Tabata style workouts are a popular form of high intensity interval training (HIIT) named after the Japanese researcher, Dr. Izumi Tabata. This doctor teamed up with the Japanese speed skating team in 1996, with the goal of determining an optimal training protocol for the athletes. Dr. Tabata’s style of workouts are now done around the world in fitness clubs & CrossFit gyms, but can be easily be done in the convince of your home.     

What is a Tabata

First, it is important to understand that a Tabata isn’t a movement. Instead, a Tabata is a way of training. Each Tabata is performed by doing 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated for a total of 8 cycles. Don’t worry about counting the seconds, there are plenty of clock timer apps available and we have a Tabata timer video located on the resources page.

Why Tabata

Life is busy! After a long day, most of us don’t have time or energy to drive to the gym, exercise for 60 minutes, then drive back home. When it comes to exercise, most of us need something quick, repeatable & systematic in order to be successful.

How to Tabata

  1. Pick One Movement to Perform (Exercise Movements)

  2. Warm up

  3. Start the Tabata Clock Timer

  4. Count Your Total Reps Performed During Your Cycles

  5. Cool Down

  6. Mark Down Your Score (Total Reps Over all 8 Cycles)  

Research to Support Tabata Workouts

In Dr. Tabata’s original research he compared two groups of athletes. Both groups exercised 5 days per week over 6 weeks. The first group performed a Tabata protocol including a 5 minute warm up, a 4 minute Tabata, and a 5 minute cool down, for a total time of 14 minutes. The second group ran at 70% of their effort for a total of 60 minutes. As a result, the athletes practicing a Tabata lost body fat without losing muscle mass, improved their aerobic capacity by 14% and their anaerobic capacity by 28%, compared to the traditional running protocol athletes, with showed only a 9.5% improvement in their aerobic  capacity and no effect on their anaerobic capacity. Essentially, this 14 minute exercise protocol created results as good or better than the standard 60 minute protocol.

Before Starting

  • Visit your doctor for a full medical check up before starting any exercise program

  • Respect your current fitness level by starting an exercise program at a pace you can maintain

  • Injuries require rest and recovery. Working through pain will only cause more damage and delay healing

  • If you have a pre-existing injury or are prone to injury, consult your doctor before starting any exercise program

Stop Exercising & Seek Medical Help If You Experience Any of The Following

  • You feel pain or discomfort

  • You feel chest pain that could indicate a heart attack, including pain in the neck, jaw, pain traveling down the arm or pain between the shoulder blades

  • You experience any breathlessness or inability to catch your breath

  • You develop a rapid or irregular heartbeat during exercise

  • You experience joint pain persisting after more than three days of rest