Tabata – 4 Minutes to Fit

Tabata training is an amazing way to get a total body workout in very little time.

Tabata is a unique form of HIIT, or high-intensity interval training.  If you don’t know about HIIT, it’s a training technique where you perform short bursts of intense exercise at your all out maximum, followed by short periods of active rest. For example, sprinting up hill for 30 seconds, followed by 15 seconds of walking. While interval training has been around for decades and there are no set times for the intervals, Tabata training has set interval times;  20 seconds of intense work, followed by 10 seconds of complete rest for a total of 8 rounds. That’s 4 minutes and that’s it!  

Be warned, it sounds easy, but if you do it right, and push yourself to the limit, it is a very intense, effective and exhausting workout!  So go easy at first and progress into more intensity as your body gets used to the Tabata format and working at its max capacity.  

So here’s how it works:

Traditional Tabata contains only one exercise, such as push ups, and repeating that same exercise throughout the entire set.  However I like to spice up the protocol and use 2-4 different exercises and alternating. It’s less taxing on one muscle group so you don’t get fatigued as quickly therefore your intensity can stay high. In just 4 minutes you can workout your entire body, besides, it’s much more fun when you add variety to the mix.

For a longer workout, just add more sets and a 4 minute workout can be 8 or even 16 minutes long but be very careful not to overdo it and overtrain. Before working out, especially with intense interval training, always check in with your doctor to see if this type of exercise program can be beneficial and safe for you.

Here are my 4 favorite 4 minute Tabata Workouts:

High Energy Warm Up or Cardio Finisher 

20 sec – jumping jacks 

10 sec – rest

20 sec – mountain climbers

10 sec – rest

20 sec – burpees

10 sec – rest

20 sec – high knees 

10 sec – rest

Repeat 

Lower Body

20 sec – squats

10 sec – rest

20 sec – total body extensions or for a more intense level try squat jumps

10 sec – rest

Repeat 4 times

Upper Body

20 sec – ladder push ups 

10 sec – rest

20 sec – renegade rows

10 sec – rest

Repeat 4 times

Full Body Workout

20 sec – push ups

10 sec – rest

20 sec – squats

10 sec – rest

20 sec- plank to push up

10 sec – rest

20 sec – burpees

10 sec – rest

Repeat

There are numerous benefits to a HIIT workout, whether it is to burn fat, increase your anaerobic and aerobic capacities or just because it is a total body workout routine in record time, there are many reasons for you to give it a try.

Not sure about how to implement Tabata in your workouts? Be in touch for a complementary workout session with me!

Note: If you are thinking about attempting Tabata training, I recommend you visit a GP to see if they think it’s right for you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *