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The Tabata Method: full workout in four minutes

Tabata Method

As we all know, it is important to take the time to exercise and eat healthy. Unfortunately sometimes there just aren't enough hours in the day no matter how early you try and get up or how many meetings you reschedule. Thankfully there is the Tabata Method that is continuing to grow in popularity and might be the answer for you.

A closer look at this Method

How did it start?

The Tabata Method came to be in a 1996 study written by Japanese scientist, Dr. Izumi Tabata, and was published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. In his study he compared 2 groups over a 6-week period. One group would workout 5 days a week doing steady-state training, meaning there was no interval training. The second group worked out 4 days a week using the tabata method as well as an additional day of steady-state training. At the end of the 6 weeks, results showed an increase in aerobic capacity in the first groub, but the second group increased more in their aerobic than the first group and gained anaerobic capacity benefits.

What is exactly is Tabata?

Tabata is similar to high intensity interval training, HIIT. The athlete pushes hard for a certain amount of time, takes a break, and then repeats it. The difference between HIIT and Tabata is the length of time for the rest and work out periods. Tabata lasts 4 minutes and is made up of 8 rounds with 20 seconds of hard intense work followed by a 10 second rest. HIIT though usually lasts 20-40 minutes and involves 1-2 minutes of high intensity with somewhere between 30 seconds to 2 minutes of rest. Both though are trying to push the percentage of your maximum heart rate.

Types of exercises

Before going straight into the exercises, make sure to do a thorough warm up. The great thing about these interval trainings is that you can choose the exercises you want to do and areas you want to work. Ideally the exercises should be done with 1 movement.

Some examples would be thrusters, front squats, and burpees, pushups, rows, mountain climbers, high knees, lunges, or really any exercise that works large muscle groups.

Here is an example of a workout:

20 seconds: Burpees

10 seconds: Rest

20 seconds: Squats

10 seconds: Rest

Repeat 4 times

Make it work for you

The great things about the Tabata Method is that you can alter it as you see fit by decreasing or increasing rounds, changing the length of time and alternating exercises. There are many benefits to Tabata like getting both an aerobic and anaerobic workout, improving glucose metabolism, and changing your routine. Make sure to consult your doctor first though if you are pregnant, have a history of cardiovascular problems, or have high blood pressure.

For more workout ideas, check out these great workouts. link.

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