You’ve likely heard these terms thrown around, hell, you’ve probably even done some of the workouts and training methods without even knowing. That being said, would’t you like to know exactly what it is you’re doing ever day for you workout and why it benefits you?
Tabata isn’t much different than our favourite HIIT workouts(which we are all familiar with). The difference is HIIT is any combination of low and high intensity intervals, where as Tabata is always eight rounds of 20 seconds of very high intensity work followed by 10 seconds of recovery. This style was created by professor Izumi Tabata in Japan when he discovered that athletes who performed this four-minute HIIT routine five days per week had better VO2 max and fat burning capabilities than those who exercised at a lower level consistently, for longer.
The more fit you are the better your cardiovascular system (blood circulation) and respiratory system (oxygen circulation) can supply oxygen to your working muscles. This also means your muscles are better at absorbing it. Why is this important? The efficiency of this directly impacts your body’s ability to sustain prolonged exercise, determining your fitness level.
VO2 Max (maximal volume of oxygen) is a measure of your heart, lungs, and blood’s capacity to deliver oxygen to your working muscles, as well as the capacity of your muscles to take up and use oxygen during a workout. Although VO2 Max is a excellent measure of your fitness abilities, it’s mostly determined by genetics. (Ever considered yourself “not the athletic type”? That’s why) However, training can influence your VO2 Max by up to 15 percent. How do you do this? High intensity intervals.
Reaching Excess Post Exercise Oxygen Consumption, aka EPOC or “the afterburn”, during your workout is the key to burning fat and calories even after you’ve left the gym. Basically, if you work hard enough, your body has a hard time replenishing the energy stores used during the exercise. This causes your metabolism to stay in overdrive even after you’re back in your daily routine. EPOC isn’t dependent on how long you sweat it out but rather reaching at least 70 percent of your max heart rate. This will put you in the afterburn state at the gym and allow you to reap the benefits all day, even post workout.
Target Heart Rate
Target heart rate is the ideal range for your heart rate to fall into during exercise. This target changes depending on your goal of working out: You will have a different target zone for improving your fat-burning capacity, another zone for raising your lactate threshold, and yet another for raising your VO2 Max. Everyone’s target heart rate is different depending on a variety of factors including age, weight, and fitness level. In order to get started, you need to know your max heart rate with the formula (208 – (0.7 x age). For improving cardiovascular fitness, you want to stay within 50 to 85 percent of your max heart rate (Max HR). That means if you’re 30 years old, your max is 187 and your target heart rate is between 93 and 160 beats per minute.
Fat Burning Zone
This zone is about 60 percent of your Max HR. The fat burning zone may sound like where you’d want to be but this actually isn’t ideal for weight loss. Calorie burning happens at a higher intensity. The fat burning zone is ideal for performance and distance though. Example? A marathon runner will require about 3,000 calories to burn, and since we only store about 1,500 in carbohydrates, athletes need to tap into their fat storage. If you train to become a better fat burner (keeping your heart rate around 60 percent of your max), your body more cautiously uses it’s carbohydrate stores and uses fat as fuel over longer periods of time.
Functional fitness is meant to help strengthen your muscles to support and improve movements you perform each day. That’s why all the moves of functional training mimic the foundation movements we use in every day life: squatting, pushing, pulling. Not only does this style of training improve every day movements, these kind of workouts burn a lot of calories since so many muscles are engaged with a single move.
Cross training is all about balancing your main sport with a secondary sport—runners should take up yoga, swimmers should hit the weights. This is to help train your supporting muscles and avoid injury. Cross training gives the body a break from the same repetitive stresses which could possibly lead to an overuse injury. Not to mention, incorporating a different workout will actually make you better at your main sport since it trains your body to move more efficiently as a whole system.
High Impact/Low Impact
Moves that require both feet to leave the ground are high-impact and moves that keep one foot on the ground at all times are considered low impact (running vs. walking) High-impact exercises are almost always harder, but will most definitely burn more calories because they use more muscle groups.
This category includes moves like box jumps, hops, skipping, throwing—all exercises intended to have your muscles rapidly stretch (jumping up) then rapidly contract (landing) repeatedly. Why? Greater explosive power and better neuromuscular coordination.
Lactate, also known as lactic acid, is a substance that builds up in the muscles during strenuous exercise. Technically a byproduct of incomplete breakdown of carbohydrate, lactic acid is metabolized fairly easily during a low-intensity workout. As your workouts become more challenging, your body starts to produce more lactic acid in the active muscles, eventually reaching a state where you’re producing it too quickly for your body to metabolize. The lactic acid then builds up, causing your muscles to fatigue and stopping them from working properly. Yeah, that horrible burny feeling? That’s it. This muscle exhaustion is your lactate threshold and an incredibly important part of your fitness level. Why? Most people reach their lactate threshold at 45 to 65 percent of their VO2 Max, it improves with your workout dedication and training.