Monday Musings - How to improve your Fitness with Tabata

Published 15.11.2019

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Photo: Checking my first results of the body scan...

My Body Scan - Some good and a few less good Results

A body scan is part of my contract with Holmes Place, the gym where I am training. So – why not check out my body mass index and other details about my fitness level?

I have a date with Emma, a personal trainer working at Holmes. She takes me into a little room where I have to provide some personal data. Then Emma puts cables on my arms and legs and connects them with a computer. I have to remain still and relaxed to get the most precise data. The whole exercise is repeated with a different computer and a few minutes later, I get all the results printed.

Photo: Emma is entering my data

Photo: Cable tangle

So here we go:

Body mass index and share of fat are optimal. Woohoo! So far, so good. The share of body water is too low, muscle mass is ok. However, and that`s a pretty bad surprise, my current fitness level is not that high. Oh my gosh! I go to the gym four times a week, still not enough or not efficient enough?

Photo: Good and (pretty) bad results

Solution: Work out harder!

„You have to work out harder and improve your stamina,“ says Emma. „Don´t train so much with machines, better with free weights to achieve the full range of motion. Begin with fewer weights and more repeats, then increase the weights. And consider Tabata for your training.“ Tabata what? I have never heard that word before. „It`s a special training method where you switch between 20 seconds of outpowering yourself and 10 seconds relax. All in all, four minutes (!) are sufficient if correctly done. You can do this on the cross trainer, the treadmill, with push-ups and so on. Just google it.“

Photo: Full concentration on the results

What the Heck is Tabata?

Sounds interesting. I learn from Google that this is a Japanese method (named after Izumi Tabata who invented it) that was created for their top ice speedskaters. It is supposed to be a great means to lose weight (which I don´t want), improve your fitness (YES) and increase your muscle mass (YES).

As a first step, I increase the level on the cross trainer and try to reach my limits for 20 seconds. Result: sour legs and much more sweat than usual. Most of my body parts still work the way they should (thank God!) but my knees … well, that`s a different story. They have certainly seen better times. However, I don`t give them a rest – come on guys! I look at the big wording on the wall that says „Enjoy the journey“. Oh yes, that`s what I am doing. The next day, I focus more on heavyweights and do some Tabata. Age is no excuse, at least not for me. Didn`t I want to leave my comfort zone more often? This is a perfect way to do so. First goal: to increase my muscle mass from currently 37.2% to over 40 within the next weeks. Bear with me, my t-shirts will explode! I will share the results with you in due time – if they are positive, of course.

Photo: After 30 minutes on the crosstrainer...

In summary: we need inspiration and challenges from time to time, sometimes also a kick in the ass. Thanks for your recommendations, Emma! And thanks for making me familiar with Tabata.


Photo: Pump it, push it and run, run, run!


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