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:
- squat jumps
- push ups
- tuck jumps
- switch kicks
- Med ball squat and throws against a wall
- donkey kicks
- spiderman push ups
- split jumps
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!