Posted on July 18, 2018 by Josh Puttock

If you thought that High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) couldn’t get any more challenging, let me introduce its more demanding off-spring: Tabata. Like HIIT, Tabata works on a basis of working out with periods of rest and high anaerobic output. The difference being, Tabata is split at a 2:1 ratio of 20 seconds with 10 seconds of rest for a rotation of eight rounds.

With that in mind, the big win for people who want to grapple with the beast of Tabata is that it lasts for four minutes. Yes, really! Another advantage is that Tabata workouts are known to burn 15 calories per minute. Unfortunately, just doing four minutes of exercise does not guarantee you instant results. What it will guarantee you though is that you’ll never want to hear the word “Tabata” uttered ever again!

Hard work

As the workout and rest periods are so short, maximum energy output is expected with minimal recovery, meaning you’ll be working on, and towards, major oxygen deficit. Basically, these will be the longest four minutes of your life… If this is your first ever time experimenting with HIIT, move along please, there’s nothing to see here.

Tabata should only be for more experience exercisers, although the 2:1 ratio can be used with less demanding exercises with fewer rounds and cycles. Yep, you read correctly, four minutes is only assigned to two exercises being repeated, you will then have one minute to recover before four minutes of another two exercises, so on and so forth.

There are loads of Tabata apps available to download on iPhones and Android phones which will make it easier for you to track the intervals: Tabata Pro, Tabata Stopwatch, Seconds, the list goes on. If all you’ve read still tickles your fancy and you want to to give this a good go, download your app and continue with the below.

Tabata workout

Warm up for 10 minutes with a light jog and dynamic stretches, turn on your app and get ready. Remember – 20 seconds all out with 10 seconds rest each exercise for 8 rounds. One-minute rest then move onto the next cycle of exercises.

1st Cycle:

Alternate jumping lunges & mountain climbers

2nd Cycle:

Jumping squats & Russian twists

3rd Cycle:

High knees & modified push-up

4th Cycle:

V-ups & alternate curtsy lunges

5th Cycle:

Tuck jumps & lying scissor kicks

By Hoi Yin Tsui, Gym & Spa Operative