Tabata Training: 2 Workouts to Help You Reach Your Goal

You don't need to spend hours in the gym to lose weight or tone up. Intense, focused and shorter workouts are far more effective. That's where tabata training comes in.

Tabata, which grew out of a six-week study in 1996, can help you reach your goals. Here's how.

Tabata is a form of interval training and is proven to be effective. Researcher Izumi Tabata held a six-week study on the effects of moderate-intensity and high-intensity training on anaerobic capacity and VO2 max.

More: What is Tabata Training

Under the study, one group performed moderate exercise for 60 minutes, five days a week. Another group performed exercise using 20 seconds of extreme intensity (170-percent VO2max) followed by 10 seconds of rest. This was repeated for 7 to 8 rounds and done four days a week. On the fifth day, they performed 30 minutes of moderate intensity. Results showed the high-intensity group had an increase in both anaerobic capacity and VO2 max.

The study concluded that tabata training is a great model for fat loss and to boost VO2 max—ideal for endurance athletes.

If you're looking to boost your endurance performance, trim fat, or switch up your routine, put tabata training to the test.

More: The Science Behind Tabata

If you're new to working out—especially tabata training—start with 20 seconds of work followed by 40 seconds of rest. Do this for one week. Then progress to 20 seconds on and 30 seconds off for another week, then 20 on, 20 off, each week decreasing your rest time. This will give your body time to adapt to the stimulus and improve.

Tabata Training Sample

Here are two workouts that you can incorporate into your routine.

Option #1 — Bodyweight Strength-Interval Routine

Week 1: Alternate bodyweight squats and push-ups for 8 rounds (4 rounds each)—20 seconds on, 20 off
Week 2: Alternate jump squats and push-ups for 8 rounds (4 rounds each)—20 seconds on, 20 off
Week 3: Alternate bodyweight squats and push-ups for 8 rounds (4 rounds each)—20 seconds on, 10 off
Week 4: Alternate jump squats and push-ups for 8 rounds (4 rounds each)—20 seconds on, 10 off

Option #2 — Sprint Interval Routine

Week 1: Sprint for 20 seconds, walk for 40 seconds. Repeat 8 times
Week 2: Sprint for 20 seconds, walk for 30 seconds. Repeat 8 times
Week 3: Sprint for 20 seconds, walk for 20 seconds. Repeat 8 times
Week 4: Sprint for 20 seconds, walk for 10 seconds. Repeat 8 times
*You can do this outside or on a treadmill.

Always speak with your doctor before starting a new workout program.

More: 11 Butt-Kicking Tabata Moves

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About the Author

Doug Balzarini, CSCS, MMA-CC, is a fitness professional and the founder of DB Strength in San Diego. He is also the head strength and conditioning coach for Alliance Training Center where he works with many top professional MMA athletes. Visit www.dbstrength.com for more information.

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