Tabata is one of the quickest ways to boost metabolism and burn fat.
You may have heard the term “Tabata” before. I am often asked by my HIIT class participants what exactly a Tabata is, where it came from, and what the benefits are.
Tabata is a form of HIIT (high intensity interval training) that can increase your aerobic and anaerobic capacity, increase metabolism and shed fat in a short amount of time. It got its name from the person who created it: Dr. Izumi Tabata, a Japanese doctor and researcher who conducted interval training studies, specifically 20-second bursts of high intensity with shorter periods of rest.
In recent years, it’s grown in popularity because it saves time. One round of Tabata lasts only four minutes. It is eight 20-second intervals of all-out, high-intensity work followed by 10 seconds of rest. Four minutes may not sound like much, but it should be the most uncomfortable four minutes of your life. When done right, many people say they “feel like they are going to die.”
One of the things to consider before adding Tabata to your workout routine includes risk of injury. Many high-intensity exercises tend to be high-impact, so be sure that you’ve warmed up adequately before beginning any Tabata session. If you are not yet fit enough to get through it, work yourself up to the intensity and duration by modifying the exercises and/or increasing rest time.
Tabata or HIIT classes are offered in most gyms, but you do not need to join a class to add this type of training to your workout. You don’t even need to use equipment and can do it anywhere. Download a Tabata app and use that to track your intervals. A Tabata run workout, for example, will help you to build speed by sprinting for 20 seconds and resting for 10 or choose two or four exercises such as push-ups, burpees, mountain climbers, lunges, jump-rope etc. and do them one after another for eight 20-second intervals. If you have access to equipment, you can even incorporate resistance with weights, bands, balls or kettlebells. Choose exercises that incorporate various muscle groups to get the most out of your workout and rest for one full minute before doing a second round of Tabata.
Angela Fulgieri is the Wellness Experience Director at the Plant City YMCA. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org