Having a couple of days out of the gym got me to thinking about workouts you can easily do when you don’t have access to weights. (Even though my preference is pretty much always for weight training of some description – unless I am practising handstand or something.)
If you’re not familiar with Tabata protocol – it’s basically 20 seconds of maximum effort at one exercise followed by ten seconds rest. Repeat 8 times. Now it’s one of those things that has been done to death by trainers and isn’t used as it was originally intended but if you can actually work really hard for those twenty seconds it’s still a great workout.
Tabata protocol gets its name from Dr Izumi Tabata who did a study of athletes over 6 weeks and compared Tabata style training with one hour of moderate intensity 5 times per week. The tabata group completed 120 minutes of training in total and the other group did 1,800 minutes of training in the same period. The Tabata group improved both its aerobic and anaerobic fitness levels and the anaerobic fitness level increased 28%! So yes it is extremely effective but you also have to remember that these were athletes so the level of intensity was really high (higher than most of us laymen could hope to achieve) so we can’t necessarily expect our results to match up.
The Tabata study was also primarily aimed at aerobic activity like running or cycling sprints, now trainers are using it for every exercise they can think of. Again the results may not be as astounding, but still if you can put your head down and work then it’s a top workout you can do anywhere.
The best way to do it is to count your reps on the first round and try and stay there for each round after that. You might not be able to, but it’s good to have a goal. It’s also worth having a decent timer. There are heaps of Tabata timers on the App Store or Google Play.
My favourite 6 outside of the gym exercises to do Tabata style:
- Squat jumps
- Jumping Lunges
- Dips (off a step or bench)
- Mountain Climbers
- Sit-ups (or another fave ab exercise of your choice)