Tabata Workout


What if you lack the time for a fitness club? Try the homemade express workouts, following Tabata methods.


What Is Tabata Training?

Tabata protocol is a functional type of the training and is considered a workout of high intensity. This program was developed by Irisava Koichi, coach of the Japanese skating team. He offered the athletes to train in a special mode in the following way:

  • 20 seconds of heavy load + 10 seconds of rest = 1 round.

Run 8 rounds, and then rest for 1 minute.

To perform 8 rounds, you need 4 minutes. Ideally, these four-minute workouts must be repeated 4 times in a row. Taking into account a one-minute rest, the total workout time is 20 minutes. To understand how effective such a program is, the coach turned to Professor Izumi Tabata of Ritsumeikan University. The scientist conducted a study and found that a month of such a training regime improved the indicators of cardiovascular system endurance in the athletes by 14%, while their muscles became stronger by 28%. In addition, one could observe accelerated metabolism and “burning” of fat. The data were published, and soon this fitness program became very popular, getting the researcher’s name rather than the creator’s name.

Important Notes for the Training

  • Be sure to warm up and cool down.
  • Performed exercises should involve as many muscles as possible.
  • Stop the exercise immediately, if you suddenly feel unwell. During the first workout, do not try to keep training for 20 minutes at all costs – it is quite difficult and depends on the level of physical fitness.
  • The optimal training regime is 2 days per week.

Tabata Exercise Tips

Tabata training options are numerous. The main thing is that a 20-second load should be really intense. You will understand it from the burning sensation and weakness in the muscles during the exercise. At such moments, the muscles do not get enough “fuel” (ATP) and oxygen for their work, the body simply does not have time to deliver them. It is under such conditions that anaerobic performance improves.

Tabata Workout Example

  • During the 4-minute set (8 rounds), it is desirable to perform different exercises to involve as many muscle groups as possible. For example:
  • Running on the spot with raised knees. While running, raise your hands over the head and lower them vigorously, with your elbows moving behind your back.
  • Jumping jack. Jumping while moving legs and arms to the sides.
  • Deep squatting with arms over the head and a straight back.
  • A complicated “plank” position. From a standing position, slowly bend down, place your hands on the floor, jump to the back and take the position for pushups, keep the body in this position, jump back and take the initial position.

Follow Your Training Progress

First of all, watch the speed and accuracy of exercise. Record the number of repetitions that you’ve done over 20 seconds, so you can watch your progress. A good exercise would probably include 8-10 reps. During the rest, do not stand still, but march on your place or walk around the room. Experts do not recommend using additional weights from the first class. Master Tabata exercises without them – the load should be increased gradually. If your fantasy is not enough to diversify the training, refer to the Internet. There you will find many videos where fans and gurus of fitness show how they perform Tabata. You can join them and perform a new program each time.

Variants of Tabata workouts:


Health Benefits of Tabata Workout

Regular classes will accelerate metabolism, help get rid of excess fat, will make the muscles more visible and increase endurance. You can train the muscles of the back, abdomen, thighs and buttocks, as well as deep stabilizer muscles that help support the spine in the correct position and improve the sense of balance and equilibrium.

The first visible changes usually appear within 2 weeks of training. A study conducted in 2013 in Auburn University (USA) confirmed the efficiency of this Japanese fitness program. One minute of Tabata exercises helps you burn a record amount of 13.5 kcal, and the metabolic rate is increased by 2 times and is stored at this level for 30 minutes after the workout.

Remember, Tabata is a workout of high intensity, so it is contraindicated in case of heart diseases or diseases of the musculoskeletal system. If you have health problems, consult a physician before training.

What Do You Need for Tabata Exercises?

  • A timer. There are many Tabata timers in the network that beep to warn you about the changing phases of exercise and rest. You can also download free applications for smartphones and tablets or download a special mp3-file.
  • A towel.
  • Water.
  • Additional weights (dumbbells and barbells for the hands and feet), only if you feel ready for the additional load.
  • Heart rate monitor for heart rate control.