Archive for January 2014


Tabata This! – Work harder, not longer

The New Year is here and this might mean that you have a new fitness goal. A fun way to exercise is to attend a group Tabata class, or even add Tabata exercises to your own workouts. The intensity of Tabata requires you to work out harder for a shorter amount of time…. with excellent results.

What is Tabata?
Tabata was founded by a Japanese scientist named Izumi Tabata and fellow colleagues at a department of physiology in Japan. It is a form of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)…. which requires you to work at a high intensity for a short period of time followed by a short rest period before repeating the high intensity interval again.

  • One complete cycle of Tabata is 4 minutes long.
  • Each round is 20 seconds of intense work followed by 10 seconds of rest.
  • Each round is repeated 8 times, totaling 4 minutes.
  • You can do one cycle of Tabata, or multiple cycles of Tabata.
  • The 20 seconds of work is at full-effort. You must earn the 10 seconds rest.
  • You can also count each rep you successfully perform for each 20 sec round. The lowest number of reps successfully completed in a round is your Tabata score. Your Tabata score can be used to monitor your fitness level over time.

Why do Tabata?

  • Studies have shown Tabata to increase both the aerobic system as well as the anaerobic system.
  • Tabata enables shorter work-out times while achieving results similar to a longer work-out.

What type of exercises make a good Tabata?
Whole body exercises are the ideal choice for a Tabata exercise…not exercises that focus on smaller muscle groups. Some basic examples are:

  • burpees
  • squat jumps
  • push ups
  • tuck jumps
  • switch kicks
  • Med ball squat and throws against a wall
  • sprints
  • donkey kicks
  • spiderman push ups
  • split jumps

Tabata Timer
My favorite Tabata timer app is the iPhone app “Tabata Timer” by Garaui Technology lab. You can also use a regular stop watch or purchase music that incorporates Tabata intervals.


Tabata exercises are also a great travelling workout option. All you would need is a timer and a set of 6 Tabata worthy exercises to make up an intense 30 minute workout (includes a few minutes to warm up and cool down).

With Tabata, work out harder… not longer!