Rich Butkevic December 28, 2011 TWEET COMMENTS 4

The Fabulous 4 (Minutes) - Page 3

The workout does not change. Over time, your speed will simply increase, so your sprints become more intense.

If you're a beginner, start with a single Tabata workout a week. If you're intermediate, try two at the end of your usual workouts. If you need to outrun the paparazzi, go for three sessions weekly.

Total Tabata Strength Training

For trail runners, strength training offers injury prevention, body-composition benefits and speed increases. Focus on multi-jointed exercises (e.g. in a dumbbell curl, the only action is at the elbow, while in a squat, you use your knees and hips), and use the power of Tabata training to squeeze more from every rep and cut your training time drastically. Then you will have more time for the trails.

Aim to strength train three days a week. Every time you work out you're training your whole body—no need to train arms one day, calves the next, and all that other nonsense that requires you to keep a cot at the gym.

In every workout perform an exercise that pushes and another that pulls horizontally and vertically, and also alternate between squat and dead-lift variations.

Just like your Tabata cardio routine, do as many reps as you can of each exercise for 20 seconds, rest 10 seconds and repeat for a total of eight sets. Don't count reps. Use about half the weight you would normally use for 10 to 12 reps. Your rest periods are short, so no gabbing or drinking water.

  • Vertical push exercises. Dumbbell or barbell presses (incline, flat or decline). Dips are also good push exercises.
  • Horizontal push exercises. Barbell or dumbbell overhead presses.
  • Vertical pull exercises. Pullups and chinups, or lat pulldowns.
  • Horizontal pull exercises. Dumbbell or barbell rows.
  • Squat or dead-lift exercise. Every workout should also include one of these, alternating between workouts.

Keep a journal of the exercises and weights you use, and remember your body adapts to exercise quickly. Every week or two, try to increase the weight slightly or do more reps in each 20-second period.

Switch up the exercises every week. For example, if you do dumbbell/barbell presses one week as your horizontal push movement, do barbell incline presses the next week. Also, change the order in which you perform the exercises.


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