Let’s Talk Tabata; What Is Tabata? How To Do It?

Former Marines Get New Yorkers In Shape With 'Warrior Fitness' Class
NEW YORK - MARCH 17: A woman lifts dumbells during a workout at Warrior Fitness Boot Camp gym March 17, 2009 in the Midtown neighborhood of New York City. Two former Marine sergeants, one an Iraq War veteran, began the boot camp-style training gym in 2008, bringing the exercises and drills they did as young Marines at the notorious Marine Corps Recruit Depot at Parris Island to more sedentary New Yorkers. Most customers do the vigorous, team-style workouts 3-4 times a week, with workouts beginning before sunrise at 5:30 am. Photo : (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

Is it CrossFit? Is it Circuit Training? Tabata workout is actually the best of both worlds. Being a high-intensity form of workout, Tabata promises the benefits of both fitness and weight-loss.

'Tabata' By Dr. IIzumi Tabata

Tabata was invented by Dr. Izumi Tabata, a Japanese physician and researcher. Dr. Tabata used an interval-based training model to conduct a study. The goal was to gauge if athletes will gain benefits from a 20/10 (20 means 20 seconds of intense exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest) session done repeatedly eight times. 20/10 adds up to four minutes in total.

Dr. Tabata then identified two groups and enrolled them in an exercise program for six weeks. Moderate-intensity exercise was assigned to the control group five times every week. The other group was assigned to the high-intensity set, Tabata-style. The control group has 1,800 minutes of training in total while the Tabata group has 120 minutes- both for a span of six weeks. The results confirmed that the Tabata group improved both its aerobic and anaerobic fitness levels, with anaerobic levels being 28%.

How Is Tabata Different From Other Exercises?

Interval training was has initially gained attention for running. Tabata training for runners, for instance, include 20-second sprints with 10 seconds of rest. This training has proven to specifically bring positive effects on cardiovascular fitness. Further, it can also be used to improve for strength and weight training.

Tabata training has proven to increase heart and metabolism rates almost all at once. Completing these activities in high intensity allows the body to work harder and keep up. Consequently, this results your heart to work harder and your metabolism to peak (which is the goal in weight loss). The metabolism will stay at high levels even after the work out. Therefore, you can expect your body to burn fat for more hours after your workout.

Tabata exercise allows for much creativity. You can use many different exercises and equipment and fit them in the Tabata protocol. Your exercise may include the use of planks, squats, push ups, stability ball exercises, weights, resistance bands, or a bench. It is advised to use four exercise per Tabata.

Tabata Workout Example

1. Push Ups

2. Squats

3. Medicine Ball Slams

4. Jumping Rope

How To Do It

1. Complete 20 seconds of push up then rest for 10 seconds.

2. Complete 20 seconds of squats, then rest for 10 seconds.

3. Complete 20 seconds of ball slams, and rest for 10 seconds.

4. Complete 20 seconds of skipping rope and rest for 10 seconds.

After doing all four, repeat everything again for eight times.

Calculating the routine above gives you 16 minutes of total workout time. Eventually, you can create two to three different Tabata routines. These combination can combine 12 different exercises and last for two different routines per session. Five to eight minutes of warm up and cool down completes your workout for the day. The intervals of 20 seconds may seem easy however exerting your maximum capacity, 20 seconds may provide you the longest time you can imagine.

Now can you confidently say you can do Tabata? Of course yes!  With the right body conditioning and mind set, you can now achieve a healthier and stronger mind and body in no time. 

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