Thursday, 5 April 2012

2) Tabata & al, study : b ) The results

The Tabata group increases Vo2max of nearly 14% and anaerobic capacity by 28%. Remember, this is only 5 times a week 4mn of intense exercise for 6 weeks ! Only one session was altered…

I What means a 9% increase in VO2max for the first group (standard endurance training)?

In the study, with cycling 5 times a week one hour at 70% VO2max, average increase was 53 to 58 for VO2Max which is 9%. This is equivalent to a MAS from 53/3.5 to 58/3.5 (15,14 km/h to 16,57 km/h)

 For instance if you are a runner and we apply this VO2 max increase for some distances (theoretically, using the Maximum Aerobic Speed):

-          10kms estimated time 46mn40s to 41mn36s, a 5mn cut off time!

-          21.1 kms (half marathon) estimated time 1h44mn40sec with a MAS of 15,13km/h to 1h35mn30s, almost 10mn better!

With the Tabata training, the VO2max increases was recorded at 14% therefore you can easily understand that the time saved is even more impressive! Of course VO2max is not the only parameter to predict an endurance performance, but you got the idea.

Needless to say 14% of VO2 max increase is huge; especially if we consider that the subjects had already a very good VO2max. Of course, VO2max only is not a sufficient predictor of performance, but if you have a correct nutrition plan, hydration and body maintenance, it is most likely than an increase in VO2max will bring better performance.

Warning: The Tremblay group and Dr. Tabata, in his e-mail response to Richard Winett, emphasize this warning:  "High-intensity exercise cannot be prescribed for individuals at risk for health problems or for obese people who are not used to exercise." (source:

There is another study in 1997; giving some other details and comparing Tabata protocol with a 4-5 bouts of 30-s exercise at 200% Vo2max.

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