What Are ‘Tabata’ and ‘Hennie Muller’ Training Exercises?

As soon as one investigates high intensity interval training the terms ‘Tabatas’ and ‘Hennie Mullers’ appear. It’s understandable, then, to want to know just what exactly Tabata and Hennie Muller exercises are.

Tabatas are so named after Dr. Izumi Tabata at the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo.

Tabata intervals are long on the high intensity interval and shorter on the resting interval, i.e. 20 seconds of maximum intensity exercise followed by ten seconds of rest constitutes one cycle. Repeating this cycle eight times will take four minutes. Because of the exhausting demands of the high intensity interval, the rest period is absolutely necessary for partial recovery of mental and physical ability.

In the study done by Dr. Tabata a mechanically braked cycle ergometer was used, but one can apply this protocol to almost any exercise imaginable.

Picture yourself doing one or more of the following for example: Sprinting, skipping rope, doing squats and push-ups, or hitting a boxing bag.

If you have the drive and the endurance – as well as the necessary reasonable fitness level to begin with – quick results are a given.

Hennie Mullers are named after a legendary South African Rugby Player, a Flanker.

A Hennie Muller consists of running the width, the length and the diagonal of the rugby field, ending up where you started. Do it twice in a row, then repeat as you’re able. Apparently the Tokyo Gaijin Rugby Team do about five sets for one training session.

Tabatas and Hennie Mullers can be almost unbearably exhausting.

Without a doubt, Tabatas and Hennie Mullers should not be done by people of average fitness levels. Just as certainly the almost brutal demands made on the trainee can bring about mental fatigue and physical discomfort. But the hypothesis behind such exercises can be adapted for average people, and the proven increased physical fitness level obtained even by them

Are you seeking greater physical fitness for yourself?

Research has shown that four minutes of Tabata interval training can do as much to boost aerobic and anaerobic capacity as an hour of endurance exercise, thus, even an adapted form of intensity interval training is bound to speed up desired results. Whether done at the most demanding level or an adapted version for average mortals, working out in a supporting group is encouraging and helpful.

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