Friday, April 1, 2011

GTS April Challenge Tabata-A-Day Day 1

April is upon us and that brings us one month closer to summer! Its time to start shedding that winter weight and get moving more frequently.

So I've got two goals this month!
1. Build up the followers on our Facebook Fan Page and the Game Time Strength Blog.
2. Promote more frequent daily workouts with those followers.

I'll need your help to build our followers, and in return I've got a FUN challenge for everyone! I'd like you to perform a Tabata-A-Day for the month of April (at least 30 in total).

Queue the questions...

What's a Tabata?
This particular tabata is 20 seconds of work followed by a short 10 seconds of rest... repeat 7 more times (8 in total) for 4 minutes. Two Examples...
Example 1: Body Weight Jump Squat
- Perform 20 seconds worth of Jump Squats.
- Rest EXACTLY 10 seconds (write down your reps).
- Repeat 7 more times for a total of 4 minutes. 
Example 2: Alternate Body Weight Jump Squat & Push Ups
- Perform 20 seconds worth of Jump Squats.
- Rest EXACTLY 10 seconds (write down your reps).
- Perform 20 seconds worth of Push Ups.
- Rest EXACTLY 10 seconds (write down your reps).- Repeat both exercises 3 more times for a total of 4 minutes.  
Why a Tabata?
I'll keep it simple...
1. 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest means NEGATIVE REST! Which means this is both anaerobically and aerobically challenging. (Both your muscles and your lungs are working VERY hard!)
2. This is a super SHORT and EFFICIENT workout.
3. Great way to get in high volume and bring up lagging body parts.
4. Burns fat, and increases insulin sensitivity.
5. Builds muscle, and depending on your fitness level, strength as well.
6. Did I mention it's short and efficient?
7. You can do it virtually anywhere, using weights, bodyweight, etc.
8. It's a great mental and physical challenge, that forces you to push through points you would normally quit.

Here are the rules...

1. I'd prefer you get a little exercise each day, but I understand some of you may be starting out half way through the month or might run into issues so you may choose from the following options:
- Perform at least one 20/10 x 4 min Tabata every day this month. (See "what's a tabata?")
- 7 total each week x 4 weeks.
- 30 total for the month.
NOTE: I said at least 1, you may perform more in a day. You can also use this as your entire workout, do this before a workout as a warm up, or after a workout you already have planned. 

2. I understand some of you are seeing this late so just do what you can to complete the month.

3. Choose 1 exercise or 2 exercises to alternate in the 4 minute time period. Preferably full body or challenging exercises, but if you need a rest day an easier exercise like a bicep and tricep curl will work as well. Switch the exercises each workout but you can repeat them as you move along trying to beat previous weights and reps. I'll post a few options each day.

4. To keep you honest and if you want feedback, I strongly encourage you to post your results in the comments of the future "Tabata-A-Day Day 1-30" posts under this format. Feel free to post links to videos as well! (See "How should I log my workout?" below)

5. Use a clock, watch, or any of my favorite Tabata apps or devices found here to time your workouts. The Tabata Pro App is one of my favorites.

How should I log my workout?
1 Exercise Example
Barbell Clean and Press:
65 lbs/ 9,9,8,8,9,9,9,9 = 70 reps 
2 Exercise Example
Alternating Push up & Squat Jump:
1. Push up: BW(body weight)/10,9,10,9 = 38 reps
2. Squat Jump: BW/12,13,11,10 = 46 reps

Tips, Warnings and Notes
1. Don't select a weight that's ridiculously heavy.  With negative rest your body will fatigue pretty quickly by the 3 or 4th set, so choose an exercise you can perform safely and choose a weight that's challenging but not absurd.
Example: If you have a 200 lb max on bench press, and you decide to do a tabata with 150, make sure you have one of those "I've got a bar pinned on my chest and I can't get up" necklaces on to call for help.
2. Record the weights and reps you get and try to increase either the total number of reps you perform or the weight each time you do that exercise.
3. The number of reps may drop off from set to set as you fatigue. That's fine, just note it and try to beat it for next time. 

Closing Notes
I'll be posting a few exercise ideas each day to get you on your way but here are a few I've done in the past few weeks to give you an idea of the intensity of the workout. Just remember...

1. Have Fun!
2. Please spread the word & "LIKE" our Facebook Fan Page or Suggest to friends.
3. Subscribe to our Daily Emails using the sidebar.
4. Be SAFE!
5. Post your daily results in the comments each day.

Good Luck!

Example Tabatas
1. Alternating a Barbell Front Squat & Back Squat (Note: weight selection 95 lbs)

2. Barbell Clean and Press (Note: weight selection 65lbs)


  1. Tabata 1: Alternating Front Squat and Back Squat
    1. Front Squat
    95/9,7,7,7 = 30 reps
    2. Back Squat
    95/9,8,8,8 = 33 reps

    Tabata 2: Barbell Clean and Press
    65/9,10,9,9,9,9,9,9 = 57 reps

  2. Today I did alternating one-arm dumbbell snatches

    25# / 7, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8 = 63 reps

  3. P.S. Go to post #29, here, for some tabata-timed music for your iPod. I use the ones with Fort Minor and Gnarls Barkeley all the time, they are great!

  4. Majority of my clients ended up doing Alternating one-arm DB Snatches today. I've seen a high of about 10 reps per set and a low of about 4 when fatigued. I'll be posting a video on this exercise soon if you don't know how to do it.

  5. alt DB snatches
    20 / 8,8,8,7,7,7,8,8

  6. Rubberband Paddling
    Red Band/19, 20, 23, 24, 23, 19, 20, 20

  7. Alt DB Snatches


  8. One down, 29 to go... haha. Keep up the great work!