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If you’re up to speed about all things fitness (as we know you are!) you’ll have heard the word ‘Tabata’ bandied about. Although it’s quite popular in the States, not much is known about it in South Africa. So, in this article, we thought that we’d take a look at what Tabata training is and how this can help you in your workouts.

The Tabata style of training is probably one of the more popular forms of high-intensity interval training (HIIT). This type of training is made up of eight rounds of ultra-high-intensity exercises. These moves are conducted in a particular 20-seconds-on, 10-seconds-off interval. It is possible for a Tabata workout to take four minutes however, those four minutes may well be responsible for pushing your body to its absolute limit.

Tabata is nothing new

The Tabata style of exercising was actually designed decades ago by the now world-famous scientist, professor Izumi Tabata. It was originally designed as a method of training for Olympic speed skaters.

Today, you are probably familiar with a version of this type of training method, in other words HIIT. Tabata takes HIIT one step further. Intervals with Tabata are shorter (which means shorter rests, as well) in addition to more intense workouts than the ones which you’re used to.

Tabata is intense in order to deliver results. Over the past 20 years, study after study have confirmed that this type of exercise has the ability to improve cardiovascular fitness, boost metabolism (research shows that Tabata burns over 13 calories per minute) as well as change body composition.

Is HIIT or Tabata better for maintain fitness?

Both choices are great for fat-burning in addition to building muscle. Your results are shaped according to the exercises which are mixed into your circuits as well as the effort which you put in. So, for example, if your fitness goal is to build and develop arm muscle, add in strengthening moves such as tricep dips. However, if you’re attempting to lose weight, increase your  cardio. What’s very important is to build in recovery days is crucial. Don’t HIIT as well as Tabata workouts on consecutive days.

Tabata is a great stepping stone. If you’re don’t have enough time, or maybe are just getting into an exercise routine, four minutes is all you need to get a great workout. Then as you get stronger, you can advance to lengthier HIITs as well as do more rounds with more complex moves in order to really challenge yourself.

What would a Tabata workout look like?

You can do almost any exercise you that you want in a Tabata workout. For example, you can perform squats, push-ups, burpees or, alternatively, any other exercise which works your large muscle groups. Kettlebell exercises are great as well.

One example of a Tabata workout would look like this:

  • Push-ups (four minutes),
  • Bodyweight Squats (four minutes),
  • Burpees (four minutes), and
  • Mountain Climbers (four minutes).

Begin with push-ups. Do these for 20 seconds at a high-intensity. Take a rest for 10 seconds and then return to doing push-ups for 20 seconds. As soon as you complete eight sets of push-ups, take a break for one minute.

Next, go on to squats. Repeat sequences of 20 seconds on, with 10 seconds off. As soon as you complete eight sets of squats, take a break for one minute. Then move onto burpees. After you’re done with burpees, complete the workout with mountain climbers.

Tabata is fantastic in order to get in a quick workout if you’re in a hurry. Alternatively, use this exercise modality if you need to change up your routine or, alternatively, if you want improve endurance as well as speed. Include this type of workout into your fitness routine to produce results.

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