Just 4 minutes of a Tabata workout can burn fat. Going on up on HIIT or high intensity interval training, Tabata workouts are the latest fitness trend that was sensationalized the world over by Japanese fitness research scientist Doctor Izumi Tabata. After extensive research in 1996 at the national institute of fitness in Japan Dr Tabata created the workout and it is his style of tabata that is the real tabata workout. Today you may get variations of this exercise, but it is Dr Tabata’s original protocols that can yield the most benefits.
1 What Is The Tabata Workout?
Tabata workout or the Tabata Protocol burns 15 calories every 1 minutes and benefits cardio respiratory endurance according to a study in the journal of sports science medicine 2013. Whereas an HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout will last upto 45 minutes, a single Tabata workout is all of 4 minutes. A tabata workout will consist of:
- 20 seconds intense exercise
- 10 seconds rest
- 8 repetitions
- 2 minutes rest
So that’s 240 seconds of workout time resulting in 4 minutes. Tabata training involves both aerobic and anaerobic exercises. It increases your body’s metabolic rate as well as heart rate. The intensity of the exercise gives a huge boost to the body’s metabolism resulting in fat burning long after you’ve finished exercising.
2 Benefits of a tabata workout
- Instant fat loss
- Increases muscle tissue
- Increases strength and endurance
- Tabata Increases anaerobic and aerobic capacity
- Improves circulation
- Increases energy
- Improves cardiovascular health
In the study conducted by Doctor Tabata, two groups were put through an exercise program for 6 weeks. One group performed one hour of moderate HIIT five days a week. The other group performed tabata training. Thus where the tabata group performed 120 minutes of training, the other group performed 1800 minutes of training. At the end of six weeks it was observed that the Tabata group improved on all accounts of fitness levels, especially their anaerobic and aerobic capacities by 28%.
The Tabata workout is now regarded as the best aerobic cardio workout ever to be discovered. A 20 second burst of Tabata will consume the highest amount of oxygen required for energy production. 4 minutes of tabata activity will burn calories equivalent to an hour of jogging.
A traditional tabata protocol workout
- 5 minutes warm up
- On an exercise bike cycle as fast as possible upto 20 seconds
- Rest 10 seconds
- Repeat 8 times
In the same way of using an exercising bike, you can also use a treadmill in full intensity for 10 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds. Repeat 8 times which means a full 4 minutes of workout. The Tabata workout is versatile enough for you to create your own intense activity without weights.
3 Important Factors to consider for the Tabata workout
- Tabata workout is advanced workouts, beginners should first attempt easy and lower intensity exercises
- Ease into the tabata workout gradually
- It should be performed only with cardio equipment
- Do not use weights or Kettle balls
- Use a heart rate monitor to record safe
- Before trying any High intensity workout consult with your physician
Regardless of what exercise you choose, the workouts should benefit every single muscle in your body. For the initial weeks of Tabata workouts you will feel soreness in muscles. But your body will automatically adjust to the workout. Soon all you will feel is moderate usual soreness.
When performing a Tabata workout you need to ensure a healthy and nutritional diet that gives you all of the essential vitamins, minerals and BCAAs (Branch Chain Amino acids) required for muscle recovery. Foods rich in BCAAs such as leucine, Iso Leucine and glutamine are Meat, Chicken breast, eggs, dairy, cottage cheese, fish, beans, spinach, parsley and cabbage.
4 Tabata workouts for beginners
Broad jump to fast feet
A great exercise for your glutes and core. In standing position take a broad jump as far as possible. Then walk backwards preferably on your toes back to starting position
Perform a lateral lunge to your right with your right leg keeping your left straight. Now return and transfer weight onto your left leg in a subtle jump lift your right leg as shown in the image.
One leg Burpees
Start in push up position and jump up and down with one leg kicking it out backwards out and back in again. Repeat with other foot.
Stair climbing exercise
This is the classic stair climbing exercise where stadium steps are the best. Alternately you could do this at home taking two steps at a time.
Squat thrust to frog jump
Perform a squat then with both palms on the ground kick out your legs behind you and return to squat position. Always consult your doctor before trying the Tabata workout as this is an advanced workout and not suitable for those with health issues.