Training: Hard is hard: you aren't doing tabata

November 08, 2017

People talk about doing tabata training, or even high intensity. They aren't. If you look at their heart rate their workouts are probably all threshold. Sort of hard but not really hard, like tabata and HiiT are supposed to be.

The best athletes in the world train by what is know as the 80/20 rule. 80% of their training is aerobic, 20% is hard. But what does hard mean? It probably isn't what you think. Most of us when we talk about a hard training session are actually only doing threshold. Hard though should be up in the VO2 range, 90-95% of our max heart rate. 

One common term you'll hear people saying when they talk about working out hard is that they are doing tabata. But no one is doing tabata. In the original tabata study the 20 second efforts were done at 170% of VO2 max! 5 to 7 of them with only 10 seconds of rest in between. That is hard. 

Hard is harder than we think or want to go.