I’m sure many of you have heard this “new” buzzword floating around your gym, or read about Tabata training in your current fitness magazine. But what the heck is it? And why should you do it? I’ll explain it to you in non-technical terms and give you some sample Tabata workouts.
What is it?
Tabata training was discovered by the Japanese scientist, Dr. Izumi Tabata at the National Institute of Fitness and Sport in Tokyo, Japan in the mid-1990s. He and his team were conducting research on using different training methods to study their effect on energy production systems in athletes.
After a number of very intense protocols, the team discovered one method that produced extraordinary repeatable improvements in lung capacity, fat loss, and aerobic (cardiovascular) conditioning. What emerged became known as the Tabata Method.
The Tabata training program consists of a warm up, followed by 4 minutes of alternating between high and low intensity intervals, and ending with a cool down.
Tabata is specific in that the 4 minutes of intervals consist of 8 rounds of 20 seconds of all out maximum effort and 10 seconds of rest.
Why should I do Tabata?
Is Tabata the best cardio workout? Can 4 minutes of exercise be enough for fat burning? In 1996, Dr. Tabata work was published in the Journal of Medicine and Science in Sport & Exercise, documenting the significant benefits of high-intensity interval training. The conclusion of the study, which has been repeated across countless studies since, is Tabata intervals can do more to boost anaerobic (without oxygen) and aerobic capacity than an hour of a moderate exercise.
Tabata is great for getting a quick workout in when you have limited time, to change up your routine, or need to improve your endurance or speed. Try adding Tabata into your routine once or twice a week and just see the results.
- 5 minutes – light to moderate exercise
Workout – 4 minutes
- 20 seconds - all out maximum effort, work as hard as your can
- 10 seconds – rest
- 2 minutes – k light to moderate exercise
You can do Tabata doing just about any exercise. Such as:
- push ups
- jumping rope
- weight lifting
Now get out there and work at those Tabata Intervals! Let me know how you do!
Thanks for reading,