What Is Tabata Training?

With phrases like “what is tabata workout” hitting the top of Google searches, we figured it was time to talk about it. 

Here, we’re going to focus on all things Tabata—what it is, where it comes from, and how you can incorporate it into your fitness routine. 

What Is Tabata?

Tabata exercise is a style of high-intensity interval training (commonly referred to as HIIT). 

Unlike other HIIT training exercises, a typical Tabata workout consists of eight intervals of 20 seconds at 100% intensity followed by 10 seconds of rest for a total of four minutes of work. You might be asking yourself, “how in the world can a four-minute workout do any good?”

Well, one round of Tabata interval training improves both aerobic and anaerobic fitness simultaneously. This is ultimately a high-intensity workout that provides highly efficient results. 

Where Does It Come From?

The Tabata training method originated in Japan, and its name comes from its founder, Professor Izumi Tabata. 

Professor Tabata is the Dean of the Ritsumeikan University Graduate School of Sport and Health Science. He was also a coach of the Japanese national speed skating team in the early ’90s, where he adapted interval training that was already being used by the team.

This led to him developing an entire study to see just how effective these high-intensity-style training workouts could be. His results showed improved anaerobic energy endurance and an elevated maximum oxygen deficit. 

So what does this mean? Effectively, it means that high-intensity workouts like the ones developed for his speed skating team produce better physical performance. The beauty of this is that we can use these workouts to make our bodies function better on a day-to-day basis. 

Who Should Do Tabata?

One caveat of Tabata is that you should be in good physical health before you do it (it’s important to ask your doctor about trying a new exercise).

If you are injured, pregnant or postpartum, struggle with heart and bone health, or don’t have a foundational knowledge of safe exercising (if you aren’t totally sure about correct form), it’s vital that you recover, seek treatment, and get the support of health and fitness professionals on your journey to Tabata. 

For those who are in good health and have the green light from their doctor, Tabata is a powerful tool to take your performance both outside and inside the gym to a new level.

What Are The Benefits Of Tabata?

Because Tabata supports both our aerobic and anaerobic capacities, it comes with a whole lot of benefits. 

Endurance

Tabata supports both anaerobic capacity and the amount of oxygen you take in while doing your workout (this is also known as VO2 max and is a standard performance indicator across the sports and fitness world). Your endurance is going to improve with Tabata.

Efficiency 

Tabata is an efficient workout because it pushes your body to its limits over a very short period. That means, those of you who want to get your heart rate up but don’t have the time to run marathons (or maybe those who just don’t have the patience to) can get lots of the same benefits (and more) in a short amount of time. 

Disease Risk Reduction

Tabata and other interval training regimens can actually reduce your risk of getting heart disease. Incorporating quick, powerful workouts into your life is a great way to make some beneficial lifestyle changes. 

Power

As we said, Tabata is a form of interval training. Studies like this one that specifically looked at baseball players have shown that interval training improves athletic performance, including power.

Mental Health

Anaerobic exercises have been shown to improve not only physical performance, but also mental health. This is especially true as we age.Working out allows us to be more independent in our advanced years, ultimately helping us stay healthy and happy both in the gym and at home. 

Weight Loss And Maintenance 

Being healthy and striving for physical fitness doesn’t necessarily mean you need to lose weight. However, if your health goals do include weight loss, Tabata and other forms of high-intensity training are an excellent tool for weight loss

How To Do A Tabata Workout

Tabata is, above all, adaptable. You can do these workouts with almost any type of movement, like squats, kettlebell swings, burpees, push-ups, and more. 

The most important thing you’ll need for a Tabata workout is a timer. Therefore, a clock at the gym, your phone clock, or even an interval timer app will come in handy.

One round of Tabata with burpees will look like 20 seconds of full-out burpees and 10 seconds of rest repeated eight times. If you want to do a longer Tabata cardio workout, try four rounds of this with four different exercises. This gives you the flexibility to incorporate different muscle groups in your training. 

No matter your fitness level or how you choose to adapt Tabata, it’s a great addition to your wellness routine. And here at Chuze Fitness, we have all of the tools you could possibly need to get to work!

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