What is Tabata Training and How Can it Help You?

You’ve probably noticed around the place the talk about ‘Tabata’ training.  It’s highly favoured by fitness experts and proven by research for the ability to burn fat more efficiently than any other type of workout and this is why it can help you to your fitness goals.

Tabata is not for the faint-hearted though and really is it just another name for HIIT (high-intensity training intervals) and it just packs a mean punch of a workout in less time. You only get the results if the effort 100% (but still keeping the correct technique to avoid injury).

The training was discovered after Japanese scientist Izumi Tabata trialled a study of speed-skating athletes. The first group trained on ergonomic cycles at moderate intensity for one hour, five days per week, for a total of six weeks. The second group completed four-minute, high-intensity workouts on ergonomic cycles four days per week for a total of six weeks. These four minutes were all-out intervals broken down into eight rounds of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off.

The scientists’ results concluded that the athletes who performed high-intensity training saw increases in aerobic and anaerobic system capacities; whereas the moderate-intensity group did not improve anaerobic performance.

Traditionally Tabata exercises perform the SAME exercise for the complete 4 minutes. This may seem easier just reading but by the time 3 minutes rolls around and you’re on your sixth set of squats or mountain climbers then you’ll be knowing what it’s all about!

These days though the movements are swapped around into a circuit training style of thing so you might perform 4 exercises and do this twice to form the 4 minutes (or continue for 20 if you can!).  Either way, it’s going to give you a great fitness kick if it’s completed a couple of times a week.

Here is an example of what your workout could look like. (just right-click to print)

Tabata Training Program


tabata workout

Of course, if fitness hasn’t been a priority of late then you would begin with one set of 4 minutes and work yourself up but if a challenge and body shock you are after then try to complete the full 32 minutes.

Have you heard of Tabata workouts? Do you enjoy doing HIIT?

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