If you’re looking for something a little more intense or want a good workout in a shorter amount of time, Tabata training is the one for you! At its core, Tabata is a form of interval training which takes just sixteen minutes a day, but be warned, it’s not easy! Here’s the lowdown….
Backed by science
The training is actually named after Dr. Izumio Tabata, a physician and researcher who was looking into different and more effective ways to train. His research involved taking two groups of people and putting them on different exercise programs for two weeks to measure the difference. The first group were put on an hour-long exercise program five days a week, with the other doing 20 second bursts of high activity followed by a ten-second rest. The results showed that the second group actually increased aerobic and anaerobic fitness by up to 28% which proved Tabata’s theory.
Why does it work so well?
As with normal interval training, Tabata raises your heart rate very quickly which makes your body work even harder to keep up. In addition, one major benefit of interval training as a whole is that your metabolism keeps on burning after you’ve finished working because of how often you switch up the intensity of movement.
Another bonus of the Tabata method as compared to some other interval training types is that it can help you tone and build muscle, instead of solely focusing on cardio. This is because Tabata can incorporate a whole range of different muscles such as your core, arms and back.
You can tailor your workout according to your goals or ability but try to engage a range of muscles to get the most benefit. Here are a few ideas:
- Light weights
Choose any four of the above and carry out a 20 second set of one at a high effort level, before resting for ten seconds and moving onto the next. This should total to about four minutes for one full circuit, which you should then repeat three more times, totalling in sixteen minutes for the whole workout.
Remember that this is a pretty hardcore workout - Try to build up the intensity and power as you go along so that you are able to make it through all four circuits. Listen to your body and stay with what you are comfortable with. It’s hard work but the results will speak for themselves!