Life has a funny way of getting in the way of the gym. That hour you had set aside five times a week dwindles to 45 minutes, and before you know it … you have to skip altogether! Alas, FitMeNow has a solution for you. We’ve got an effective 20-minute workout that will have you sweating in no time.
The workout we speak of is Tabata. Created by Dr. Izumi Tabata of Tokyo, the training method is a form of HIIT (high intensity interval training). According to Dr. Tabata and his research team, when compared against moderate regular exercisers, those who performed 20 minutes of Tabata Training five times a week increased their cardiovascular abilities AND increased their strength.
What is Tabata?
As mentioned, Tabata is a HIIT workout that lasts just 20 minutes. The 20 minutes is broken up into four four-minute exercises with a minute of rest in between. Keeping with the 20 theme, each exercise is broken up into 20-second intervals with 10-second breaks. If you haven’t done the math, that’s eight high intensity intervals with seven breaks.
How to Perform Tabata:
Before you begin Tabata, warm up and get the muscles loose. You’ll be hitting it pretty hard for the next 20 minutes. Choose almost any four exercises to perform as part of your series.
- If you’re asking us, a popular choice is definitely sprints. If you’re outside, find a straightaway and get ready to push it for a full 20 seconds.
- For a treadmill workout, ramp up the speed until it’s a full sprint, but you’re still standing with one foot on each side of the belt. Hop on the treadmill, sprint a full 20 seconds, grab the handles and safely hop back onto the sides of the machine.
- Get your breath and jump back on after 20 seconds. That’s all there is to it! Other popular exercises to perform with Tabata include burpees, mountain climbers, squats, push ups and rowing.
One of Tabata’s best qualities is the fact that it can be performed anywhere! Can’t run? Try jump squats or sit ups!
A clock or watch works just fine to move you through Tabata Training. If you use a smartphone, consider downloading a timing app with the Tabata function. Set the intervals and then you get to focus on the workout. We've used the free "Seconds" app and have had great results.
*Here is a link to the Tabata iPhone app
Time is Up:
Tabata is a great, intense workout that’s easy to fit into even the busiest of schedules. Incorporate Tabata Training into your current regimen and see what it can do for your overall fitness level. Get ready to sweat!