“If you are overweight or have any bodily past injuries or restrictions, Tabata might not be best for you. Please talk to your doctor before even considering it.”
– Zarah Choudhury Alani
A Tabata is a high-intensity workout protocol that has fitness and weight-loss benefits. It is also a very short workout.
The History of Tabata
Tabata training was discovered by Japanese scientist Dr. Izumi Tabata and a team of researchers from the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo. Tabata and his team conducted research on two groups of athletes: one group trained at a moderate intensity level while the other group trained at a high intensity level. The moderate intensity group worked out five days a week for a total of six weeks; each workout lasted one hour. The high intensity group worked out four days a week for six weeks; each workout lasted four minutes and 20 seconds (with 10 seconds of rest in between each set).
The results; group one had increased their aerobic system (cardiovascular), but showed little or no results for their anaerobic system (muscle). Group two showed much more increase in their aerobic system than group one, and increased their anaerobic system by 28 percent.
In conclusion, high intensity interval training has more impact on both the aerobic and anaerobic systems.
The Tabata workout lasts only four minutes, but is one of the longest four minutes you’ll encounter. The structure of the program is:
- Workout hard for 20 seconds
- Rest for 10 seconds
- Complete eight rounds
You push yourself as hard as you can for 20 seconds and rest for 10 seconds until you complete eight sets. You can do pretty much any exercise you wish. You can do squats, pushups, rows, etc… Any exercise that works your large muscle groups is strongly recommended. Kettlebells work great too.
An example of a 20-minute Tabata workout looks like this:
- Sit ups
Start with pushups. Do 20 seconds hard. Rest for 10 seconds and then back to pushups for 20 seconds. Once you completed eight sets of pushups, rest for one minute and then move on to squats and repeat the sequence of 20 seconds on 10 seconds off. Once you finish eight squats rest for one minute and then do rows. After rows, finish up with sit ups.
Tabata is great to get a quick workout in if you’re short on time, need to switch up your routine, or need to improve endurance speed. Incorporate this type of workout into your fitness routine and produce results.