Tabata Training: Elevate Your Fitness Level

Herba Blogger

Adding Tabata training to your current fitness routine is a great approach towards improving your overall fitness level and pushing your fitness to the extreme.

The Tabata mode of training requires that you work out at an elevated intensity level. The reason many people fall in love with this style of training is because it helps you to get maximum training results with minimal time commitment in the gym. This favorable timing makes Tabata a go-to favorite for those with a busy schedule.

Tabata training consists of a set protocol of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). A Tabata routine requires you to alternate intense bouts of exercise with periods of rest. The exercise timing is 20 seconds of hard work, followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated continually for eight full sets of the chosen exercises.  A traditional Tabata routine is made up of four exercises in total, which makes your workout time a mere four minutes in length.

Four minutes, although incredibly intense, is not enough for many people and often leaves you wanting to spend more time exercising. It’s possible to piece together three or four Tabatas with a rest in between each complete set in order to make the entire workout time closer to 20 minutes. I’ve witnessed this format in a class setting, and it allows you to do a core, leg, upper-body and cardio Tabata for an extreme total body challenge.

The intense nature of Tabata training means that it’s not recommended for beginners. Participants need to be injury-free, healthy and already exercising at an intermediate or advanced level before attempting to take on high-intensity formats. Tabata was originally designed for one Tabata to be performed per training session, so I’ve provided my personal favorite leg- and glute-focused routine below.

Leg and Glute Blast Tabata

Exercise 1: Squat – 20 seconds

Rest: 10 seconds

Exercise 2: Right leg reverse lunge to knee drive – 20 seconds

Rest: 10 seconds

Exercise 3: Left leg reverse lunge to knee drive – 20 seconds

Exercise 4: Alternating lateral lunge – 20 seconds

By Samantha Clayton, AFAA, ISSA – Vice President, Worldwide Sports Performance and Fitness


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