By Michael Ferrante
It’s safe to say that just about every local health club or
cross-fit gym is touting the benefits of Tabata training these days, and because of this trend, Tabata is making its way into indoor cycling studios as well. If you’re eager to introduce Tabata-type training to your Spinning class participants, I offer the following for your consideration.
The goal of Tabata training is to improve VO2max capacity by exercising at a very high anaerobic level. Dr. Izumi Tabata is the founder of the protocol that is essentially a 5 minute warm-up followed by 8 high
intensity/all-out efforts lasting just 20 seconds. The rest or recovery periods in between the 20 second intervals are just 10 seconds. The session ends with a 2-5 minute cool down.
This style of training is certainly not new to cycling or
the Spinning program for that matter. Competitive cyclists who are serious about their training and are constantly seeking to improve their skills and racing results will certainly incorporate high-end, anaerobic capacity interval work in their training regimes. If a cyclist, for example, wants to be a contender to win the sprint finish of a race then he or she must add intense
anaerobic work to their base-building aerobic training volume.
And the Spinning program has long recognized the need for Tabata-style training. Back in 2005, Mad Dogg Athletics and Spinning introduced the High Intensity Training (HIT) workshop as a continuing education module for instructors. As a Spinning instructor, if you’re interested in embracing the Tabata trend, then I strongly advise that you attend a HIT workshop to help build your knowledge base.
Remember, if you’re asking your Spinning students to execute a series of high intensity intervals, then you should expand your ability to be able to explain why these intervals are important. To do so, you’ll need to
fully understand heart rate training, rating of perceived exertion, lactate threshold, anaerobic threshold, periodization, ATP and CP and a number of other
important exercise definitions and methodologies. Fortunately, the Spinning program offers this expanded instructor training. This affords all of us the
opportunity to become the best group fitness professionals on the planet, and to be able to seamlessly incorporate the latest trends in fitness.