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So What is A Tabata Workout Anyways?

I’ve been seeing this trendy workout word absolutely everywhere. So what actually is a tabata workout?

History of The Tabata Workout

Tabata training was discovered by Japanese scientist Dr. Izumi Tabata and a team of researchers from the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo.

Tabata and his team conducted research on two groups of athletes. The first group trained at a moderate intensity level while the second group trained at a high-intensity level. The moderate intensity group worked out five days a week for a total of six weeks; each workout lasted one hour. The high-intensity group worked out four days a week for six weeks; each workout lasted four minutes and 20 seconds (with 10 seconds of rest in between each set).

The results; Group 1 had increased their aerobic system (cardiovascular), but showed little or no results for their anaerobic system (muscle). Group 2 showed much more increase in their aerobic system than Group 1, and increased their anaerobic system by 28 percent.

In conclusion, high-intensity interval training has more impact on both the aerobic and anaerobic systems.

The Tabata Program

Tabata workout simply consists of doing multiple cardio activities as hard as you can go (maximal intensity) for 20 seconds.  Follow that with 10 seconds of rest and repeat your circuit several more times. By the end of the 4 minutes you should feel like you’re going to die. Like in the history description above, it works! It also closely parallels with many other HIIT workouts. So if you like high intensity interval training as your go-to exercise, you will most likely like this.

Here’s an example workout: 

  1. Push-ups (4 minutes) 
  2. Bodyweight Squats (4 minutes)
  3. Burpees (4 minutes)
  4. Mountain Climbers (4 minutes)

Start with push-ups. Perform them for 20 seconds at a high-intensity. Rest for 10 seconds, and then go back to doing push-ups for 20 seconds. Once you complete eight sets of push-ups, rest for one minute.

Next, move on to squats and repeat the sequence of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off. Once you finish eight sets of squats, rest for one minute, and then do burpees. After burpees, finish the workout with mountain climbers.

Tabata is great to get a quick workout in if you’re short on time, you need to switch up your routine, or you want improve endurance and speed. Incorporate this type of workout into your fitness routine and produce results.

Interested in trying out a tabata workout for yourself? Check out the workout video below. P.S. I absolutely love the HASfit duo. They offer a great variety of cardio, HIIT, and strength training videos.

Article written by GUADS staff member Christina with contributions from active.com

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