Work up to 1RM Thruster
6x 20 sec on, 10 sec off Thrusters at 35% of 1RM
Rest 2 min.
Rest 5 min.
6x 20 sec on, 10 sec off Front Squats at same weight
Rest 2 min.
Notes: This is really tough. We all start out doing lots of reps on the first 1 or two sets of the thrusters and then it’s a battle. The goal I tell everyone on the thrusters is 10’s. Get to 10. By the way, if you can, that’s 120 thrusters and 120 front squats in 12 min of work. That’s intense! Not everyone can do that, there is a lot of burning and all kinds of reasons to stop. Lungs on fire, wrists hurt, legs burn, blah, blah, blah…can you push through? It’s only 12 min of work.
Side note. I was re-reading a study (imagine that) about Dr. Tabata today in light of this little workout. Here is a link to the abstract (short version) of the study (if you want the whole thing you have to purchase it) Click here for the link.
“The exhaustive intermittent training consisted of seven to eight sets of 20-s exercise at an intensity of about 170% of ˙VO2max with a 10-s rest between each bout. After the training period, ˙VO2max increased by 7 ml·kg-1·min-1, while the anaerobic capacity increased by 28%. In conclusion, this study showed that moderate-intensity aerobic training that improves the maximal aerobic power does not change anaerobic capacity and that adequate high-intensity intermittent training may improve both anaerobic and aerobic energy supplying systems significantly, probably through imposing intensive stimuli on both systems.” – Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: October 1996 – Volume 28 – Issue 10 – pp 1327-1330 Applied Sciences: Physical Fitness and Performance.
Layperson terms, by doing 20 sec on and 10 sec off for 7 to 8 sets at very high efforts your aerobic capacity will go up and your anaerobic capacity will go up. This is significant to us because of the last sentence. By doing moderate-intensity aerobic training (think running on a treadmill like we all used to at 24hr) does NOT change anaerobic capacity, but High Intensity Intermittent Training (HIIT) will improve BOTH anaerobic AND aerobic energy systems!
So why don’t we do tabata sets all the time? Well, we could, but have you ever tried to do a tabata set at 170% of your Vo2Max? My Vo2Max pace is a 1:52 on the C2 (rower). This means I would have to be rowing at a max. of 1:34/500 pace to be at 170% for 7-8 sets, 5/week for 6 weeks and preferably faster than that to get the real juice out of it. That is painful, very painful, to put it mildly.
If anyone wants to give it a try, we can do a Vo2Max test (2k row for time), then calculate your pace requirements from that and start the 6 week Tabata Challenge…any takers out there?