Wednesday, February 1, 2017

2017 January Tabata Challenge Final Tally

       As this is now February 1st and I have finally pulled myself from the wreckage of the last week, and quite a bit of wreckage there was, it is time to go over the results of the 2017 January Tabata Challenge. This has not been a scientific study, mind you. My part in all this has been anecdotal. Yours has been anecdotal as well. Any input that you have to add is important in that it adds to the sum of knowledge as applied.
       When I set out on this challenge there were some questions that were in mind. Those included the primary interest in fat loss and strength gains. Did I lose fat?
       After three months of gorging myself, October to the end of December,  I had gone from 220 pounds to 240 pounds. My abs had faded so far into the background that they may as well have been Dr. Richard Kimble from the Fugitive.
       One month of body weight only Tabata style exercises did have some positive effects. The question of fat loss should be addressed first. Did the Tabata help in my losing fat? Since that was the only exercise I was doing for the month, we can say that I did lose body fat.
       The other question related to gaining muscle. Were there gains in muscle strength and endurance? The answer to that is a clear and unequivocal yes and no.
       Muscle groups where strength and endurance was already at a higher level saw the greatest gains while those that lagged the furthest saw the least gains in spite of being worked with the  same parameters of time and ... in retrospect, the amount of weight varied based on the exercise. Squats used only upper body as the weight. Push-ups get around 80% of the entire body's weight. Abdominal muscles will get varying loads based on the exercise and the strictness of the application. Wow ... tons of variables here. In fact, the only exercise chosen in this month's routine that saw use of the entire body's weight was the pull-up/chin-up. Ironically, this was also the area that saw the least amount of improvement.
       The best improvements were in Squats then push-ups. Abs came next. The pull-ups/push-ups came in dead last as I already said.
       For the month of February I will put myself through another physical challenge to see what changes will occur. Hopefully, some of you will be as curious and join me.