Natural Balance Foods

What is Tabata training?


Short on time or looking for something a little more full on? Then maybe Tabata training is for you, but be warned – it’s not easy! A form of interval training, Tabata takes just sixteen minutes a day and according to its founder (we’ll get to him) it gives you the level of effort equating to an hour of moderate jogging. Sounds good (but tough)! So, let’s take a closer look and see what it’s all about…

Based in science

Tabata training is named after its inventor, Dr. Izumio Tabata who is a Japanese researcher and physician who wanted to see how far he could push the effects of interval training. His research involved two groups who were put on an exercise program for six weeks, where one group did an hour of moderate exercise five days a week with the others doing 20 second bursts of high activity followed by a 10 second rest. The results after showed that the interval group improved their aerobic and anaerobic fitness by up to 28% and before long, Tabata training became a new fitness trend.

So why does it work

Just like traditional HIIT, Tabata training raises your metabolism and heart rate very quickly, making your body work really hard to keep up. Because of the stop-start nature of the exercise, it keeps your metabolism at a high rate after you finish your work out.

Another bonus is that the Tabata method of cardio does not reduce your muscle tissue in any way and actually puts stress on them as well as your cardiovascular system for a more complete workout. Finally, your anaerobic and aerobic capacity will benefit from Tabata, meaning that you will have more energy and stamina when exercising or exerting yourself.

How do I do it?

Whatever exercise you choose, they should use as many muscles as possible to get the full benefit. Many different movements and pieces of equipment can be incorporated into your Tabata workout. For example, you can use:

  • Sprints
  • Push ups
  • Squats
  • Planks
  • Crunches
  • Weights

Take four of these and do 20 seconds of one before resting for the next 10 seconds before moving onto the next. This should take four minutes in all – perform the whole cycle again three more times for 16 minutes in total.

This is intense training so we wouldn’t recommend this for beginners! Try to build up the power as you go along, so don’t go all out in the first cycle or you want make it through the last. Stay with what you’re comfortable with and see how you improve as you go along. It won’t be easy but your fitness should go through the roof if you keep at it!


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