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Bobby Biles

TABATA: 14 insane minutes to warm those cool winter days


“There is no bad weather, only timid souls.”

I’ve often relied on this great quote to keep me motivated to get out the door for some exercise, but we’ve entered into the time of year when the days are slowly getting longer, but the frigid air and the constant threat of snow still linger.  This is a time that can make almost anyone timid.  With that, we need to think of other ways to stay fit and active when our souls turn timid.  A perfect late winter work-out can be accomplished right in your home.  All you need is a bike and a bike trainer.

TABATA: A workout protocol that provides similar health benefits to that of cardio workouts, but Tabata has a bit more spice.  Instead of hours upon hours or exercise, Tabata can be completed in 4 minutes.  No, that isn’t a typo…4 minutes, but I do recommend warm-up and cool-down periods.  Tabata falls under the category of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and completed correctly it will have you bent over gasping for air.

The Tabata protocol is one of the most brutal forms of HIIT, but it is also one of the most effective.  It will do wondrous things for your aerobic and anaerobic fitness, and also develop outstanding mental toughness, all while helping you rid your body of unwanted fat!

The protocol was created by Dr. Izumi Tabata, a Japanese physiologist, as part of a study designed to compare the effects of traditional cardio exercise and HIIT on elite-level athletes. The study lasted six weeks, and test subjects completed five training sessions per week – those using the Tabata protocol worked out for a mere 4 minutes per session at 170% intensity, while the traditional cardio group were prescribed hour-long sessions at 70% intensity. Despite this, the first group experienced superior gains in both aerobic and anaerobic capacity, with a 28% average increase in the latter!  

So, set up your trainer, grab a bottle of water and a towel (you will sweat) and let’s get moving.  I recommend 5 minute warm-up and cool-down periods, so each session will be completed in 14 minutes:

  • 5 minute easy spin – high cadence
  • Tabata session (AKA – 4 minutes of hell) - 20 seconds ALL OUT BIG CHAIN RING, 10 seconds recovery x 8 = 4 minutes
  • 5 minute easy spin – high cadence

Have fun and let us know your results!


About Bobby Biles
Bobby is an ultrarunner and triathlete who covers an extreme range. He loves Sprint distance tri, and he completed the infamously challenging Leadville 100 ultra in 26:40:24. His favorite race though was the Last Chance Beer Mile, where he placed first with 6:28.3 using the Kingston Rules (Bobby takes pride in his ability to drink beer and run). His real passion though is getting outside… period. He recently moved to Colorado with his bride and daughter to spend more time in the Rockies, where he climbs 14ers (14,000 ft peaks) in his spare time. Sunny, rainy, snowy… getting outside makes any day better for Bobby Biles.

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