By now you’ve heard the marvels of interval training and you’ve probably even incorporated them into your workout to get great results.
Well, get ready for the next step: Tabata. If you’re looking for a way to shred pounds without a major time commitment, here’s your answer. Tabata, a form of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), challenges in ways longer sessions of moderate intensity will not.
Developed by a scientist to train Olympic speed skaters, the practice is great for building both strength and endurance. It consists of a series of four-minute sets during which cycles of 20 seconds of effort are chased by 10 seconds of rest. It’s typically performed in a 20- or 30-minute session, but can also be as short as 10 minutes. Because the intervals are so small, there’s no opportunity to recover from the 20-second efforts before the 10-second rest period ends.
The idea is to work so hard during the efforts that both the aerobic system (cardiovascular) and anaerobic system (muscular) are completely exhausted. Not only will this scorch calories, but the engagement of the anaerobic system lends the benefit of burning calories long after your workout.
An example of a 20-minute Tabata workout includes:
- Burpees (4 min)
- Jump Squats (4 min)
- Dumbbell Front Squats (4 min)
- Push-Ups (4 min)
The beauty of Tabata is in its versatility; you can pick from thousands of exercises and variations. This means you can change exercises frequently while focusing on anaerobic function of areas where you desire muscular development. Tabata is fabulous for plowing through weight loss plateaus and improving over athletic conditioning.
In short, the energy exerted in this series of exercises will jolt your body in fat-burning mode.
If you’re bored with your workout, low on time, or just trying to up the ante, Tabata is for you!