps with 20 lbs. Started with 3 crunches and now I do 22. Very pleased, and no injuries.

1
5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on February 06, 2011
at 06:08 PM

For you, I'd go with bumping things up to moderate (cycle through walking normal, speed walking, normal, speed, etc), but stay at the 30 minutes to start till it gets easier. I wouldn't try the more intense stuff yet. You won't gain the benefits of the hardcore stuff, but then you won't injure/kill yourself trying either. :)

The original Tabata research tested moderate and high intensity. The moderate level got some aerobic benefits (exercise longer), but no anaerobic benefits (exercise longer at high intensity). The high intensity group got both. The original research targeted students that were aleady athletic, and was looking at athletic gains, not weight loss. So while they only gained aerobic benefits, you probably would get both (since you aren't in their condition).

I don't know that there's actually been any research on the weight loss portion with Tabatas, but there has been with High Intensity Interval Training (different lengths of time than Tabatas) that showed a substantial fat loss. High Intensity for Tabatas and HIIT are pretty intense pedal to the metal type stuff. Pretty harsh if you're not already in good shape.

1
Cfb5d4fb4d21d1260fb8cf0e916ad816

on February 06, 2011
at 03:38 PM

According to Macky Shilstone, AFTER you walk for 30 minutes, THEN you start burning 85% from fat cells. Before that you're burning everything... muscles, organs, etc. So you're quitting at the point when you should be plowing ahead!!

Find a peaceful place and walk with an elevated heart rate for an hour, and hour and a half. You'll be surprised how quickly the time goes, and you'll feel good when you finished.

I lost 11 lbs a month walking 4 miles in the morning, 6 in the evening, with just a reduced calorie diet. On the paleo, this routine is even better!

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11488)

on February 06, 2011
at 10:27 PM

@dc, walking does not burn fat for most folks, no matter how long you do it. The longer you walk, the hungrier you get, and the more you eat, resulting in no net fat loss. Kim has the right idea by starting an interval training program.

Cfb5d4fb4d21d1260fb8cf0e916ad816

(10)

on February 14, 2011
at 12:15 PM

I'm just relating my experience. I didn't get hungrier. In fact, I got more energy than I've ever had before. Walking energized me. Shilstone was right. I could see I was losing fat all over. I'm not disparaging interval training. But walking is natural. I'm sure our Paleo ancestors walked everywhere.

0
A68f24168bc0de414a038037e287b581

on February 06, 2011
at 05:09 PM

Similar to what Stephen-Aegis said, try what is fast and effort for you. You can try speed-walking (as fast as you can) and then slow down. I like to do in-place running high-knees or air-punching in what is my best speed. Many other exercises are fit to be used in HIIT, squats, air-kicking, skiers, mountain-climbers etc. anything that forces your body to move fast and really pushes your abilities, without injuring yourself.

-2
33eae4fd8b255252902c6479c0a6fa2e

on November 17, 2011
at 05:26 AM

If you are just starting out after long periods without exercise make sure to talk to a doctor. Someone had to say it.

That said ...

Tabatas are a specific type of intervals and are in fact very high intensity. In his research his specific protocol was 8 periods of 20 seconds of work with 10 seconds of rest. The work periods were rated at 170% of VO2Max. (The engineer in me is still puzzled by a statement of more than 100% of any maximum.) All that means is that you must be pushing yourself far beyond how fast your body can take on oxygen. That's high intensity.

While I have used the 20/10 intervals for lots of different exercises (see my 24 minutes of kettlebell fun workout - http://cubedwellerfitness.com/2011/10/24-minutes-kettlebell-fun/) often I don't think I get near the intensity that Tabata would demand in his protocol.

Vary your intensity and the intervals. Start with longer rest periods. Keep searching for the levels that you feel are pushing yourself; then keep raising the intensity as your progress.

Have fun; be safe.

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