Tabata training is similar to HIIT training, and involves intervals of high intensity intervals. But with a slight difference.
Whereas HIIT training typically last between 15 and 20 minutes, Tabata workouts last only 4 minutes!
Which make it an awesome workout if you’re short for time. Or even if you aren’t short for time . . . it’s still an awesome workout!
It was developed by Izumi Tabata at the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo, Japan. But I don’t expect you’re too worried about that. You want to know the benefits and results, right?
Well Tabata found that, after a 6 week training program, a group of athletes undertaking 4 Tabata workouts per week made greater gains in VO2 Max than a group undertaking traditional steady endurance training.
As well as these aerobic benefits, Tabata also found anaerobic capacity benefits also. Similar to HIIT training, Tabata training leads to a super charged metabolism which makes it a great fat burning session. So these are great workouts if your ultimate goal is weight loss.
Tabata Workout Method
The method is really quite simple. After a thorough warm up, you perform 20 seconds of ultra-high intensity exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest. That’s basically all there is to it. Just repeat this sprint-rest procedure 8 times!
You might think that sounds easy, but after 3 or 4 repetitions you’ll be wishing for the end of the session!
This type of training is great for running. But you can use it in any type of aerobic exercise.
Swimming, rowing, cycling, and circuit training are great exercises for this type of workout.
The first three exercises are easy. But for circuit training, pick 8 exercises for your 8 sprint intervals. Make sure you use light weights where you can comfortable perform 20 seconds of repetitions. Make speed the essence, but keep your form and avoid injury!
How often should you perform Tabata sessions?
If you are new to high intensity interval training then you should only perform these workouts once or twice each week. They are extremely demanding and you should work up to these gradually.
You’ll find that these really take it out of you, but if you keep it up you’ll make massive gains really quickly.
Don’t omit regular aerobic workout routines though. There are other endurance benefits of regular workouts.
If you are after other or similar sessions, checkout the growing list of workout routines.