When you have tried every exercise method to burn fat but there are still some extra pounds to get rid of, try out this “shock to your system” method to help aid in losing weight. What I’m talking about is called Tabata. Currently, Tabata exercises are very popular and one of the reasons is that it promises a great body with just 4 minutes of exercises a day, 2-3 times a week. Sounds fantastic, doesn’t it? Let’s check how it works.
What is Tabata
The Tabata workout is a challenge to modern fitness centers and gyms because this method of exercising shows that 4 minutes of special training at a fast pace, once a day, can help to burn fat and lose more weight faster than you do in training several times a week. Keep in mind that Tabata is added to your week of training, and alone, it won’t do ALL the work.
This method was invented by the Japanese doctor Izumi Tabata in co-authorship with a group of researchers from the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo. Their groundbreaking research was completed in 1996 and published in Medicine and Science in Sports & Exercise journal, and demonstrates the significant benefits of high-intensity interval training. This is how Tabata training is described in the language of sports medicine.
In the course of the study, it was proven that only 4 minutes of training using the Tabata protocol can do more to increase aerobic and anaerobic capacity than an hour of cardio training.
What is even more surprising is that Izumi Tabata concluded that the fat burning after this training continues during the day with an intensity exceeding ordinary aerobic exercise by 9 times! Even a lifelong high-intensity exerciser Eric Villency, from Villency Design Group, in his interview for The New York Times, admitted that a Tabata workout once a week pushes him to the limit and rushes endorphins to an insane level (Dec. 11, 2014).
Tabata superset workout plan
A Tabata workout routine is often called a protocol and consists of the following parts:
- 1 cycle of 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of active rest;
- 1 round includes 8 cycles;
- 1 set consists of 4 rounds.
As you can see, the secret of Tabata training lays in a high-intensity interval workout. Each exercise is performed for 20 seconds and followed by 10-seconds of rest. Moreover, all exercises must be performed at the maximum speed, each time with the increased pace of the exercise but not at the expense of the basic technique.
The effect occurs not only during the Tabata workout routine but can also be noticed during the day. Tabata exercises increase body metabolism and stimulate fat burning even after training. Thus, a person continues to lose weight during the day with no further effort.
This is how Izumi Tabata assessed his first so-called Tabata experiments on students: “They were dead! After 4 minutes of hard Tabata exercises, they were physically destroyed. But after 6 weeks of training, they saw the results and were amazed. We were all very surprised and pleased with the results”.
Benefits of Tabata exercises
In sports practice, there are many methods of developing aerobic and anaerobic power, but the most simple and powerful one is a Tabata workout. It has a range of benefits which make it stand out among the rest:
- no expensive equipment is needed;
- your bodyweight and gravity work in your favor;
- it melts fat faster than other exercises;
- it helps boosts metabolism;
- it strengthens your heart;
- it takes very little time to do this exercise;
- the body keeps burning calories all day long after the Tabata workouts;
- it changes the aerobic capacity of a person;
- it improves cardiovascular endurance in a short time;
- it adds muscles tone;
- is an excellent weight loss tactic
- the exercises are easy to learn and perform.
What you might need for Tabata workouts
Often people call Tabata exercises “prison training.” This name was given to the workout because of its severe intensity and the lack of various devices or equipment. All you need is willpower and 2 square meters of free space. You will also need a Tabata timer and driving music.
A tabata timer, also known as an interval timer, is an integral part of intensive interval training. This is a helpful tool that helps you keep track of rest and work cycles. You can either use an online timer for your home workouts or install Tabata timer application on your smartphone. Normally, there is a set number of cycles offered but you can adjust the number of rounds.
Music is also a part of the Tabata workout. However, it is not obligatory to use it. With that, music helps to keep the rhythm especially if it is Tabata music, a specific mix created for interval training: 20 seconds of vigorous and dense sounds are replaced by 10 seconds of the lounge music. Some find it more convenient than a timer.
And of course, you will need willpower, which is the source of energy for every round. You will need self-motivation to keep you practicing on a regular basis, but once you notice the result in a couple of weeks, it will be a huge boost to inspire you for more Tabata workouts.