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Stamina Fitness Challenge

Fatigue-proof your body with the Tabata protocol

Wondering just how well your workouts are paying off? Try performing a few Burpees. The simple yet rigorous exercise provides the short bursts the body needs to build endurance. See how many you can do before your lungs start burning. That number will help you determine your level of conditioning.

HOW IT'S DONE

From a standing position [1], squat down and place your hands on the floor [2]. Now shoot your legs straight behind you, as if you were about to perform a pushup [3]. Reverse the motion quickly to come back up and jump as high as you can with arms reaching overhead. That's one rep. Land softly, immediately going into the squat again to begin the next rep.

THE TEST

Get a stopwatch and time yourself. Perform as many
burpees as you can in one minute.

RATE YOURSELF

You performed…

  • 15 or fewer burpees = Seriously? That's pathetic.
  • Around 25 = You're in average shape.
  • Around 35 = You've got good stamina.
  • 45 or more = You must never get tired!

Didn't score as well as you'd like on your burpee test? Follow this program, which uses the Tabata protocol—a highly famous and effective conditioning and fat-burning method—to improve your anaerobic endurance.

Get a stopwatch and perform burpees as fast as you can for 20 seconds, and then rest 10 seconds. That's one interval. Repeat this process for eight total intervals, which should take four total minutes. If you want to perform these on the same day as a weight-training workout, do them afterward.

Week 1: Perform one block of Tabata intervals (eight in four minutes).

Week 2: Perform two blocks (16 in eight minutes).

Week 3: Now we'll change the length of the intervals. Perform burpees for 30 seconds and then rest 15. Continue for eight intervals in six minutes.

Week 4: Perform two blocks of the new intervals (16 intervals in 12 minutes).

Week 5: Take the burpee test and see how you've improved.

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