Tabata training is a High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workout that lasts four minutes. It is an improved form of interval training, an exercise approach alternating periods of short intense anaerobic exercise with less-intense recovery periods. HIIT is a form of cardiovascular exercise.

Tabata was discovered by Japanese scientist Dr. Izumi Tabata and a team of researchers from the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo. He conducted tests on two groups of athletes; comparing moderate high intensity training with high intensity interval training. The results were that the athletes working out in high intensity interval training (four days a week for six weeks; each workout lasted 4 minutes and 20 seconds with 10 seconds of rest in between each set) improved their cardiovascular systems as well as their anaerobic system (muscles). The athletes who did the moderate high intensity training (five days a week for a six weeks; one hour workouts) only improved their aerobic system and had little to no increase in their anaerobic system (cardiovascular).

The Tabata training lasts only four minutes, however the main objective is to push yourself as hard as you can for each of 20 seconds workouts, and rest for 10 seconds between them until you complete eight sets. You can do virtually any exercise you wish. You can do squats, pushups, rows, etc… Any exercise that works your large muscle groups is strongly recommended. Tabata protocol burns an extra 150 calories in the 12 hours after exercise, even at rest, due to the effect of excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. So while it is used by most people to get fit – or by fit people to get even fitter – it also burns fat.

Tabata is useful to get a quick workout in if you are short on time, wish to change your routine, or need to improve endurance speed. Incorporate this type of workout into your fitness routine and produce results. However, the Tabata training could be a little bit risky for those other than experienced athletes, so beginners better to start at a low intensity, and stay within their comfort zone. Once they feel they are getting stronger, they can then increase the intensity little by little.

Please view the Tabata video below: