Have you ever heard of Tabata intervals? They are reputed to be the best cardio exercise there is. The deal is to do hard cardio for 20 seconds, and then take a 10 second break. Then repeat for several intervals or several minutes or until you collapse in a sodden, breathless, immobile heap on the ground.
Tabata intervals are on my mind right now because of a post at Castra Praetoria, in which America’s First Sargeant, writes about using Tabata intervals for PT with his company. He’s very creative. Read the post. I promise that you’ll enjoy it (especially the part about looking good naked). Aside from looking good naked, Am’s 1st Sgt. reminds us why we put the guys through Tabata hell:
The bottom line is we conduct PT in order to make our bodies harder to kill. Never mind the idea of being fitter and stronger than your enemy. Fit, healthy bodies tend to survive being shot, blown up, infected, and other rough treatment. It’s only natural the Corps would develop a culture of physical fitness within its ranks.
I’ve actually done Tabata interval training at the dojo. It has the distinction of being the only type of training we’ve ever done that has rendered me speechless. No matter what else we do, and how tired I get, I can still force words out. But not after Tabata intervals. I am done, completely done, when that training wraps up.
Trust me when I tell you that, if our Marines can do Tabatas and still talk, they can do pretty much damn well anything.
UPDATE: With exquisite timing, the New York Times writes about an exercise “talk test.”