Tabata Training

I have a workout for you!  I was browsing some sites to get new workout ideas and I found this thing called Tabata training.  Tabata training was developed by Dr. Izumi Tabata in 1996 in Japan for a workout that maximized cardiovascular performance and minimize time.  Tabata is a cardio workout, but instead of spending countless hours burning calories, Tabata training is just 4 minutes of intense interval training.


Dr. Tabata conducted a research study with two control groups.  The first were athletes that performed high intensity interval training four days a week for six weeks each workout lasting 4 minutes, including 20 seconds of training (170% intensity) and 10 seconds rest.  The second were athletes who completed moderate intensity training (70% intensity) for five days a week for six weeks each workout lasting one hour.


The results were that the high intensity group improved their aerobic systems as well as a 28% increase in their anaerobic systems.  The group that did moderate intensity training only improved their aerobic system with no increase in their anaerobic system. There have been several studies about this and the results are astounding.


There are several ways to do Tabata training.  You can do it with simple exercises like jumping jacks, pushups, squats, any cardio equipment, etc.  The workout I do is on the treadmill and that works well for me.  I designed my workout like this:

  • 10 minutes warmup
  • 20 seconds of intense training
  • 10 seconds of rest
  • Repeat the sequence 8 times

Time                            MPH
0:00-10:00                    6.0-6.5
10:00-10:20                  9.0 (You can do this faster if you can!)
10:20-10:30                  Rest
    Repeat this sequence 7 times
14:00-15:00                  4.5
15:00-15:20                  9.0
15:20-15:30                  Rest
    Repeat this sequence 7 times
19:00-20:00                  3.5

**As you can see I did the “Tabata” part of the workout twice.  It kicked my butt.  I was dripping sweat and it literally felt like I had run for 45 minutes.  It’s a great fat burner and gets the conditioning done. I actually noticed in a 3 mile tempo run later in the week, that I was faster and my heart rate was able to recover a lot faster than before with just 1 Tabata workout.  I got the idea for this workout from Tina at Carrots n’ Cake.  I LOVE THIS WORKOUT!

If you try this workout, please make sure that you are conditioned to be able to do so.  This is very intense.  The good news is that you can gage your own intensity and can stop if needed.

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