Tabata Intervals: A Simple and Effective Protocol For Cyclists and Endurance Athletes

Tabata Training Protocol

The Tabata protocol is a simple yet effective way to maximize your efforts during workouts. It was developed by Professor Izumi Tabata from Japan’s National Institute of Fitness and Sports. His research showed that interval training improves aerobic fitness, increases fat burning rates, and reduces stress levels during exercise. In addition, it helps improve endurance performance at all intensities. This type of training has been proven to be beneficial for cyclists as well as runners.

The Tabata protocol consists of two parts:

1) A period of high intensity work followed by a rest period of low intensity work.

The first part lasts between five and ten minutes while the second part lasts between one and three minutes. During each section, the athlete does not move or speak during the whole time. The purpose is to get blood flowing through your muscles, which will result in increased oxygen consumption and improved recovery times.

2) After completing the intervals, the rest periods are taken up with moderate-intensity activity such as walking or jogging.

This allows for a longer recovery time than if you were doing only low-intensity activities like walking. This method of training is called “interval training.”

Benefits Of Tabata Workouts For Cyclists And Endurance Athletes

Tabata Intervals: A Simple and Effective Protocol For Cyclists and Endurance Athletes - Image

The benefits of this type of training include: Increased aerobic capacity (increased heart rate and oxygen uptake).

Increased ability to transport oxygen (red blood cells, hemoglobin and capillaries) to the muscles.

Increased speed and performance during endurance workouts.

Higher anaerobic threshold allowing for longer periods of exercise at higher intensities.

Improved mental toughness and motivation allowing you to continue training despite pain and fatigue.

Increased muscle tone, ATP production, muscle contraction, and synovial fluid lubrication.

Decreased fat ratio in the muscles providing leaner muscular body types.

Decreased recovery time after workouts, allowing for more training and fitness gains.

Decreased TGs (triglycerides) in the blood, which leads to decreased risk of arterial diseases and lower stress on the heart.

Decreased release of Cortisol, a hormone that is released when under mental or physical stress.

Sources & references used in this article:

The science of cycling by EW Faria, DL Parker, IE Faria – Sports medicine, 2005 – Springer

Physiological, perceptual, and affective responses to six high-intensity interval training protocols by L Follador, RC Alves, SS Ferreira… – … and motor skills, 2018 –

Physiological and health-related adaptations to low-volume interval training: influences of nutrition and sex by MJ Gibala, JB Gillen, ME Percival – Sports Medicine, 2014 – Springer

How Tabata Really Works: What the Research Says by C Marker –

The lactate minimum test for cycling: estimation of the maximal lactate steady state by BR MacIntosh, S Esau… – Canadian Journal of …, 2002 – NRC Research Press

The effects of four weeks of creatine supplementation and high-intensity interval training on cardiorespiratory fitness: a randomized controlled trial by JL Graef, AE Smith, KL Kendall, DH Fukuda… – … Society of Sports …, 2009 – Springer

Acute effect of cycling intervention on carotid arterial hemodynamics: basketball athletes versus sedentary controls by HB Liu, WX Yuan, KR Qin, J Hou – Biomedical engineering online, 2015 – Springer

Metabolic conditioning by G Glassman – CrossFit Journal, 2003 –

Effects of different protocols of high intensity interval training for VO2max improvements in adults: A meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials by D Wen, T Utesch, J Wu, S Robertson, J Liu, G Hu… – Journal of science and …, 2019 – Elsevier