Tabata Training: The 4 Minute Miracle

woman sprinting training on a track

If you’re thinking you’re legs are about to fall off, and sucking wind like crazy, signs are you’re doing a Tabata workout correctly. You may be wondering why anyone would intentionally do that to themselves, but there is a reason that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a go-to workout. 

This Japanese exercise import is super effective and super hard! Tabata is the name of the Japanese researcher who discovered a way to increase both anaerobic and aerobic pathways at the same time. It’s an excellent training program. It fits across all training disciplines, for athletes and beginners looking to increase their VO2max and lose fat quickly. To read the whole study, check out this article published by the National Center for Biotechnology.

How to do a HIIT Workout

It’s simple! After warming up, choose a maximum intensity exercise and perform it in the following manner:

  1. For 20 seconds, do as many reps as possible of your maximum intensity exercise. Or run/bike as hard as you can–with 110% output.
  2. Rest for 10 seconds.
  3. Repeat seven more times for a total of 4 minutes.
  4. Cool down and stretch.

Yes, it’s short, but you have to go ALL OUT to get the big benefits.

Getting Started with Tabata/HIIT

Choose the Right Exercise or Movement

Tabata can be done with any exercise, but the best exercise options are those that use a large number of muscles. Examples include bicycle sprints, squats, jumping rope, mountain climbers, push-ups, row machine, or running on a mini-tramp or treadmill. Start with the one you’re comfortable with.

Watch the Clock

Get a timer. Many apps are available for your iPhone, iPod or a gymboss works great.

Be Your Own Cheerleader

Get the right mental attitude; a positive mantra that will get you through it!

Increase your weight or intensity if you are able to complete each round without reaching MMF (momentary muscular failure). 

A ten-second break is a ten-second break! Ten seconds is not watching a video, talking to the cute girl on the bike, talking to a friend, then doing the next set. If you cheat, you’re only cheating yourself out of reaping the rewards of this intense workout.

What is Mountain Trek?

Mountain Trek is the health reset you’ve been looking for. Our award-winning retreat, immersed in the lush nature of British Columbia, will help you unplug, recharge, and roll back years of stress and unhealthy habits. To learn more about the retreat, and how we can help you reset your health, please email us at or reach out below: