It is a fact that Tabata can deliver unbelievable results with no time expenditure. Is it really true, and is it something a beginner can do?
Well, yes, and yes, but, there’s something about it you need to know. Nothing in life is free. While Tabata may be the shortest of all exercise regimes—who can beat 4 minutes?
That 4 minutes may well be the longest 4 minutes of your life. If you do it right, it’ll be a 9 on the Richter scale.
Think you’re made of stiffer stuff? Izumi Tabata, the founder of the method, first tried it out on world class athletes, and it was really hard for them. He published it because it was so evidently a superior method of getting results, but, he didn’t expect many people to be interested in it. He knew most of us are not masochists, and he knew his workout was one only a masochist would enjoy.
One thing he misestimated—the selling power of quick, and the strong desire many hold to have strong, healthy bodies we can be proud of.
Now thousands of people use what they call the Tabata method. They don’t all get the promised results, but, that’s only because they aren’t doing it right.
A Tabata workout is never supposed to be easy, even for those who are in elite shape.
Many get this part wrong, and confuse it with the typical HIIT intervals, and so the concern is that people aren’t using the Tabata protocol correctly when the 20 second intense interval moves are too slow to bring on EPOC and the ideal anaerobic state.
This typically occurs when the moves are too complicated, or do not engage enough muscle groups to deliver the intensity required.
Remember this concept and you will never be limited in your tabata protocols.
Thanks for reading!
Happy Tabata Tuesday!
I want to give you the best concepts to help you achieve your fitness goals without any additional cost, time but maximum effort within 20 minutes. Below are 10 of the best Tabata practices to springboard your success.
10 Tabata Best Practices
To get the most out of your intense and highly effective workouts, here are some tips and guidelines to follow:
- As part of the original protocol a 10 minute warm up and 5 minute cool down is highly recommended.
- Use full body exercises that engage many muscle groups.
- Feel free to use free weights, bodyweight, weighted vests or ankle weights as this will increase intensity.
- Go all out in the 20 second intense intervals, never slow down, and push yourself to the limits.
- Except to be gasping for breath, literally gasping, this is where you want to be.
- Make every attempt to find your breath in the 10 seconds of rest, good luck.
- Cool down for at least 5 minutes.
- Prepare to get really sweaty.
- Don’t give up if the first, second or third time you do a Tabata routine you feel like you want to die or throw up or you can’t finish. This is typical.
- Don’t give up if the fourth, fifth or sixth time you think you can’t do this ever again. You can, you will, you should.
I hope this provides some clarity for you to focus on accomplishing your goals. If you need some additional direction or want clarity about how to defeat your fitness “pleateau”, contact me here for a free strategy consultation.
Yours In Success,
So how do you prepare and recover?
Having masses of energy before, during and after a Tabata workout can be hard. You need to find foods that give you different types of fuel to suit the situation.
Pre Workout Fuel
As you may already know, Tabata style workouts are extremely quick and intense. They are over within a matter of minutes.
This means that before working out you need to find something that’s quick and easy to consume which provides forms of “fast release” energy. With this type of energy, your body will be able to use it almost instantly hence helping you power through the workout ahead.
What to Avoid:
You may have heard of preworkout energy drinks. Although there is a time and place for these products, they are not recommended.
This is due to the sometimes dangerously high caffeine content as well as some extremely high amount of sugars packed into these energy drinks. Thinking of drinking a sugar free energy drink?
You may want to think again as even more chemicals and artificial sweeteners are added to these products which are known to, over time, lead to health problems.
Energy drinks and pre-workout products can also become addictive and after using these supplements before every single session you may start to rely on these to get through a workout.
When for any reason you don’t have access to one or want to stop consuming them, it can leave you feeling low throughout the day with withdrawal symptoms let alone having not enough motivation for the gym.
What To Choose:
You have a range of choices when it comes to getting in some quality sources of fast release carbs / energy.
If your Tabata workout in the morning a fantastic example of a breakfast could include some egg yolks. These are rich in B-vitamins which convert food into the energy we need. They also contain vitamin D to maintain strong and healthy bones.
Furthermore, they are also a great source of protein which is essential for the day to help you reach your daily intake of protein.
With this you could include some other items for slow releasing carbs / energy throughout the day or a healthy choice of cereal.
A handful of raw pepitas or dry roasted pumpkin seeds can give you a natural jolt to power through a workout. Pumpkin seeds are a good source of protein, healthy fats and fiber, keeping you feeling full and energized longer.
Fresh Pressed Veggie Juice:
But what should I drink? Green Juice. Whip out the juicer, grab some kale, romaine lettuce, couple stalks of celery, a pinch of ginger, 1/2 of lemon and lime and about 3 medium sized carrots. Fresh juice will not only naturally hydrate the cells in the body, it will also carry micronutrients to aide in increasing the effeciency of the lymphatic, digestive and metabolic systems to name a few. Within moments of drinking this fresh juice, you can feel the body responding because absorption is immediate, thus allowing the elimination of toxins from the blood and creating a more alkaline state within the body.
One of the most important determinants of your energy levels is hydration. Dehydration kicks in much sooner and harder than starvation. Water is responsible for transporting all nutrients in the blood that we use for energy as well as getting rid of waste build-up that leads to fatigue.
Without enough water, we cannot metabolize the food we eat into fuel and ultimately cease to function properly. Always drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially before and during workouts.
Post Workout Fuel
Post work-out fuel is a little easier. You may feel hungry and in need of a full on meal depending on the time of day. If this is the case, make sure to get a healthy, balanced meal consisting of your protein, carbs and fats.
If you’re looking for some slow release energy / carbs try:
Whole Grain Cereal:
Whole grain cereal is a fantastic source of Fiber and can slow the release of glucose into the bloodstream which leads to more consistent energy levels throughout the day and post workout. Organic Oats (Oatmeal) is an ideal fix as well as an awesome fiber source.
Just a few more ideas to incorporate into your eating strategies to help your fitness and lifestyle progression.
Thanks for reading,
Happy Tabata Tuesday!
Tabata workouts are high intensity interval training workouts that take you to a whole new level in fitness. Tabata workouts for the arms and legs will fire up the muscles in your limbs and send them crystal-clear messages that the status quo is not enough. These workouts, done regularly, will set your arms and legs squarely on the fast road to strong new muscles and wonderful endurance.
The Tabata Protocol
Before we get into the actual workout, you should know how the Tabata protocol works. What you’re going to be doing is twenty seconds of extremely high intensity exercise—working the hardest you can possibly do, as if your life depended on it. Then, when the timer goes off, you stop dead, and have ten seconds—no more, no less- ten seconds of rest and to catch your breath. Then twenty seconds of that uber-fast, uber-intense, uber-everything activity. Ten seconds of rest again. And on it goes, till you’ve done eight sets, and are feeling, more or less, dead.
Working The Arms And Legs
One Tabata workout that works both your arm and leg muscle utilizes the mountain climbing exercise move and is called the Mountain Climber. Before you start doing it Tabata style, you’ll have to learn how to do the mountain climbing exercise slowly.
Steps For Mountain Climbers
1. You start out in plank; straight arms, palms down flat on the floor, directly underneath your shoulders.
2. Your legs stick straight out behind you, and your feet should be hip-width apart.
3. Keep your toes curled under.
4. Contract your core, and tuck your tailbone under you. There should be a straight line from the top of your head to your heals, and your chin should be tucked in a little.
5. Now take your right knee and draw it to your chest, pulling it in with your abdominal muscles. Don’t let your foot touch the floor, don’t let your shoulders move. While keeping your straight line from head to heels—no swaying hips– return that foot to the plank position.
6. Do the same thing on the left side.
So that’s your basic mountain climber. Practice it a little; actually, practice it a lot, till you could do it in your sleep.
Now, when you do Tabata Mountain Climbers, you need to do this exercise really really fast; as fast as humanly possible, and you need to do that without losing your form.
Are you ready?
Get the stopwatch somewhere where you can see it easily from your plank position, or turn on your Tabata app on your smartphone. Then—ready, steady, go!
Twenty seconds of all-fire mountain climbers, legs moving as fast as they can go, arms smarting under the strain.
Stop! Ten seconds of rest, letting those muscles relax.
Now we’re on again!
Quick intensity, as if your life depended on it. Keep those legs moving. One and one and one and one—faster, faster, till it is a blur. No slacking off. Keep it going as fast as you were for that first twenty seconds.
When your second period is done, you get another ten second rest. But not a second more, and then you go straight into ultra-high intensity mountain climber set three. You’re not done until you’ve done eight rounds—eight rounds of intensity as high as you can rake up.
Then you can collapse. You deserve it. But tomorrow, remember, you’re on again.
Another great workout for the arms and legs is using a jump rope. No, this is not your kid’s favorite toy, today, there are many great fitness models available for adults in various sizes to accommodate all heights.
Using the jump rope in a Tabata protocol means that you will be jumping fast and constantly for the entire 20 seconds of the intense intervals, then catch your breath for 10 seconds. Repeat 8 times.
Suicide runs are also great for both arms and legs, though they work the legs more. For this routine you need to place two markers about 5 feet apart. This can be a rock, a book, a cone or anything that will sit still.
You will be running back and forth between the two markers very fast and touching each marker each time you reach it.
For Tabata, you will again do 8 sets of 20 seconds runs as fast as possible followed by intervals of 10 seconds of rest. By the way, this is a great exercise to do outside of the Tabata protocol as it really gets the heart racing, and the blood pumping for ultimate weight loss.
More Moves For The Legs
• Box Jumps
• Lunge Jumps
• Squat Jumps
• High Knees
• Dumbbells Squat Jumps
More Moves For The Arms
• Push Ups
• Push Rows
• Medicine Ball Slams
• Chin Ups
• Pull Ups
This should give you a boost in your fitness programs, or even provide you some variation in addition to your current routine. Let me know what you think and how this works best for you.
Yours In Success,
It’s a common misconception that the only or the most beneficial way to increase endurance is taking part in long, gruelling cardio workouts like running for extended periods of time on the treadmill or outside for increased running endurance and spending hours on a stationary bike to increase cycling endurance.
How Tabata Training is different:
Whilst there is some truth to these beliefs, Tabata Training introduces a whole new meaning to endurance. Due to the extremely high intensity and efficiency of Tabata Training you can choose almost any exercise or body part and increase endurance in that area.
Tabata Training is unique in the terms of how the training is done. Most cardio sessions consist of long periods of time at the same speed and / or resistance.
Whilst on the other hand Tabata Training consists of short intervals at full capacity, pushing the limits to an individual’s endurance every round. Not only this, but, with the short rest times an individual is tested to the absolute extreme.
When you are tested over and over again your endurance is forced to increase to keep up with the work load that is being put onto the body. Tabata training integrates fundamentals of progressive overload into training which is what “forces the body” into change, ultimately making you stronger, quicker and more efficient at the exercise of your choice.
Endurance means to be able to “endure an unpleasant of difficult process without giving in” is it really worth running for hours until you reach the “brick wall” that runners must surpass in order to keep going or is it more efficient to be able to increase endurance in as quick as 4 minutes?
This is where Tabata Training can give a new meaning to endurance and teach you to develop a stronger, more positive mental state when training hard.
Improve in every aspect with Tabata Training
Whilst being pushed to new limits, a different exercise can be picked every single workout. Unlike fixed forms of training at the gym like treadmills, Ellipticals, stationary bikes and even running, cycling and more, Tabata training gives you the power to change up the focus each and every session. This means that whilst on your journey to losing weight and fat you can start to become a quality, well-rounded athlete.
The sky is the limit with Tabata Training. You can choose to incorporate different exercises based on your goals too. This means that if you are training for a specific sport or would like to tone up a specific area of your body, you can!
You can choose to throw in some different types of running if you are a sprinter or long distance runner for example and in summary you really are able to mix it up and continue to keep things fun and exciting each and every day.
With the simple approach with Tabata Training it is also extremely easy to track your progress which in turn allows you to see how quickly your endurance is improving session by session as you can count how many rounds you complete in a given time frame as well as the number of reps you complete.
Typically, when you take part in a form of cardio that is done out of the gym and without machines helping you it is hard to track your progress. Tabata Training is considered the cheapest, easiest and most efficient way to keep track of how things are going as well as allowing you to evaluate where your weak points are as you cycle through different exercises and compare the calories burnt to the exercise performed.
To Your Success,
Happy Tabata Tuesday!
The core is one of our biggest assets in stability, balance and it provides a plethora of health benefits. It is important to exercise the core and maintain it at optimal levels.
It is one thing to sweat and lose weight, but, sculpting ab muscles, and strengthening the abs and core requires specific exercises that need to be done on a consistent basis.
Below are some of the best workouts that primarily target these areas.
For best results, you can combine them with high-intensity interval training programs, like HIIT or Tabata for a huge boost in fat burning that will help to reveal those gorgeous muscles that you and these exercise create.
Feet Elevated Russian Twist
This workout involves a rotational exercise that helps strengthen your abdominal muscles, particularly the obliques. It also helps strengthen the hips and the lower back muscles.
1. Sit on the floor.
2. Bend your knees, keeping your feet flat on the floor.
3. Lift your feet a few inches from the floor and hold them as you move.
4. With your palms together, position your arms straight in front of your chest, leaning back at a 45-degree angle.
5. Rotate your torso to the left and to the right.
Medicine Ball Leg Raises
This mild, aerobic exercise is ideal for building core strength and toning up the abdominal muscles, particularly the muscles in the lower region. You can perform the exercise two to three days a week.
1. Lie down on the floor, with your face up.
2. With a medicine ball in both hands, stretch your arms behind your head.
3. Exhale and crunch upwards, raising your arms and legs together above your stomach.
4. Position the medicine ball slowly in between your feet and move your body back to the starting position, leaving your legs raised several inches above the ground.
5. Crunch back up to grab the ball from between your feet.
6. Repeat until you have completed the sets required for your routine.
An extremely challenging exercise, press sit-ups combine bench presses and sit-ups into one intense activity, and when done correctly, results in stronger arms, chest, shoulders, and firmer abs. For this workout, you will need a barbell and a decline bench.
1. Do some dynamic stretches and warm up for about five to ten minutes of light, aerobic exercise.
2. On a decline bench, lie facing up with your knees at the top bend and your ankles secured behind the ankle pads.
3. With an overhand grip, hold a barbell, allowing the weight to rest on your upper chest while your hands are spread wide apart.
4. Inhale and tighten your core muscles while you move to a sitting position.
5. Exhale and raise the barbell straight over your head, making sure your arms are well extended above your head and your upper body perpendicular to the floor.
6. Inhale as you return the barbell to your chest and lower yourself back to the starting position.
Crunches are one of the most common exercises for the abs and core. The reverse crunch, in particular targets the rectus abdominis muscle. To perform this exercise effectively, lift your hips only a few inches from the floor and avoid swinging the legs while raising the hips.
1. Lie on the floor with your palms down.
2. Bend your knees towards your chest on a 90-degree angle with your feet held together.
3. Lift your hips off the floor, crunching them inwards while you contract your abs. Point your legs up towards the ceiling.
4. Lower your legs slowly until your feet are flat on the floor.
General Side Plank
This exercise is ideal for beginners and doesn’t require any special equipment. It improves stability of the spine and strengthen the core muscles, specifically the obliques.
1. Lie on your one side with your legs fully extended.
2. Prop your body up using your elbow and forearm, your elbows positioned under your shoulder.
3. Contract your abs and raise your hips so that your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to ankles.
4. Breathe deeply while holding yourself in this position for a few seconds.
5. Turn around and repeat on the other side.
Now Go Work Those Abs!
Yours In Success,
I did my Tabatas today….did you?
Tabata workouts are a type of HIIT – high intensity interval training- where you put your body in full power drive for twenty seconds, rest for twenty seconds, and then do it again—seven times over. But, it is actually much more intense than HIIT as it requires that you do the 20 second intervals at maximum level of intensity. This is of utmost importance and will include gasping for breath, extreme muscle burn, sweating and the ultimate push with the most exertion.
It’s a super-efficient way of getting your body in shape. Tabata exercises may target various parts of the body because there is a vast amount of moves to choose from and so you can use different exercise for the 20 second intense intervals based on the muscles you want to concentrate on.
Exercise Bike Tabata
If you have an exercise bike, the most basic Tabata exercise is simply cycling. But rather than sit there going at it for the typical boring hour, you’re going to do a carefully timed workout for the Tabata protocol.
Get out a stopwatch, or set your smartphone somewhere where you can reach and see it. The regular stopwatch will work, or you can download one of the many Tabata timing apps freely available.
For twenty seconds, pedal as fast as you can. During this entire high intensity period, your speedometer should read at least 35 RPM.
Another good way to turn up the intensity meter is to up the resistance or incline levels.
When your stopwatch shows twenty seconds or your Tabata timer bleeps it out to the world, stop. Just rest. Hang out there for exactly ten seconds, and then start again, using all the breath and energy reserves you’ve been gathering in the last ten seconds.
Do twenty more seconds of your fastest possible pedaling—again, going at least 35 RPM—and then rest again for ten more.
For a Tabata training session, you need to do 8 sets of twenty seconds each, spaced by ten minute rest periods. When it’s finished you may want to cool yourself down a little by some gentle cycling. It is also important to do a 5 minute warm up to get the muscles ready for the intense phases.
That’s one example of a Tabata exercise session. But it is only one. You can make up your own Tabata exercise sessions by putting together sets of exercises that target the muscles you need to work on.
More Tabata Regimens
For instance, if you feel you need some focus on upper body strength, push-ups are a great way to workout without any extra equipment. To do a push-up, you lie on your stomach on the floor and then get into plank position; hands slightly more than shoulder width apart. Your toes should be biting into the floor, your body in neutral position. Keeping yourself in a completely straight line, lower yourself so your chest touches the floor.
Exhale, but keep your core muscles engaged, and then push up with your hands till you’re back in the starting position— keeping yourself in a straight line the whole time.
That’s the basic push up.
A Tabata push-up session means you have to be really, really, intense about your push-ups for twenty seconds. Do as many repetitions for twenty seconds as humanly possible, all while keeping perfect form.
Then, you can relax and play dead for ten seconds. As soon as the ten seconds are up, though, go all out again—high intensity, working as fast as you can go.
When 8 rounds are completed, your Tabata push-up session is done. You might feel dead, but your body has completed an important milestone on the road to better health.
Tabata Mash Ups
There are more than 25 different moves that can be used in Tabata training. You can mix and mash them together in one session, or simply the same one over and over.
For example, you can do Russian Twists for 4 of the intense 20 second sessions and then Mountain Climbers for the other 4 sets.
You can also do a low and high impact mash up, by doing Sit Ups for the first four 20 second intervals, then take it up a notch and do Box Jumps for the other four.
No matter which you choose, you will never be bored, and you will keep the body at peak level of fitness because you are constantly keeping it guessing and challenged.
Tabata is intense and highly effective. Make sure to learn the moves you plan to do and keep perfect form to eliminate the risk of injury.
If you are new to fitness then you should start slower and build up, using the exercise bike for Tabata will be your best bet until you can work up to the more intense full body moves, like Burpees, Mountain Climbers and Lunge Jumps.
****ATTENTION ALL WOMEN****
If you would like to see an increase in gains through your tabata workouts, A trainer I know named John Barbin, graduate of UF, has a product called Venus Factor, an advanced way of coordinating your eating habits and fitness routine into a systemized process to maximize fat loss. If you know me, I don’t do many endorsements, however, John is someone I know and trust and this product rocks! Besides, it’s just for you ladies. You can check it out here.
Yours In Success,
P.S. – Here’s the link again for Venus Factor
Just because Tabata workouts are gold standard for Olympic trainees doesn’t mean that they are not suitable for beginners. In fact, Tabata workouts are a great way for a beginner with no money, no equipment and very little time to really get fit. The main thing you need is an ability to push yourself—and a stopwatch.
Timing is key for a Tabata workout, timing, and the ability to go full-power for 20 seconds at a time. Can you do it? If you can, you’re well on the way to a much trimmer, fitter and healthier you.
Cost In Time: 4 Minutes Per Day
(plus 10 minute warm and 5 minute cool down)
One of the best things about Tabata is that it is very flexible. You can choose from a variety of exercises, including, using machines, like exercise bikes, treadmills and elliptical machines.
When you choose your type of Tabata workout, take into account your comfort level with the exercise in question, your current fitness level, and also consider just what you want to achieve with your workout, specifically, what muscle groups would you like to target?
A Tabata workout will have you doing your all-out absolute best, so it isn’t the time to try out new exercise moves or those that are too complicated. But if all you know is pushups, your Tabata sessions don’t have to be limited by that, either.
You’ll just have to teach yourself new exercises during lower-intensity workout times, and after you’ve got them down, incorporate them in your Tabata workout.
Tabata And Running
Suppose you are a runner. Then you may want to start your Tabata adventure by doing a Tabata Running Workout; building up from what you are already good at.
Here is an example of a great Tabata workout with running.
You’re going to sprint, going as fast as you possibly can, as if wolves were after you, for all of 20 seconds.
Then pause for 10 seconds. Stopping straight out might be out of the question, but put the brakes on, walk very slowly, catch your breath, stop if you want to, but, only for 10 seconds.
Then—there are the wolves again—so go for 20 more seconds. When the timer goes off and that 20 seconds are over, you’ve got another breather, and you’ve done ¼ of your workout.
A Tabata workout is 8 cycles long; eight cycles of 20 seconds on 10 seconds off.
And, you know what? It’ll do more for your body than an hour run at a steady pace.
Tabata With Exercise Bikes
You might not be a runner. Other exercises work just as well with the Tabata protocol. If you’ve got an exercise bike at your house, try spinning. Get on there and play a little with the pedals to warm yourself up.
Then try cycling madly for all of 20 seconds.
A 10 second break, then 20 seconds more.
Try to make sure your speed stays at least at 85 RPM for the whole high intensity time.
Stationary biking was actually the first exercise the Tabata method was tried on, and if you are consistent with it, say, four days a week, 4 minutes a day—you’ll definitely see results.
Other Tabata Moves
Bodyweight movements are also great options for Tabata, these include, squats, jump squats, jumping jacks and high knees, all of which are great Tabata workouts.
The important thing to remember is that during your 20 seconds on you are working the hardest you can, the fastest you can, and putting everything you have into it. Your reward is your 10 seconds of rest.
Try these out and let me know what kind of success you have.
Yours In Success,
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Advanced Tip: Want to burn even more fat? Add another workout to your daily routine 4-6 hours after your morning workout.
Keep your already high metabolism higher by adding a 2nd workout during the day. If you’re seriously thinking about adding a 2nd workout to your daily routine then try to do your tabata workouts in the morning. Mostly fat calories are burned doing tabata at a moderate intensity. Make your 2nd workout of the day a workout with weights. Mostly carbohydrate is burned doing weight-training workouts. The muscle that you build from weight training will also help you burn fat. Not only will you be burning more calories, you’ll look better – whatever your weight is.
Incorporate the above into your daily routine and comment below on your results!
Yours In Success,