Not only are Tabata drills effective and challenging for strength training and cardio circuits at the gym or in a bootcamp; they also kick some serious Badass when incorporated into an indoor cycling class.
Basically an intense form of interval training, Tabata drills consist of 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest. Multiply that by 8 times, and you get one 4-minute Tabata. On the bike, this plays out as 8 20-second sprints with light resistance. It also can be used for rolling hills - 20 seconds super steep, 10 seconds more moderate resistance, and so on for the 8 rounds.
Below is a profile with music from the cycling class I taught bright and early Monday morning featuring 2 strength and 2 speed Tabatas. (The playlist is a nod to Madonna's badass - and going strong - career, illustrated by her Super Bowl halftime performance.)
This ride is challenging, intense, and 100% awesome. Enjoy:)
- Celebration, Madonna, 3:35: Warmup on a flat road, 50 percent of max pace
- Jump, Madonna, 3:58: Low rolling hills (a preview of the Tabata to come): 30 seconds at a slight incline, 30 seconds with a full turn added for a low hill. Repeat pattern for duration of song.
- Like a Prayer, Madonna, 5:43: First strength Tabata. During the 'rest,' resistance is at a 6 of 10 - moderate climb. During the 20 seconds of 'work,' resistance is very steep, an 8 of 10. Go back and forth between 6 and 8 for the duration of the Tabata: 20 seconds at an 8, 10 seconds 'recovering' at a 6 for 10 seconds, for eight total rounds. Spend the last minute of the song on a flat recovery road.
- Material Girl, Madonna, 4:01: Moderate endurance drill. Resistance is at a 5 to 6 of 10, pace is to be held at 60 percent of max for the entire song.
- Everlong, Foo Fighters, 4:10: First Sprint Tabata. Resistance stays at about a 4 of 10, just enough that you don't bounce in the saddle as you sprint. Your base 'recovery' pace is 60 percent of max. On the 20 seconds of work, sprint to 80 to 90 percent of your max. Go back to 60 percent pace on the 10 seconds of recovery. Go for the eight rounds.
- So What, Pink, 3:34: Low rolling hills. This time 30 seconds on the slight incline, 45 seconds with a full turn added for a low hill. Repeat pattern for duration of song.
- The Time (Dirty Bit), The Black Eyed Peas, 5:08: Second Strength Tabata. Same pattern as the first.
- Booty Bounce, Dev: Light resistance endurance drill. Resistance is at a 4 to 5 of 10, pace is to be held at 60 percent of max for the entire song.
- 4 Minutes, Madonna w Justin Timberlake, 4:00: Second Sprint Tabata. Same pattern as the first.
- Hello Good Morning, Diddy, 4:31: Cool down.
Coming up: From the Badass Bookshelf, 'Ultra' Inspiration...