The only exercise that’s ever shut me up *UPDATED*

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.”

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  • NavyOne

    Tabata Intervals, is that not this person? 

    Tabata Stephens (Cynthia Black, Heidi and Laura Gentry, Tamara and Julie Young in 1966; Diane and Erin Murphy from 1966 – 1968; Erin Murphy from 1968 -1972) is the daughter of Samantha and Darrin Stephens. Her powers were discovered at the beginning of season three and increased as the series progressed. Ever since she got her powers, she hasn’t really been able to listen to her mother and father and not do witchcraft and follow the example of her grandmother. (From Bewitched, the television show.)

  • Mike Devx

    That reminds me of a form of interval training while jogging in a group.

    You all jog a few miles.

    Then the group forms a line front to back, and they either walk or jog slowly.
    The person at the rear taps the shoulder of the person in front of them, then sprints to the front of the line, settles into the walk or slow jog.
    If you’ve just been tapped, you are now last in line.  Take two or three more steps at the usual pace, then you do the shoulder tap and you take off on your sprint to the front.

    Five minutes of this is usually more than enough!  Everyone then walks for a while to recover, then goes back to normal jogging mode for a few miles.

    I haven’t done that in close to 20 years.

  • NavyOne

    Mike, those are called Indian runs. We do them all the time in the Navy. (Revised: we did them all the time when I was enlisted.)

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