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Let’s talk Tabata

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

tabata-2-300x174“So what exactly is Tabata and why is it called that?”

Well, the story starts with the Japanese Olympic Speed Skating Team. In 1996 team trainer and scientist Izumi Tabata conducted a study analyzing the effectiveness of a specific High Intensity Training program that the head coach had developed specifically for his athletes. The team was divided into different groups. The first group trained on ergonomic cycles at moderate intensity for one hour, five days per week, for a total of six weeks. The second group completed four-minute, high-intensity workouts on ergonomic cycles four days per week for a total of six weeks. The program that group two followed is what has come to be known as Tabata training:

Eight rounds

One round: 20 seconds of ‘all-out’ work, followed by 10 seconds of rest

Tabata describes the desired intensity of work at around 170% of an athlete’s VO2 max—their maximum rate of oxygen consumption. At the conclusion of the six weeks of training, Tabata found that group two had experienced a 28% increase in their anaerobic capacity, as well as a 14% increase in their VO2 max. When summarizing the effect of the study and the HIIT program, Tabata writes that

“moderate-intensity aerobic training that improves the maximal aerobic power does not change anaerobic capacity and that adequate high-intensity intermittent training may improve both anaerobic and aerobic energy supplying systems significantly, probably through imposing intensive stimuli on both systems”.

This was a significant finding, as most authorities had regarded the two pathways—and training for them—as compartmentalized. Aerobic training was largely long slow distance (LSD) work, and anaerobic training was typically regarded as some hard-to-measure dark component left to the explosion sports.

Dr. Tabata examined several different protocols but settled on eight sets of twenty-second work intervals alternating with ten-second rest intervals as the most effective interval times for improving VO2 max. In the original study the intervals were performed at a quantifiable 170 percent of VO2 max. (Just think max effort.) In the field, where measurements are more subjective, the effort should be such that on the eighth set the trainee is nearing exhaustion. In the original study, the test subjects doing 4-minute “Tabata” intervals saw greater VO2 max improvement than the control group that did 60-minute sessions of moderate-intensity exercise.

Dr. Tabata’s research tested subjects on stationary bikes, but in the CrossFit world his protocol is applied to all variety of functional movements. The Tabata protocol is applied to exercises including squats, pull-ups, push-ups, sit-ups, rowing, and, in my practice, dumbbell moves. We generally score Tabata intervals based on the lowest number of reps completed in any one of the eight twenty -second work intervals.


Tabata training increases the metabolism and heart rate immediately, the ability to produce work will lower as you go through the sessions.  The body will burn fat for up to 24 hours, because the metabolism will stay at the high levels after the workout.  Tabata training will increase cardiovascular fitness as well as core and strength gains depending on the workout.  It is a fast paced exercise routine that is very time efficient, all you need is 4 minutes.

Also, these high-intensity efforts produce this dramatic aerobic benefit without the muscle wasting brought about by endurance training.


  • The Tabata routine is not for beginners, it is easy for the intensity to become overwhelming for beginners.
  • There is a greater risk of injuries since it is high impact exercise.
  • Muscles fatigue quickly, that could lead to mental fatigue and depleted motivation.

Typical Tabata workouts (try a new one):

  • Push up (20 seconds of work, then 10 seconds of rest for 4 minutes)
  • Body Weight Squats (20 seconds of work, then 10 seconds of rest for 4 minutes)
  • Medicine Ball throw downs (20 seconds of work, then 10 seconds of rest for 4 minutes)
  • Jumping rope (20 seconds of work, then 10 seconds of rest for 4 minutes)
  • Mountain Climbers (20 seconds of work, then 10 seconds of rest for 4 minutes)
  • Sit ups (20 seconds of work, then 10 seconds of rest for 4 minutes)
  • Sprints (20 seconds of work, then 10 seconds of rest for 4 minutes)
  • Stairs (20 seconds of work, then 10 seconds of rest for 4 minutes)
  • Bench press (20 seconds of work, then 10 seconds of rest for 4 minutes)
  • Calf raisers (20 seconds of work, then 10 seconds of rest for 4 minutes)

Ooey Gooey Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bars

Saturday, December 27th, 2014

These treats were amazing! They are so delicious and moist, and they aren’t horrible for you.  (But please don’t misinterpret them for a substitution for vegetables!) They are definitely a better option than some holiday cookies bought in the bread section of your local grocery store.

These in particular are among my favorite of the treats I’ve tried from her blog! Here’s how to make them:

Recipe: Ooey Gooey Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bars

Serves: 16


  • ¾ cup pumpkin puree

  • ½ cup butter or ghee or coconut oil, melted

  • 1 egg, whisked

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 cup almond flour

  • ¼ cup tapioca flour

  • 1 cup coconut sugar

  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips (I used enjoy life mini chocolate chips)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  2. Grease an 8×8 glass baking dish with ghee, coconut oil or butter.

  3. Mix all ingredient together in a large bowl until well combined.

  4. Pour mixture into baking dish.

  5. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

  6. Let cool for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 25th, 2014

From our families to yours, have safe and happy holiday.


Happy Holidays! Here’s What’s Happening

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014
Skill work Kids’ Night Out will take place this Saturday, December 20th from 5:30 p.m.- 10 p.m.
$35 for 4.5 hours of skill work! Pizza for dinner!
Sign Up Here!
Start the New Year off right and come to our 7th annual Golden Gate Bridge run, January 1st 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
Click Here For More Information Or To Register
Register early for our Winter Camps, February 16th-19th by clicking here!

Challenge WOD 5:

Monday, December 8th, 2014

Challenge WOD 5:
21-15- 9 of
RX: OHS 43/30 KG and Toes 2 Bar
Scaled: 30/15 OHS/ knees to chest
Movement Standards:
Overhead squat:
This is a standard Overhead squat.  A full squat snatch is permitted, but not required, to start the movement if the standard depth is achieved. The hip crease must be below the knee at the bottom. The hips and knees must fully open at the top with the barbell locked out overhead.
Toes to barIn the Toes to bar, the athlete must go from a full hang to having the toes touch the pull-up bar. The arms and hips must be fully extended at the bottom and the the feet must be brought back to behind the bar, not out front. Both feet must touch the bar together at some point. The arms can be bent or straight.
Knees to ChestIn the knees to Chest, the athlete must go from a full hang to having the knees come into the chest, above the hip crease. The arms and hips must be fully extended at the bottom and the the feet must be brought back to behind the bar, not out front. Both feet must touch the chest together at some point. The arms can be bent or straight.
3,2,1, GO….. This WOD begins with the barbell on the floor and the athlete bringing it to the over head position.  A full squat snatch can be used anytime the athlete needs to return to the OHS position, and counted as a rep if full depth is achieved. Time is called when the last toes 2 bar or knees to chest is achieved.

Challenge WOD #5 and December Monthly Skill Challenege

Monday, December 1st, 2014

December Monthly skill challenge is:
Handstand shoulder touches.
These can be done against the wall or free standing.  This is for total max touches in one handstand.For against the wall: 2 shoulder touches = 1 rep, free standing with a spot 2 touches = 1 rep and freestanding without any help 1 touch is one rep.

Challenge WOD 3 is…..

Monday, November 3rd, 2014
100 M farmers carry
25 Wall balls
25 pull ups
100 M farmers carry

3,2,1 GO.. Starting at the 0 meter mark athlete will pick up their KBs and walk a total of 100 M. Then the athlete will perform 3 rounds of 25 wall balls and 25 pullups/ When the last pull up is completed, the athlete will run back to the 0 meter mark and walk a final total of 100 M. Time is called when the athlete returns to the 0 meter mark from the second farmers carry.

Farmers Carry:
RX: 2 kettlebells 2P for men, 1.5 for women
Scaled: 2 KB 1P for men, .75 for women
Athlete must use a standard farmers carry grip, with with one kb at each side. You may put the kb down during your walk, but time will continue until you are finished.

Wall Balls:
RX: 20# 10ft./14# 9ft
Scaled: 14# 10 ft/10# 9 ft
Athlete starts with the medicine ball in hand.  At the bottom, hip crease must be below the top of the knee.  The movement concludes with the center of the ball contacting the wall at or above the designated line.

Pull Ups
RX: This is a standard pull-up. Dead hang, kipping or butterfly pull-ups are allowed, as long as all the requirements are met. The arms must be fully extended at the bottom. At the top chin must clearly clear the pull-up bar breaking the horizontal plane. Reverse and alternating grips are permitted.
Scaled: Jumping pull ups are allowed. From a standing position, the distance from the bottom of the bar to the bottom of the chin must be at least 14 inches. Use boxes or bumper plates to set the proper height. The movement starts with the athlete elbows full extended and the rep is complete when the chin finishes over the top of the bar. The athlete jumps and pulls to go from arms being extended below the bar to the chin clearing the bar.

November Monthly Skill Challenge is….

Sunday, November 2nd, 2014

img_17171750 meter row for time!

Rules: Athletes should be settled in their rower before time starts.   At 3,2,1, GO–  The athlete grabs the paddle and rows 750 continuous meters, time can be measured by the clock on the rower or a stop watch.  Distance can only be measured on the rowers screen, time is called once 750 M is met.  TIme doesn’t pause if the athlete comes off the rower prior to 750 M.

Have fun and ROW FAST!

Great things happening this week in The Cave

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

Great things Happening This Week in The Cave!

BackFlip Workshop

Have you signed up yet? Join us on Saturday, November 1st, 2014 for a workshop on the back flip (ALL skill levels welcome). Using various equipment and trampolines, beginners will run through a series of drills to demystify the back flip and take some of the fear out of the equation. Those who already know how to do a back flip (or are close!) will be given challenges to help improve form or learn new variations.  This workshop is ideal for parkour athletes, free runners, crossfitters, trickers, dancers, gymnasts, cheerleaders, and anyone who likes to MOVE! Space is limited to 20 athletes only!
Ages 9-13 sign up here:
Ages 14+ (adults too!):

Gymnastics Seminar
We’re doing it again.  We have another gymnastics seminar coming up on Saturday, November 8th from 1:00-7:30pm. Led by Roger Harrell, founder of the CrossFit Gymnastics Certification program, this hands-on seminar focuses on learning and improving gymnastics movements. You will hear how these skills truly break down in order to work toward mastery. Not only will attendees be taught how to best execute gymnastics elements, but how to teach them as well. Key safety concerns will be covered so that these elements can be introduced into programs without endangering students.  To register,click here or visit:
CrossFit Competitions:
Is your name on the board??? This month we kicked off some GREAT in-house competitions, both the Challenge WOD and Monthly Skill Challenge , which are underway.  We’d love for you to participate!  Questions about rules, scoring, feedback or needing a judge?  E-mail

Let’s keep in touch!

Have you liked us on Facebook or follow us on Instagram?  These two tools are great ways to stay in touch with the latest in what’s happening in The CAVE.  Plus, you’ll probably see some great pictures of what we’re up to also!  Check us out!

Challenge WOD 2 is ………………

Monday, October 20th, 2014

5 RFT:
10 deadlifts
10 bar facing burpee over barbell
RX weight 100 KG/70 KG
Scaled Weight 70/40
20 KG (KB is an acceptable sub at an appropriate weight for the athlete)

The athlete begins standing behind the barbell. At the call of “3-2-1 … Go!” they may reach down and begin the set of 10 deadlifts. After completing 10 deadlifts, the athlete performs 10 bar facing burpees. Then, back to the barbell for 10 deadlifts, and then another set of 10 bar facing burpees. This continues for a total of 5 rounds.
The athlete’s score is his or her total time for completing the workout.

Movement Standards

This is a traditional deadlift with the hands outside the knees. Sumo deadlifts are not allowed. Starting at the floor, the barbell is lifted until hips and knees reach full extension with the shoulders behind the bar. The arms must be straight throughout.

Deliberate bouncing of the barbell is not allowed. Dropping the barbell after the completion of the repetition is permitted. Hitching is permitted, as long as full extension of the knees and hips is eventually reached.

Burpee Over Barbell:
In the burpee over barbell, the athlete must first perform one burpee perpendicular to and facing the barbell. Your head cannot be over the barbell.

Then, jump off of two feet over the barbell and land on two feet before proceeding into the next burpee. Each rep ends with jumping over the barbell. In the burpee, the athlete’s hips and chest must make contact with the ground. At the top, the athlete’s must stand all the way up, no clap is needed. He or she must just be completely vertical and show full hip extension at the top before jumping over in order for it to be considered a rep. The next rep will
then begin on the opposite side facing the barbell.