Many folks believe that you need a gym membership or fancy home gym to get a comprehensive workout. Not necessarily true. It is possible to get a good workout without either one. I want to discuss how to get a good 30-minute workout without a gym, based on a Tabata workout. The two-part series will discuss Tabata (today post), while the second part will provide a 20-30-minute comprehensive workout based on Tabata. Look for that later this month.

What is Tabata Training:

Tabata is a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout, featuring exercises that last four minutes – that’s it! If you regularly read my blog, you’ll know that I’m a big fan of HIIT. For most (not all) people, it’s an all-around workout. I say most because it depends on your current fitness level and overall health. As always, please consult with a fitness trainer and/or your physician before you launch in an intensive workout.

About Tabata:

A team of researchers led by Dr. Izumi Tabata at the Japanese National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo is credited with what became known as Tabata Training.

They divided athletes into two groups of athletes. One group trained at a moderate intensity level, while the other trained at a high-intensity level. Group One, the moderate-intensity group, trained for one hour, five days a week, for six weeks. Meanwhile, Group Two, the high-intensity group, worked out four minutes and 20-seconds, four days a week, for six weeks.

When the research team reviewed the results, Group One (moderate intensity) had increased their cardiovascular system, but showed little to no benefits for their anaerobic (muscle) system). Group Two (high-intensity) showed a more considerable increase in their aerobic system compared to Group One. They also showed far better results than Group One when it came to their anaerobic system – a gain of 28-percent.

Overall, the researchers concluded that high-intensity interval training has more benefit on both the aerobic and anaerobic systems.

The Tabata Workout:

The Tabata Workout, based on the researchers’ findings, is just four minutes long per set. To achieve results similar to the research findings, you’ll have to crank up the intensity as follows:

  • High-intensity workout for 20 seconds (push yourself as hard as you can)
  • Rest for 10 seconds to complete one set.
  • Do eight rounds per exercise for four minutes each.
  • Do a total of 20-minutes.

You can do any high-intensity workout. Ideally, you should rotate the exercises – after each round, change to a different high-intensity activity.

For example, you can start with burpees, doing them for 20 seconds at a high-intensity. Rest for 10 seconds, repeat for 20 seconds. Once you complete eight sets of burpees, you can rest for one minute. Then, you would do a different high-intensity exercise such as squats and repeat the sequence you did with burpees: 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off. Once you do eight sets of squats, rest for one minute, and then move on to another high-intensity exercise.

The Tabata workout is an excellent way to kick up your metabolism and improve your overall fitness and muscle strength. It’s also good if you want to build endurance and speed.

My next blog post later this month will be the second part of this series and provide a 20-30 second HIIT training program based on the Tabata benefits.