Tabata Training – Stay Fit in Only 4 Minutes a Day!
The tabata method is used by athletes and martial artists around the world to burn fat and increase strength and stamina. It’s an incredibly efficient method of exercise which not only burns calories while you’re working out – it also increases your metabolic rate for hours afterwards, meaning that you continue to burn calories at a higher rate, even when you have finished exercising.
This workout will also boost your aerobic and anaerobic capacity by up to 14% and 28%. It’s an incredibly intense workout, so should be built up to if you are not used to regular physical activity. This is not recommended for people with heart problems, or people who are obese or pregnant.
How to have a tabata workout
The method itself is very simple: workout at your maximum rate for 20 seconds and then rest for 10 seconds. Repeat that cycle 8 times (so repeat it for 4 minutes). Ensure that you are pushing yourself in every 20 second stint, and don’t ‘pace yourself’. If you don’t push as hard as you can, you won’t receive the full benefits of the tabata workout.
There are plenty of great timers on the internet if you’re exercising in your living room or near a computer. Otherwise, timers such as the gymboss timer are fantastic (I use the gymboss in class). You can look at a clock, but the problem with timing yourself manually is that you will either end up pacing yourself instead of really pushing during the 20-second bursts of exercise, or you will simply time it wrong.
You can use any exercise you want during a tabata workout – this is why it’s a fantastic workout to do at home, as you can simply do bodyweight exercises. If you’d like some inspiration, why not try:
Using a cross trainer
If it’s your first time, try to do an exercise you’re comfortable that you can do well. If, for example, you have a weak upper body, and choose to do push ups, you will not do the exercise properly and will not get the full benefit from the tabata workout. If your aim is to lose weight and burn more calories, try to exercise larger muscle groups such as the quads – this will increase the number of calories that you burn during the session.
In order to get the maximum benefit from the exercise, ensure that you eat well before and after the workout to ensure that your muscles have the nutrients they need, and always hydrate.