Tag: high intensity interval training

The Birth of Tabata Training

Training while travelling has always been a pain for me. While I try my best to find hotels close to gyms or with some adequate facilities, chances are I’ll get caught out every once and a while. Though not boasting the largest lifting numbers, certainly much lower than much of the site’s readership, there are times when even I’m confronted with weights too light for a decent workout. This has been the case at several points this summer when travel to remote locations has brought me into the domain of cheap, ill equipped and frankly strange hotel gyms. On the latter point, one gym boasted solely lime green dumbbells weighing no more than 25 pounds. That such devices ever seemed like a great idea is…quite frankly…mind boggling.

Once my panic attacks/anger passes, I get to work as best I can and in this regard tabata training, especially when it comes to training with a short amount of time, has been a godsend. For those unaware, Tabata training is a relatively straightforward concept. Exercise for twenty seconds at a high intensity, rest for ten seconds and then repeat for 8 rounds. While the initial research concerned itself primarily with cardiovascular forms of training such as bike riding, subsequent proponents have used Tabata style training for a range of bodyweight and free weight systems. So in today’s post we’re going to examine the history of Tabata training. Who invented it? How did it become so popular and how can it best be used in the average gym.

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Mike Mentzer (1995) – Mr. Universe Mike Mentzer’s Training Invention

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In the decades before bodybuilding became fashionable, when young men wanted to workout, they would say, “Hey, lets’ go to the YMCA and lift weights” In fact, during the early part of this century, weightlifting was much more popular than bodybuilding, in part because bodybuilding was regarded as too narcissistic.

Inveterate observers of weight-training history will recall how prevalent “odd lift” contests were back around the time of World War I. Competitions were held and records established for such odd lifts as the “two hands anyhow.” the “bent press” and the “one-hand deadlift.” For various reasons, these eventually fell from grace and were replaced by the three Olympic lifts: the press, snatch, and clean and jerk. These new movements required considerable athletic ability and, thus, were viewed as more respectable by the international sport community. They even were accepted as official events in the Olympics and are still quite popular today.

Eventually, some of the esteem reserved for Olympic lifting was wrested away by powerlifting, which has long had a strong following and gained even more recognition and acceptance after it became an official sport in the 1960s.

Finally, due primarily to the efforts of Joe Weider, bodybuilding assumed its rightful place in the sun in the ’60s and has progressed to its current predominance. It has thoroughly supplanted Olympic lifting and powerlifting in public appeal.

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The Ideal Workout by Arthur Jones

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In June 1970, Arthur Jones, the father of High Intensity Interval Training, published the ‘Ideal Workout’ in bodybuilding magazine Muscular Development. In the article, posted below, Jones set out the importance of vigorous training as well as promoting his new brand of exercise machines. Little was Jones to know that his new training machines would soon pop up across the US as America fell into a Nautilus craze.

Just what is the ideal workout?

At this point the answer to the question is not clear even to me, not even after 20 years of keen interest, involvement and research on my part, but at least this much is clear; we are now a great deal closer to the answer than we were as recently as a year ago…at least that’s some progress.

How to gain 63 pounds of Muscle in 28 Days: The Infamous Colorado Experiment

19Is it possible to gain 63 pounds of muscle in less than a month? What about 15 pounds of muscle in twenty-two days? By any metric such results would be phenomenal but few people believe such a feat is manageable.

Yet in the early 1970s, Arthur Jones, creator of the Nautilus machines, claimed it was possible through his own brand of High Intensity Training (HIT). What’s more, he claimed he had scientific backing for his claims.

So what exactly happened during the Colorado Experiment conducted by Jones and was he telling the truth? Have strength enthusiasts been selling themselves sort by setting low targets for muscle gain? After all if such training can yield 15 to 63 pounds of muscle in one month it must be worth doing.