If you haven’t heard of Tabata or aren’t utilizing it in your workout routine, you are missing out on a great tool that can use to spice up your workouts. You don’t need any equipment – although you can use weights, battle ropes, medicine balls as required. There are virtually limitless combinations you can use to make the most of your workouts. The only limits are your creativity and how willing you are to torture yourself.
As with any new exercise program, you want to consult with a doctor and maybe even a fitness professional to determine the best routine for you. Since Tabata is high intensity, it’s not for everyone.
A Brief History
Tabata is a version of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). It was developed in 1996 based on a study by Professor Izumi Tabata. The original study was performed with Olympic speedskaters. They were divided into two groups: a control group and a test group. The control group did one hour of medium-intensity exercise 5 days a week for 6 weeks (1800 minutes total). The test group did high-intensity Tabata workouts for the same 6-week period (120 minutes total). Athletes who were in the test group saw increases in both aerobic and anaerobic fitness levels. Their anaerobic fitness levels increased by 28%!
Benefits of Tabata
- An efficient way to burn off calories.
- Great for improving the endurance of any athlete.
- Increases aerobic, anaerobic, and cardiovascular fitness levels.
- Improve metabolism and heart rate.
- Lose weight fast.
Tabata training is quite simple. First, pick an exercise. Do the chosen exercise intensely (as hard/fast/as many reps as possible)for 20 seconds followed by 10 seconds of rest. Repeat this cycle a total of 8 times/rounds (4 minutes total). I can guarantee you will sweat profusely. If you have the time, you should do a 4 minute warmup before and a 4 minute cool-down afterwards as explained by Krista Stryker of 12 MINUTE ATHLETE.
You can use virtually any exercise. Here are some ideas:
- Jumping Jacks
- Squat Thrusts
Additionally, you can try adding equipment to increase the challenge level and add variety:
- Stationary Bike
- Battle Ropes
- Medicine Ball
- Heavy Bag
There are almost infinite combinations you can use to add variety to your workouts. You can even do Tabata in different locations to spice things up. At the gym, on a basketball court, in a swimming pool. Get creative! I strongly recommend that you check out 12 MINUTE ATHLETE for great ideas you can use in your next workout.