Tabata training is a HIIT (intensive interval training) training with exercises lasting four minutes.
As the fitness industry evolves and grows, more and more training regimes will emerge. Some of them are designed to build muscle, some of them are designed to lose weight and some of them are designed simply to achieve a healthier lifestyle. But, fitness is difficult, so it’s important that you select a style that is effective for your body.
One style of training that has rapidly risen in popularity is Tabata. It is an intense method, but like the old adage goes – nothing worthwhile is easy! Tabata is a form of HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training), and you’ll need to perform each exercise for four minutes.
What is HIIT?
HIIT is a technique that gives you an all over body workout, making you push for 100% in a quick session. According to a recent survey conducted by The American College of Sports Medicine, HIIT is set to become a leading fitness trend this year and next, alongside bodyweight training and wearable technology.
HIIT is characterised by quick bursts of ‘all in’ training followed by mini rest periods. This is done over a series of different exercises in quick succession. Your heart rate should remain at an elevated level for the duration of the workout and you don’t get rest periods.
The science behind the effectiveness of HIIT relates to your body’s increased need for oxygen during such intense exercise sessions. Your body finds itself with an oxygen shortage thus causing your body to ask for more. This, in turn, helps you to burn more fat and calories (the good part) compared to more traditional, less intensive workouts. If you want to stay trim and healthy, read on!
Roundup – five fast facts about HIIT training
- HIIT training increases your metabolism, meaning you burn fat and calories faster. This effect lasts for up to 48 hours post your workout. So, even when you have stopped working out, your body is still working hard for you.
- Quick and efficient – Because your workouts are fast, and you don’t take long recovery breaks, you can get your workout done in 30 minutes, from anywhere!
- No gym equipment needed – you can use your own body weight for the exercise reps, no expensive or heavy equipment required. Think star jumps, push-ups, sprints, squats and lunges.
- You can accessorise your workouts with exercise balls, free weights or even skipping ropes.
- These types of exercises result in optimal muscle development combined with fat loss and greater calorie burn.
These fast facts mean regardless of where you find yourself in the world, and whatever your day throws at you, rest assured you will have the time and space to do your HIIT workout. Your body will thank you.
Now that we know a little more about HIIT training, let’s discuss the origins of the most popular version of HIIT – Tabata training! Read on.
The Origins of Tabata Training
It was first introduced in Japan by Dr Izumi Tabata, hence the name of the training method. But, he was assisted by a team of expert researchers from the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo. Firstly, a group of athletes were instructed to exercise at moderate intensity. Then, another group was told to perform at high intensity.
The first group were given a program consisting of five workouts a week which lasted one hour each, and this was done for six weeks. On the other hand, the second group were told to train four days a week, for the same length of time, but each session lasted just four minutes and 20 seconds (10 seconds rest was given in between each set).
The moderate-intensity group did see some results in terms of cardiovascular capacity but did not gain any muscle. Whereas, the high-intensity group experienced much more progress in terms of their cardiovascular system, as well as a noticeable 28 percent muscle gain.
This highlights the fact that HIIT training allows an individual to improve both their aerobic (cardiovascular) and anaerobic (muscle) systems drastically at the same time.
Is A Tabata Workout Prone To Injury?
Let’s face it – there is never a good time to get an injury. But will Tabata training increase your chances of injuring yourself? Let’s take a close look.
There are some cons when it comes to Tabata training:
- If you have high blood pressure or heart issues, avoid Tabata all together
- If you experience lower back pain or have scoliosis, speak with your local chiropractor before starting any high-intensity exercise training program
- Also, if you don’t warm up or cool down properly, you may be more prone to pull a muscle or lift weights the wrong way
The Tabata Program
Although each exercise within the Tabata training regime has a duration of four minutes. They demand that you complete them at your full capacity to get the most out of them. This is how you’re training will go:
- Train intensely for 20 seconds
- Rest for 10 seconds
- Do that for 8 rounds
To make it clear in terms of sets – one set will be an exercise for 20 seconds and the 10 second rest. Then, you’ll need to complete 8 sets of every exercise that you do. You see, the great thing about Tabata training is that it can apply to any exercise. Vary from squats or burpees to push-ups and sit-ups. Although, it’s best to utilize compound movements.
Here is an example:
- Squats (4 minutes)
- Push-ups (4 minutes)
- Burpees (4 minutes)
- Sit-ups (4 minutes)
In between each of those exercises, you’ll want to make sure you have a minute of rest. This is so you can approach the next exercise fresh enough to complete it at an incredibly high-intensity.
Ultimately, the Tabata style is a superb option if you’re strapped for time. Though you still want to get an effective workout in. But, it’s also a brilliant choice if you want to keep your training exciting, as it’s a completely unique method of training. One thing that’s guaranteed is that you’ll notice results!