Tabata Something Else
A version of HIIT was based on a 1996 study by Professor Izumi Tabata (田畑 泉) et al. initially involving Olympic speedskaters, uses 20 seconds of ultra-intense exercise (at an intensity of about 170% of VO2max) followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated continuously for 4 minutes (8 cycles). The exercise was performed on a mechanically braked cycle ergometer. Tabata called this the IE1 protocol. In the original study, athletes using this method trained 4 times per week, plus another day of steady-state training, and obtained gains similar to a group of athletes who did steady state training (70% VO2max) 5 times per week. The steady state group had a higher VO2max at the end (from 52 to 57 mL/(kg•min), but the Tabata group had started lower and gained more overall (from 48 to 55 mL/(kg•min). Also, only the Tabata group had gained anaerobic capacity benefits. It is important to note that in the original study from 1996, participants were disqualified if they could not keep a steady cycling pace of 35RPM for the full 20 seconds of work. Implications for popular exercise regimes that advertise as Tabata training should include overall analysis of the original study.