“His palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy. There’s vomit on his sweater already, mom’s spaghetti.”
~Eminem Lose Yourself
Oddly enough, one of the first lines of Eminem’s 2002 hit describes a Tabata workout accurately. Sweat leaking from every pore, nausea, seeing stars, sucking aggressively on the wind. Yeah, that sounds about right. That’s how you know you’re doing the Tabata workout correctly.
If you’re new to the fitness craze that has high-intensity interval training enthusiasts reeling, you’re probably wondering why anyone would subject themselves to this kind of torture. A workout routine doesn’t have to be so excessively killer, does it?
But as many Tabata workout miracle receivers would have it, the high-intensity training regimen is so worth it. Doing as little as 4 minutes (that’s one “Tabata”) can increase your aerobic capacity, anaerobic capacity, VO2 max, resting metabolic rate, and can help you burn more fat than a traditional hour-long burst in the gym.
There are fitness gains to be had in under one hour…
Tabata Workout in a Nutshell
The high-intensity interval training style was developed by Dr. Izumi Tabata — a Japanese professor. It was designed to train Olympic speed skaters in the late 1990s. But nowadays, the Tabata workout has been applied to just about any exercise regimen.
It’s pretty easy to remember: 20 seconds of hard work, followed by 10 seconds of rest, and then repeat. Do it for seven or more times, and go as hard as you can go. And when we say “as hard as you can go,” we aren’t talking about leisurely jogging. We mean a hundred percent maximum intensity.
And how do you know if you’re doing it right? At the end of the 4 minutes, you’ll feel like you’re dying.
Time to Get Started
If you’re unsure about where to or how to even start your Tabata workout, you needn’t worry. There are numerous tutorials on YouTube alone, and you could try those if you can truly keep up. Shape has a list of ten fat burning Tabata workouts that you can look at for ideas.
A Tabata workout can be done with just about any exercise. So, for starters, it’s advisable to choose the one you’re extremely comfortable with. Most people choose to sprint on a treadmill.
The second thing you’d want is a good timer. No matter how good you think you are at estimating the passing seconds, you can’t do it effectively after the first 20 and 10 seconds have initially passed. Trust us, your brain is fuzzy by that time.
And lastly, find a mantra you can repeat in time with your constant footfalls. You’re going to need it with each twenty-second burst. This will help you keep your mind off of the excruciating pain, and will actually help you focus better on what you’re doing.
How does it even work?
A Tabata workout is characterized by repeated 20-second bursts followed by 10-second resting periods. The short rest intervals force the body to keep moving before it actually recovers from the previous set — and that is part of the reason why Tabata leads to significant anaerobic and aerobic gains.
When performed correctly, you’ll find yourself reaping loads of strength and cardio benefits. The long-lasting consequence of this high-intensity interval training is the afterburn effect. Long story short, this means you keep burning calories for hours after the quick workout routine has ended.
A Tabata workout isn’t ideal for novices because, in the process of squeezing in as many reps as possible, you’ll be moving fast. For workout newbies, this can mean possible injuries if you’re not careful. But on the bright side, there’s a Tabata workout for beginners as well.
In the end, if you’re truly ecstatic about the idea of burning calories and losing weight quicker than the norm, then a Tabata workout is definitely what you should be after.