I am a massive fan of Tabata workouts, in just 4 minutes of exercise you can achieve a fantastic balance between increased heart health, muscle tone and fat loss. The Tabata session is 20 seconds of exercise effort, followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated 8 times so it equals a workout set of 4 minutes.
Let me give you a brief breakdown of the background on this high intensity interval training (HIIT) phenomenon. In 1996, Dr. Izumi Tabata compared the effects of 60 minutes of moderate-intensity steady-state cardio to 4 minutes of ultra-intense cardio intervals (HIIT) consisting of 20 seconds of all-out effort followed by 10 seconds of rest. He found that the shorter workouts were equally effective in improving aerobic capacity and more effective in increasing anaerobic capacity. Which
basically meant, leaner, stronger and faster in less amount of time! Win right?
Tabata training can help you lose fat faster than many traditional forms of exercise. There is a catch though, you need to know how to perform it properly. So always prioritise form and technique over speed and repetitions. In addition, perform the 4 minute round a number of times to gain the maximum benefits. The reality is you can only burn so much energy in 4 minutes (about 70 calories to be exact, not enough to make much of a difference to body composition), regardless of
how hard you push yourself. So see if you can do 3 to 4 rounds of each 4 minute Tabata set.
The key is pushing yourself safely but hard enough in the 20 second all out period of work. It has to be your maximum effort. Be sure you warm up properly beforehand and stretch really well afterwards. If you’ve already got a good level of cardiovascular health then the Tabata might be what you need to get to the next level of your results. If you’re relatively new to exercise, however, I
recommend you start slow and steady, working your way up safely to being able to handle intense Tabata training.
Make sure you are eating clean because we shouldn’t use exercise to out train a bad diet. Clean real food offers as so much more through the wide variety of vitamins and minerals. So make sure you are nourishing your body with great food and your body will thank you for it in more ways than one.
Be sure to keep an eye on your Fitbit device to track your time and heart rate. I personally like to use my Blaze and set my device to timer so in one glance I can see the stopwatch and my heart rate in real time.
Luke’s Tabata Session
Squats 20 seconds on 10 seconds off REPEAT 2 TIMES
Push Ups 20 seconds on 10 seconds off REPEAT 2 TIMES
High Knees 20 seconds on 10 seconds off REPEAT 2 TIMES
Burpees 20 seconds on 10 seconds off REPEAT 2 TIMES
Use range of motion stretches to warm up adequately.
Repeat this entire Tabata workout up to 4 times for optimal results.
Cool down with stretches.
CREATE YOUR OWN TABATA WORKOUT
Once you’ve mastered the workout I’ve put together for you, you can create your own Tabata working using your favourite exercises.
WHAT TYPES OF EXERCISE:
In terms of choice, your best exercises are going to be rowing, sprinting, and big bodyweight movements like jump squats, burpees, high knees, and mountain climbers.
You want to be using as many body parts at once, lots of compound movements. If you
can’t perform those movements due to age or injury, then choose whatever other forms
of cardio you can perform safely like the exercise bike, stepper and/ or treadmill etc.
CREATE A CIRCUIT:
Keeping to the formula of 20 second high intensity intervals with a 10 second rest period,
you can create a really dynamic and interesting circuit for yourself.