What is Tabata?
Tabata is a very high-intensity interval training method. It was first developed by the Japanese professor Izumi Tabata. The main difference between Tabata and other methods such as HIIT is that the goal in Tabata is to achieve 170% of maximum aerobic power. According to the method’s developer, working at this power for short periods makes the most of the body, improving physical conditions without damaging them.
The basis of a Tabata workout is: work 20 seconds at maximum power followed by 10 seconds of rest. The cycle is repeated 6 to 8 times. In total, each set should last between 3 to 4 minutes. Tabata’s research results showed that a 20/10 aerobic/anaerobic exercise ratio optimizes energy expenditure¹. In other words, Tabata routines are considered one of the best methods for fat loss, even better than running regular aerobic exercises.
Tabata for women
The Tabata workout is mainly chosen by women who are adept at fitness since it allows not only to burn fat but also to improve the contours of the body quickly, particularly when exercises for the buttocks and legs are included in the routine.
Another advantage of the Tabata technique is that by maximizing the cardiovascular system, In a similar way to a pressure cleaning, possible fatty residues adhering to the arteries are eliminated. A beneficial fact for people who want to lower their cholesterol.
Why is Tabata good for fat loss?
During regular cardiovascular exercise (running, swimming, cycling), the body actively uses oxygen (which gives the training the name “aerobic”). In contrast, the body reaches an oxygen-free (“anaerobic”) work mode during a high-intensity Tabata routine.
The result is a sudden acceleration of the pulsations; it is noticeable when reaching a sensation of burning in the muscles, which positively affects the level of growth hormone².
This occurs because the rest time is reduced to the maximum in the Tabata. Not having time to regain oxygen between exercises allows you to push your body to its fullest. To achieve this, you must take your 20 seconds of physical activity seriously. The key to success (and rapid fat loss) is achieved by maximizing focus to the limit.
Rules of the Tabata training method
The essence of the Tabata training technique and rules is to perform an exercise with the highest intensity possible for 20 seconds and rest for the next 10. Four minutes should mean about eight sets of Tabata. A Tabata routine for fat loss usually consists of about 4 to 8 different exercises in practice. The total duration of the training is approximately 15-20 minutes.
The technique does not limit the fusion with different sports activities: they can be both sprints (sprinting at maximum speed) and kickboxing. Remember that for beginners (particularly for those who want to lose weight), bodyweight exercises are the best choice. They will help not only to burn fat but also to tone the muscles.
Tabata routine for beginners
To do a beginner Tabata routine, you will need a stopwatch or smartphone app (there are free apps under the Tabata timer). The number of repetitions in each active phase of the exercise should be recorded; for example, 11-10-9-8-7-6-5-5. The minimum number of repetitions determines the personal record; in the model, it is 5.
Remember that a Tabata routine should always follow the principle of 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest. And to lose body fat, you will need to exercise to the limit of your abilities. Ultimately, the goal should be to get the most reps in the least amount of time.
Tabata exercises for beginners
Burpee : Begin the exercise standing up. Execute a push-up, and from the ground jump high with your hands to the front.
Donkey kicks : The legs must remain at shoulder height, the body parallel to the ground, setting support on the palms. With the help of your abdominal muscles, raise your leg at a 90 degree angle.
Windmill Legs should be wider than shoulders. The objective of the exercise should be to reach the leg opposite the arm using the core without deviating or tilting the spine.
Dumbbell Renegade Row :
The exercise is similar to push-ups with an alternate weight lift using the back muscles.
Palm push-ups – This is a variation of push-ups for advanced athletes. If it is of greater difficulty for beginners, it is recommended to execute the traditional variations.
Frog jumps Frog jumps are one of the basic bodyweight tabata exercises. The core should stay tight in the low and high part of the movement.
Buttocks with bench. This is one of the best exercises to strengthen your legs . Take the first step with your right foot and knee forward, then lift your left foot. The abdomen should remain tight.
Sit-ups with fitball – This exercise allows you to develop the middle zone and gain balance at the same time. Due to the difficulty of the movement, it is recommended to include it at the end of the tabata routine.
Do you have to warm up in Tabata?
Before running a Tabata routine, a warm-up is ideal. Just 5-10 minutes of cardio at a moderate pace or performing warm-up exercises to prepare joints and ligaments is sufficient. The frontal and lateral planks and the activities to work back are adequate to avoid injuries in the lumbar area.
Beginners are recommended to start with four simple exercises (i.e., 16 minutes of Tabata, excluding warm-up and rest). The number of activities can be gradually increased to 8-12. The choice of exercises can vary, although, in a Tabata routine, practices with body weight are usually prioritized. This type of fat loss training should be carried out no more than 4-5 times per week.
The Tabata workout is one of the best ways to burn fat fast. The advantage of Tabata routines is their short duration (approximately 20 minutes total) and the ability to train with both bodyweight and dumbbells or with functional training items ( kettlebells ). In a Tabata routine for beginners, emphasis should not be placed on increasing the loads but on respecting the 20 seconds of exercises at maximum intensity with a minimum rest time (10 seconds approx).