Tabata Training: The 4 Minute Miracle

Thinking you are going to die, that your butt is getting kicked and sucking wind are signs you are 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 becoming 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 that seems to fit across all training disciplines for athletes looking to increase their VO2max and lose fat quickly.  Here is a link to find out more about the study

trainingWhat is the workout?

Its simple: after warming up, take one exercise and perform it in the following manner;
1) For 20 seconds, do as many reps as possible, or run, bike as hard as you can, maximum intensity exercise (and I mean as hard as you can go, 100 % MAX)
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

First: Tabata can be done with any exercise but the best exercise options are those that use a large number of muscles such as; bicycle sprints, squats, jumping robe, mountain climbers, push ups, row machine or running on a mini tramp or treadmill, start with one you’re comfortable with.

Second: Get a timer. Apps are available for your iPhone, iPod or a gymboss works great.

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

To track your progress workout to workout use the “lowest rep number” of any of the eight sets as your measurement. If you go too heavy, the last set may be two and if you go too light, you might get 15 reps or more.

Ten second break is a ten second break! Ten seconds is not getting a drink, looking in the mirror, talking to the cute girl on the bike, talking to a friend, then doing the next set. No cheating!