Monday, November 12, 2012

Tabata Time

Funny thing about Continuing Education Classes; you usually learn something.  Sometimes it's something new, maybe a new way to look at something, or maybe you relearn something.  I remember coaching a new Spinning instructor a few years ago who was obviously excited about conveying ALL the information he learned to his clients.  There are several problems with this, the first being some people just aren't interested in learning, they're in your class just to make all that fat cry.  The second problem is that you've learned a lot and you can't just puke it out all over the class expecting them to retain any of it.  

"...you've learned a lot and you can't just puke it out all over the class..."

My advice, count on having your job more than one week.  That was to say is that take all that information you learned and let little bits of knowledge come out each week/class, this way you can convey the information without your exercise class turning into a fitness lecture, and then to repeat it often, so that it will sink in.

This week however I was on the receiving end of this.  I had read about Tabata intervals many times, but had never integrated them into any of my profiles, and then I promptly forgot about them.  Now to be fair, Alzheimer's does run in my family so I'll chalk my oversight up to that.  

So this past weekend, in an effort to gain a few more CE credits, I was reminded about the Tabata Interval.  If you haven't heard about Tabata follow this link to learn more about the science behind it.  
"...it's time to grow up."
Now on to coaching it.  First if you're not comfortable coaching off the bike it's time to grow up.  You really should coach this off of the bike so you can keep a close eye on your clients since many of them are not elite athletes.  This also let's you verbally cue the intervals clearly, and third, I think this will motivate some to actually push to the right level because they can't hide in the silhouettes in the class.  

Step #1 :  Get some Tabata music (link provided in the playlist below)
Step #2 : Define Tabata in advance of the actual portion of the class where you're doing the interval so that everyone is understand how this is done.  In today's ride, I suggest you give this instruction during the Baseline Recovery - Heart rate ladder on song 6.
 So how do you perform a Tabata?
Concepts easy / Performing one...Not so much.
The Tabata music will cue you through 8 intervals; each interval consisting of a 20 second maximum effort portion and then a 10 second recovery.  During the 20 seconds the participant can do any movement that they like, but it's meant to be hard. Very hard!  For me this is a generally a seated climb the first 4-5 intervals and then I have to transition to standing climb for the last 3-4 intervals as I run out of gas.  It would be like running up and down the mountains in the picture above, but only having 20 seconds to run to the top of one mountain and then 10 seconds to run down the other side.  As you can image, you're not going to fully recovery in those 10 seconds.

Download Interval #51




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