In partnership with Decibel Nutrition
The number one excuse for not getting fit is always a ‘lack of time’. Well Tabata makes a mockery of that cop-out.
Tabata training is HIIT (high-intensity interval-training) on steroids. It consists of eight rounds of sky-high intensity, alternating 20 seconds of lung-busting intervals with 10 seconds of rest and heavy breathing.
It takes a mere four minutes but can turn your body into a calorie-incinerating furnace for up to 48 hours, doesn’t require any equipment or gym membership and is so simple you could do a session now (go on, I dare ya).
The movement was born in 1996 after Japanese scientist Izumi Tabata ran experiments comparing moderate intensity exercise with quickfire bouts of HIIT.
One group cycled for one hour, five days per week for six weeks. The other trained for a fraction of the time, doing just four minutes of ruthlessly high-intensity workouts on the bikes four days per week for six weeks.
After six weeks were up, the second group saw huge gains in both aerobic and anaerobic fitness (the first only improved their aerobic performance) – and thus, Tabata was seized upon as the time-saving solution for beer bellies around the world.
Further studies have shown that although you don’t use up a huge amount of calories during those four minutes, the aggressive nature of the workout sparks an internal reaction that burns shed-loads of calories for hours, even days, afterward.
This is known as the Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC) effect.
For it to kick in and melt away stubborn fat, you need to push your body to its absolute limit during those four minutes (and so a warm-up and warm-down is advised so you don’t pop a lung).
Gym chains have got on the Tabata bandwagon and offer classes using the protocol. But you can also download HIIT or Tabata timer apps on your phone and put them into practice with these fat-blitzing workouts.
Gym Workout Tabata: Rowing
Row as hard as you can for 20 seconds, then rest for 10, for eight total cycles.
Make a note of how far you row in each 20 second spell and try to match or beat it each time until you crumple off the ergo.
Home Workout Tabata: Mountain Climbers And Jump Squats
For a full-body kit-free tabata, alternate mountain climbers and jump squats for four cycles each.
For mountain climbers, start in the top of a press-up position and quickly jump your legs forwards and backwards one at a time.
For jump squats, start on your feet, lower yourself into a half squat and then drive up powerfully to jump high off the floor.
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