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... The great popularity of the protocol is probably associated with its astonishing results together with an attractive time efficiency. However, such popularity is accompanied by a lack of consistency, supervision and criteria in the use of the protocol, which results in some questionings and uncertainties about the results obtained from its utilization (Coswig et al., 2016;Gentil et al., 2016). ...
... Apparently, both studies were merged to form the 'Tabata Protocol', which consists in one set of 7-8 bouts of 20 s performed at 170% of i _ VO 2 max, with passive recovery of 10 s. However, the feasibility of this recommendation has been challenged, as it would be unrealistic to accumulate 160 s of work at 170% of i _ VO 2 max using 20 s:10 s intervals, especially in cycling (Coswig et al., 2016;Gentil et al., 2016). ...
... About 47% of the selected studies (Amtmann et al., 2008;McRae et al., 2012;Rebold et al., 2013;Fortner et al., 2014;Ma et al., 2014Ma et al., , 2015 , 1996, 1997). However, the feasibility of such a protocol was recently questioned (Coswig et al., 2016;Gentil et al., 2016) due to the difficulties of the subjects in performing 7-8 bouts at an intensity corresponding to 170% of i _ VO 2 max on a cycle ergometer. Unpublished data from our research group reveal that most participants interrupt the exercise by the third bout when cycling at an intensity equivalent to 170% of the i _ VO 2 max and a plausible intensity for 7-8 bouts should be around 115% of the i _ VO 2 max. ...
... Em 1998 foi proposto por TABATA et al. (1996) um protocolo de exercício intervalado que consistia na realização de 7 a 8 repetições de 20 segundos de esforço a 170% da potência associada ao consumo máximo de oxigênio (PP) intercalados por 10 segundos de recuperação passiva. Desde então, esse protocolo têm sido amplamente utilizado no cotidiano prático e na literatura científica (MA et al. 2013;MCRAE et al. 2012;SCRIBBANS et al. 2014), entretanto, a maior parte desses estudos apresentam incosistências na descrição da intensidade (MA et al. 2013;MCRAE et al. 2012;SCRIBBANS et al. 2014), este fato pode estar ligado a provável inviabilidade da realização do protocolo completo na intensidade original (GENTIL et al. 2016;VIANA et al. 2018). Essas inconsistências podem limitar a validade externa e consequente extrapolação dos resultados para outras populações, portanto, mostra-se necessária a definição de uma intensidade que seja viável de ser executada em 7 a 8 repetições. ...
... Não atletas ( et al. (1996), podemos observar a inviabilidade da execução do número de sprints relatados no estudo original, tanto pelos atletas ou não atletas. Este fato já foi motivo de questionamento anteriormente (GENTIL et al. 2016;VIANA et al. 2018) e volta como um ponto a ser discutido. VIANA et al. (2018) também testaram a viabilidade de execução deste protocolo, entretanto, os achados diferem dos encontrados no atual. ...
... Apparently, both studies were merged to form the recommendation to perform seven to eight bouts of 20:10 intervals at a load equivalent to 170% of i̇O 2 max, a suggestion that was used in many subsequent studies [3,4,6]. However, the feasibility of accumulating 160 seconds of work at 170% i̇O 2 max has been questioned [7,8]. Thus, a better understanding of the adequate intensity to complete eight 20:10 is relevant to clarify this popular HIIT method known and applied worldwide. ...
... According to our results, the number of bouts at 170% i̇O 2 max ranged between three and five, and no participant performed more than five bouts. This is in agreement with the findings of previous authors who questioned the feasibility of performing eight to nine bouts of 20:10 at 170% i̇O 2 max [7,8]. However, this conflicts with studies that involved eight or more bouts at 170% i̇O 2 max [3,6,18] and also challenged the study published by Tabata et al. [5], which involved five to six bouts at 170% i̇O 2 max. ...
Article
It is usually reported that the Tabata protocol (TP) is performed with eight bouts of 20:10 intervals at a load equivalent to 170% of iV̇O2max. However, the feasibility of accumulating 160 s of work at 170% iV̇O2max has been questioned. This article tested the intensity that would allow the performance of the original TP on a cycle ergometer, and measured the highest value of oxygen consumption (V̇O2) obtained during the TP and the time spent above 90% of the maximal oxygen uptake (V̇O2max) during the TP performed at different intensities. Thirteen young active males (25.9 ± 5.5 years, 67.9 ± 9.2 kg, 1.70 ± 0.06 m, 23.6 ± 3.1 kg·m-2) participated in the study. Participants performed a graded exertion test (GXT) on a cycle ergometer to obtain maximum oxygen consumption (V̇O2max) and the intensity associated with V̇O2max (iV̇O2max). V̇O2, maximal heart rate (HRmax), and number of bouts performed were evaluated during the TP performed at 115%, 130%, and 170% of i V̇O2max. V̇O2max, HRmax, and iV̇O2max were 51.8 ± 8.0 mL.kg-1·min-1, 186 ± 10 bpm, and 204 ± 26 W, respectively. The number of bouts performed at 115% (7 ± 1 bouts) was higher than at 130% (5 ± 1 bouts) and 170% (4 ± 1 bouts) (p < .0001). The highest V̇O2 achieved at 115%, 130%, and 170% of iV̇O2max was 54.2 ± 7.9 mL·kg-1·min-1, 52.5 ± 8.1 mL·kg-1·min-1, and 49.6 ± 7.5 mL·kg-1·min-1, respectively. Non significant difference was found between the highest V̇O2 achieved at different intensities, however qualitative magnitude-inference indicate a likely small effect between 115% and 170% of iVO2max. Time spent above 90% of the V̇O2max during the TP at 115% (50 ± 48 s) was higher than 170% (23 ± 21 s; p < 0.044) with a probably small effect. In conclusion, our data suggest that the adequate intensity to perform a similar number of bouts in the original TP is lower than previously proposed, and equivalent to 115% of the iV̇O2max. In addition, intensities between 115 and 130% of the iV̇O2max should be used to raise the time spent above 90% V̇O2max.
... Therefore, similar IT protocols using different exercise modes might result in different physiological responses and, therefore, divergent outcomes, as has been recently discussed with a variation of IT known as the Tabata Protocol [68]. For example, McRae et al. [69] used calisthenic exercises and found no differences in anaerobic capacity between IT and MICT, contradicting the results obtained by Tabata et al. [70] when using a cycle ergometer. ...
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Interval training (IT) has been used for many decades with the purpose to increase performance and promote health benefits while demanding a relatively small amount of time. IT can be defined as intermittent periods of intense exercise separated by periods of recovery and has been divided into high-intensity interval training (HIIT), sprint interval training (SIT) and repeated sprint training (RST). IT use resulted in the publication of many studies and many of them with conflicting results and positions. The aim of this article was to move forward and understand studies’ protocol in order to draw accurate conclusions, as well as to avoid previous mistakes and effectively reproduce previous protocols. When analyzing the literature, we found many inconsistencies, such as, the controversial concept of ‘supramaximal’ effort, a misunderstanding regarding the term ‘high intensity’ and the use of different strategies to control intensity. The adequate definition and interpretation of training intensity seems to be vital, since the results of IT are largely dependent on it. These observations are only a few examples of the complexity involved with IT prescription, discussed to illustrate some problems with the current literature regarding IT. Therefore, it is our opinion that it is not possible to draw general conclusions about IT without considering all variables used in IT prescription, such as, exercise modality, intensity, effort andrest times and participants’ characteristics. In order to help guide researchers and health professionals in their practices it is important that experimental studies report their methods in as much detail as possible and future reviews and meta-analyses should critically discuss the articles included in light of their methods to avoid inadequate generalizations.
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Background One of the most popular high-intensity interval exercises is the called “Tabata Protocol”. However, most investigations have limitations in describing the work intensity, and this fact appears to be due to the protocol unfeasibility. Furthermore, the physiological demands and energetic contribution during this kind of exercise remain unclear. Methods Eight physically active students (21.8 ± 3.7 years) and eight well-trained cycling athletes (27.8 ± 6.4 years) were enrolled. In the first visit, we collected descriptive data and the peak power output (PPO). On the next three visits, in random order, participants performed interval training with the same time structure (effort:rest 20s:10s) but using different intensities (115%, 130%, and 170% of PPO). We collected the number of sprints, power output, oxygen consumption, blood lactate, and heart rate. Results The analysis of variance for multivariate test (number of sprints, power output, blood lactate, peak heart rate and percentage of maximal heart rate) showed significant differences between groups ( F = 9.62; p = 0.001) and intensities ( F = 384.05; p < 0.001), with no interactions ( F = 0.94; p = 0.57). All three energetic contributions and intensities were different between protocols. The higher contribution was aerobic, followed by alactic and lactic. The aerobic contribution was higher at 115%PPO, while the alactic system showed higher contribution at 130%PPO. In conclusion, the aerobic system was predominant in the three exercise protocols, and we observed a higher contribution at lower intensities.
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To evaluate the magnitude of the stress on the aerobic and the anaerobic energy release systems during high intensity bicycle training, two commonly used protocols (IE1 and IE2) were examined during bicycling. IE1 consisted of one set of 6-7 bouts of 20-s exercise at an intensity of approximately 170% of the subject's maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) with a 10-s rest between each bout. IE2 involved one set of 4-5 bouts of 30-s exercise at an intensity of approximately 200% of the subject's VO2max and a 2-min rest between each bout. The accumulated oxygen deficit of IE1 (69 +/- 8 ml.kg-1, mean +/- SD) was significantly higher than that of IE2 (46 +/- 12 ml.kg-1, N = 9, p < 0.01). The accumulated oxygen deficit of IE1 was not significantly different from the maximal accumulated oxygen deficit (the anaerobic capacity) of the subjects (69 +/- 10 ml.kg-1), whereas the corresponding value for IE2 was less than the subjects' maximal accumulated oxygen deficit (P < 0.01). The peak oxygen uptake during the last 10 s of the IE1 (55 +/- 6 ml.kg-1.min-1) was not significantly less than the VO2max of the subjects (57 +/- 6 ml.kg-1.min-1). The peak oxygen uptake during the last 10 s of IE2 (47 +/- 8 ml.kg-1.min-1) was lower than the VO2max (P < 0.01). In conclusion, this study showed that intermittent exercise defined by the IE1 protocol may tax both the anaerobic and aerobic energy releasing systems almost maximally.
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Studies of anaerobic interval training can be divided into 2 categories. The first category (the older studies) examined interval training at a fixed work-rate. They measured the time limit or the number of repetitions the individual was able to sustain for different pause durations. The intensities used in these studies were not maximal but were at about 130 to 160% of maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max). Moreover, they used work periods of 10 to 15 seconds interrupted by short rest intervals (15 to 40 seconds). The second category (the more recent studies) asked the participants to repeat maximal bouts with different pause durations (30 seconds to 4 to 5 minutes). These studies examined the changes in maximal dynamic power during successive exercise periods and characterised the associated metabolic changes in muscle. Using short-interval training, it seems to be very difficult to elicit exclusively anaerobic metabolism. However, these studies have clearly demonstrated that the contribution of glycogenolysis to the total energy demand was considerably less than that if work of a similar intensity was performed continuously. However, the latter studies used exercise intensities that cannot be described as maximal. This is the main characteristic of the second category of interval training performed above the minimal velocity associated with VO2max determined in an incremental test (vVO2max). Many studies on the long term physiological effect of supramaximal intermittent exercise have demonstrated an improvement in VO2max or running economy.
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Many sports require short duration (~5-7 s) maximal or near-maximal sprints to be regularly repeated over an extended period of time (70-120 min). Performance tests of repeated sprint ability (RSA) are not well established despite their specificity for measuring the fitness of team sport players. Therefore, sprint cycling (6 x 6 s efforts, departing every 30 s) and running (6 x 40 m efforts, departing every 30 s) RSA tests were developed and initially trialled for reliability in amateur male team sport players. Test-retest correlations were significant (p < 0.01) for the absolute RSA test scores, (i.e., total work done (cycling, n = 16; r = 0.973) and total time taken (running, n = 15; r = 0.942) for six efforts), and also for the relative RSA test score, (i.e., the percentage decrement (% Dec.) recorded over six efforts (cycling, r = 0.875; running, r = 0.745)). Repeat scores for individual repetitions within tests were also highly correlated (r = 0.81-0.97) for each mode of exercise, and produced low technical error of measurement scores (cycling: 2.5-4.0%; running: 1.0-1.7%). Therefore, both the cycling and running RSA tests were found to have suitable test-retest reliability. The degree of association between the two modes of RSA test was then assessed in male field hockey players (n = 15). The best single cycling effort (kJ or J.kg1 work done in 6 s) was not significantly correlated with the best running effort (best 40 m time). The absolute RSA test scores (Total kJ or J.kg1 work done versus Total Time) were only correlated when the cycling score was expressed per kg of body mass (r = -0.684, p < 0.01). The relative test scores (% Dec. on each test) were moderately associated (r = 0.622, p < 0.02). Therefore, exercise mode appears to be a determining factor in best single effort and absolute RSA test scores, but less so in relative test performance. The degree of fatigue demonstrated within team sport players over repeated sprint efforts may be similar when either cycling or running efforts are performed. General comments about the testing and scoring of sprint RSA are made.
Energy system contribution during 400 to 1500 metres running
  • M R Spencer
  • P B Gastin
  • W Payne
Spencer MR, Gastin PB, Payne W. Energy system contribution during 400 to 1500 metres running. N Studies Athl. 1996;11(4):59-66.