If you’re seeking a way to tone your body fast without spending hours in the gym, Tabata is key. Here’s what you need to know to get the best results.
Tabata is a high-intensity interval exercise protocol devised by Dr. Izumi Tabata in 1996 that requires eight cycles of intense, drop-dead workout for 20 minutes followed by 10 seconds break.
What is truly amazing about Tabata is that you can really unleash your imagination when it comes to exercise types. You can do anything you like from push ups, squats to lunges and rows. However, your trainer will always have pretty much the last say here as they know best what your level of fitness is. Some instructors recommend choosing from six different workout styles covering cardio and weightlifting, with each cycle taking four minutes and a one-minute break in-between.
Want to Start Hardcore Tabata? Work Out On Your Conditioning
This is highly intense and if you’re not really well fit, then Tabata is not for you. It will exhaust you in no time and/or do more harm than good to your body by increasing the risk of injuries. So first start slow! Build your fitness level first with easier exercises, a few squats, sit-ups or jogging before you start Tabata. Being eager to start this intense physical training as a beginner is fantastic, but don’t get carried away by enthusiasm! Once you gain some stamina and muscle, Tabata will work miracles on your body.
Warm Up Properly!
As with any cardio exercise, start with a good warm-up (5-10 minutes). Weird as it may seem to begin with a longer warm-up session than the actual 4-minute workout cycle itself, but since we’re talking about high-intensity interval training (HIIT) it is highly recommended. It’s all about the prep! If you’re cold when you start, there is an increased likelihood that you sprain ligaments or tear tissues or muscles.
The last but not the least on the Tabata Do’s list, cross training is recommended by many experts and trainers. This means you should avoid doing the same each time you perform Tabata. If for instance, you do burpees in one workout, the second time try kettlebell swings, jumping jacks or any other exercise recruiting several muscle groups at the same time. By changing your exercise style like that you will ensure that you challenge your body in various ways, slowly but surely maximizing your fitness level.
Don’t Overdo It!
One or two sessions a week are more than enough if you choose to do Tabata training, especially in the beginning. Listen to your body and see how it responds to this workout. If you recover well, feel free to add a second session. If you are not strength training a lot, you may even consider introducing a third session, yet again that depends on your level of fitness.
Once You’re Done, Don’t Expect the World of Yourself!
Once your 4 minutes of training are up, you may feel tempted to try some strength training or more cardio. Don’t! If you did Tabata correctly, you should be dead exhausted and only want to rest. If you feel you could work out more, that could be an indication that you didn’t reach maximum intensity while training. Next time, put more effort into it!
Torches More Calories All Day Long
Much ink was spilt on calorie burning during exercise. More recent research reveals that what happens after the exercise is twice as important. What happens with Tabata? Despite that this kind of workout is very short in duration, it is extremely intense and can significantly increase post-training caloric burn. So practically your metabolism keeps burning a lot more calories after you’ve stopped exercising!
Boosts All Your Workouts In Less Than Quarter the Time
According to Dr. Tabata, this exercise session equals an hour of jogging or moderate cycling, two hours of yoga, walking or Zumba.
Experts confirmed that only six sets of Tabata done correctly for four minutes each regardless of your exercise choice, will leave you totally exhausted. Lasting 30 minutes in total, provided you don’t rest for more than 1 minute in between cycles, Tabata is a proven killer workout with mind-blowing effects on your body.
You Won’t Get Enough!
As it is more a formula than a strict workout protocol, Tabata stimulates both your muscle and your imagination so you can never get bored. If you love cardio, hit the treadmill or make friends with the jumping rope and start working out. Sprint or hop and rest for 10 seconds (standing). Next, if you love weightlifting or strength training, add them to your routine.
Generally, HIIT boosts HGH (human growth hormone) production and Tabata is no exception. HGH is essential to building muscle mass and making your muscles lean. It is also known to reduce body fat giving your immune system a boost, supporting overall health and strength. Did you know that high-intensity interval training enhances insulin sensitivity (which accounts for fat burning and lean muscle growth)?
No, It’s Not Your Trainer, It’s You
In only 30 minutes of workout there’s no time for wandering about! You only do one exercise, which you repeat eight times until you exhaust that lazy muscle. Push yourself to the max and you’ll see the results in the mirror!.
Now that you know all there is about Tabata, get out there and sign up for a class or personal training at your local gym! ‘Tis the season of resolutions, after all...