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Old 12-21-10, 07:09 AM   #1
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Tabata intervals - proper intensity / power level

When doing Tabata intervals, I was wondering if one targets a specific power level or simply goes all out. The abstract (reprinted below) from Tabata’s paper appears to indicate the former. Specifically, going about 170% VO2max. So if VO2max is about 1.2 x FTP, that works out to about 2xFTP for the Tabata interval (1.7x1.2=2.04).

Any thoughts on this?

* * * * * * *

Effects of moderate-intensity endurance and high-intensity intermittent training on anaerobic capacity and VO2max.

Tabata I, Nishimura K, Kouzaki M, Hirai Y, Ogita F, Miyachi M, Yamamoto K.
Department of Physiology and Biomechanics, National Institute of Fitness and Sports, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan.

Abstract

This study consists of two training experiments using a mechanically braked cycle ergometer. First, the effect of 6 wk of moderate-intensity endurance training (intensity: 70% of maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max), 60 min.d-1, 5 d.wk-1) on the anaerobic capacity (the maximal accumulated oxygen deficit) and VO2max was evaluated. After the training, the anaerobic capacity did not increase significantly (P > 0.10), while VO2max increased from 53 +/- 5 ml.kg-1 min-1 to 58 +/- 3 ml.kg-1.min-1 (P < 0.01) (mean +/- SD). Second, to quantify the effect of high-intensity intermittent training on energy release, seven subjects performed an intermittent training exercise 5 d.wk-1 for 6 wk. The exhaustive intermittent training consisted of seven to eight sets of 20-s exercise at an intensity of about 170% of VO2max with a 10-s rest between each bout. After the training period, VO2max increased by 7 ml.kg-1.min-1, while the anaerobic capacity increased by 28%. In conclusion, this study showed that moderate-intensity aerobic training that improves the maximal aerobic power does not change anaerobic capacity and that adequate high-intensity intermittent training may improve both anaerobic and aerobic energy supplying systems significantly, probably through imposing intensive stimuli on both systems.
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Old 12-21-10, 07:10 AM   #2
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If you can think about it you're not going hard enough.
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Old 12-21-10, 11:49 AM   #3
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All out.
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Old 12-21-10, 11:50 AM   #4
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Vomit-level

You may not think you can do it... but you can.
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Old 12-21-10, 11:57 AM   #5
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all out.
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Old 12-21-10, 12:03 PM   #6
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All out. You should feel absolutely wasted at the end of a set.
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Old 12-21-10, 12:09 PM   #7
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Tabattas in December?
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Old 12-21-10, 12:23 PM   #8
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Tabattas in December?
Thats what I was thinking..... Either you guys are doing it wrong or plan on racing in Feb
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Old 12-21-10, 01:28 PM   #9
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Thats what I was thinking..... Either you guys are doing it wrong or plan on racing in Feb
Every year: http://www.txbra.org/events/?page=texasCup
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Old 12-21-10, 01:30 PM   #10
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Thats what I was thinking..... Either you guys are doing it wrong or plan on racing in Feb
plenty of guys racing in jan and feb.
probably not in MD though...
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Old 12-21-10, 01:43 PM   #11
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cx racing in January.
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Old 12-21-10, 03:23 PM   #12
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Go all out.

In fact, the first time I ever did these, when I was done, I collapsed off the bike and stripped off my shoes, socks, gloves and jersey (I was on the trainer) and just lay under the ceiling fan wearing nothing but an old, thin pair of shorts, gasping for air and struggling to cool down. I thought I was going to die.

I've become more tolerant to the efforts since then.
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Old 12-21-10, 03:59 PM   #13
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So, in plain English it's:

20 seconds as hard as you can (finish line sprint ?), 8 reps, with 10 seconds in between each one ?
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Old 12-21-10, 04:31 PM   #14
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Yes. Your last two should be all but impossible to finish.
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Old 12-21-10, 04:32 PM   #15
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So, in plain English it's:

20 seconds as hard as you can (finish line sprint ?), 8 reps, with 10 seconds in between each one ?
Not possible. I don't know how you finish a race, but my sprint finishes are one and done deals. Recovery stretches into the minutes. Sounds more like the effort done for a leadout, i.e. 1 minute power give or take.

I've been thinking of doing these on my rollers with a track bike once the race season is under way. Get the power using rpm (~150-200rpm) rather than force. Anyone try this?
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Old 12-21-10, 04:36 PM   #16
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yeah. try to aim for the bucket when you puke.
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Old 12-21-10, 04:39 PM   #17
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All out. You should feel absolutely wasted at the end of a set.
If you go all out on the first couple you won't make it to the 8th one without a drop in power. The protocol had them doing 8 intervals and bumping the power by 10W if they completed 9.
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Old 12-21-10, 04:41 PM   #18
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Not possible. I don't know how you finish a race, but my sprint finishes are one and done deals. Recovery stretches into the minutes. Sounds more like the effort done for a leadout, i.e. 1 minute power give or take.

I've been thinking of doing these on my rollers with a track bike once the race season is under way. Get the power using rpm (~150-200rpm) rather than force. Anyone try this?
That makes more sense.
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Old 12-21-10, 04:54 PM   #19
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I've gone by RPM, and gone by brute force... the overarching point is that you will be training by massive efforts - however you manage to do them.
all this talk has me thinking I'll probably do them again this year.

@brian - yeah, they aren't like all-out sprints... more like all-in jumps or all-in leadouts, consecutively.
after working them, attacking & re-attacking is a lot less painful.
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Old 12-21-10, 05:33 PM   #20
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I've done them as 'almost' all out sprints. My power is definitely dropping considerably by the 4th hit, and is miserable by the 8th. No need for a power meter to know this.

I then spin for 10 minutes or so and do it again.

They are astoundingly pukeriffic.
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Old 12-30-10, 02:44 AM   #21
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according to the paper they are done all out, but my coach actually has me do them in a different way. We work them at CP1 power for the on portion and then soft-pedal or very low endurance for the off portion. This correlates to a cycle of about 600 to 800 Watts for the "on" portion and about 200 Watts for the "off" portion. It still ends up being very miserable, very puke-worthy, and altogether a great fitness boost. I personally find however that doing this as an evenly split interval is better for me mentally than trying to do it as a positively split interval.
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