Fit Trend: Tread Tabata

This unique class uses multiple pieces of equipment for a total body workout.
photo provided.

photo provided.

By now, you’ve heard of Tabata, the method created for Japanese Olympians in the 1970s by a scientist named Izumi Tabata.

The program can be applied to any fitness regime and was the basis for pretty much every H.I.I.T. workout you see today. Basically, you go hard for 20-seconds on whatever platform you choose (treadmill, stationary bike, running, walking, swimming, etc.), and then you rest for 10 seconds. This is repeated eight times, resulting in a short four-minute workout. Sounds easy right? Hardly. The original method was reportedly so intense, the tested athletes threw up all over the place.

Now, fortunately, gyms are using the method to create slightly less intense bootcamp-style classes.

Enter Marblehead-based Kathy Glabicky, 41, who created her Tread Tabata program because she wanted to do something different with the method. Her classes, which take place at Marblehead Fitness Center among other locations, are taught on a treadmill following the Tabata protocol. Students go from the treadmill (using a variety of speeds and inclines) to the floor and back for four rounds.

“About four years ago, I was looking for a way to get my clients who had never run before excited about running, and it was right about the time when Tabata was getting really popular,” Glabicky says. “[The method] has all these amazing benefits, so I wondered why not try it on a treadmill?”

The class always changes, but a recent class included: floor exercises on the Bosu ball, then hopping on the treadmill, then back to the floor using dumbbells, then treadmill again, then floor exercises with bands, then treadmill again, then back to the floor for squats, lunges, and jumps, then (you guessed it) back to the treadmill.

The 50-minute class also uses a proprietary app, created by Glabicky, which is a customized interval timer. “When I started teaching the class, I wanted to be able to monitor form, which is hard to do when half the class is on a treadmill and the other half are on the floor,” she says. “This way, people on the treadmill can listen to my voice through the app, so I can be sure people on the floor have good form.”

The app is much less jarring than a buzzer or whistle, which is traditionally used in classes like these.

If it still sounds too intimidating, don’t worry, Glabicky created the full body workout for people of all fitness levels. “I tell my clients, ‘You can do anything for 20 seconds,'” she says.

14 Bessom St., Marblehead, 781-631-7532, treadtabata.com


Melissa Malamut
Melissa Malamut Melissa Malamut, Senior Editor, Health, at Boston Magazine mmalamut@bostonmagazine.com