Tabata Training – The fastest way to fitness and fat loss



Tabata training is a workout Olympic speed skaters used to ramp up their already phenomenal fitness…..and its only four minutes long.

Tabata HIIT Workout

Tabata HIIT Workout

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Tabata training is one brutal way to get a dream body by exercising 12 minutes a week.

No......that isn't a mistype.

This is an astonishing protocol used by successful olympic athletes.

Tabata training is the single most effective type of's also the most intense by far.......I'm talking nausea, giddiness, sucking air like you might pass out and having to hold yourself up intense....

...Still here?

Ok, lets continue then (Don't say you weren't warned...)

Surprisingly its the shortest in duration, it only last for four minutes... but those four minutes produce remarkable effects.

Tabata training was discovered by Dr. Izumi Tabata and a team of researchers from the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo.

Dr. Tabata discovered that this kind of interval training produces much better results than aerobic training.

This included building as much muscular endurance as forty five minutes of normal cardio training.

In fact in the study the subjects increased their anaerobic capacity by over a quarter as well a substantial increase in their aerobic fitness.

Something to keep in mind was that the subjects were as fit as race horses before they started the trial, so the improvements were remarkable.

This makes it a very versatile program, you can use tabata for weight loss as well most improving performance in most aerobic and anaerobic sport.


The full Tabata program is four minutes long, it will probably feel like the longest four minutes of your life.




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If you are going to try it I would recommend going light with the weights until you find your range, theres a good chance you will underestimate this workout and be begging people around you to help you off the floor.

Tabata intervals follow this structure:

  • Push hard for 20 seconds
  • Rest for 10 seconds.
  • Repeat this eight times.

The secret to making this effective is in your sprint interval. You have to go all out, so do as many reps as you can in the 20 seconds, put it down for 10, then pick it up again and go hell for leather for another 20 seconds.

I would suggest getting some sort of tabata timer like a watch where you can see exactly where you are in the workout, you don't want to have to think too much, all of your concentration will be on the exercise.

You can also try using an mp3 interval workout like these to add structure to your workout.

Choosing Exercises

You can do Tabata exercise with sprints, but it is far more adaptable than other forms of interval training. You can use exercises such as the front squat or push press if you are in the gym. Kettle bells work exceptionally well. Basically, anything that you can put a large load on your biggest muscle groups. Be sure to use your large muscle groups otherwise you will get very little of the benefit.

(Note - make sure you are doing a front squat and not a standard squat, you will want to put the bar down!)

This is not a daily workout, if you can do this every day you are doing it wrong. Some people try it once a week but most end up doing Tabata once or twice a month. None the less, it produces remarkable results for those brave enough to use it.



If you would like to discuss something about Tabata Training, feel free to add below
  • Muscle soreness – what is normal?

    I’m a 33 year old male and have been running for 15 years. Usually 5 miles 2 – 3 times per week. I’m lean everywhere, 80kgs and 5ft 9 “, apart from a little belly fat that I would like to strip so I started the lose belly fat routine.

    When I started my 3rd session of week one the stiffness / soreness in my right hamstring and left glute prevented me from sprinting properly. I tried but my body wouldn’t do it and was quite painful.I finished the session but reduced the rest down to 45 seconds. Legs still felt like lead whenI’d finished.

    The thing is I didn’t really expect this as I am already quite fit and would like to know if what I’m feeling is normal or not and how long I should leave it before I try another session.

    I’m very worried that I may have a tear but don’t know how to tell.

    I would like to add that I have felt fantastic on the off days and have had more energy and strength during my weight routines.

  • Tabata Training on the row machine.

    I was advised that a great method of Tabata training is on the rowing machine. Will this still work as well?

    Also I do this about 2-3 times a week with two set of 4 minutes each session. Is this too much?

  • Tabata Rest Days

    Your article mentions that Tabata training shouldn’t be done everyday, or else we’re doing it wrong.

    But I thought Dr. Izumi made his subjects perform this routine 5days/wk for 6 weeks. Granted they were very fit to begin with, it isn’t something where it was impossible to perform (for them).

    For me, I tried my first Tabata routine today using a jump rope. I put in 100% maximum effort and ended up only doing 4 reps (I was literally drooling spit + snot out of my nose). I was in the bathroom for the next half hour spitting out what felt like battery acid.

    Yes, it was difficult, but after about an hour, my body is back to normal and feel that I can probably perform the same routine again tomorrow. Maybe I’ll shoot for 5 sets this time.

  • Cross trainer and Tabata

    is it possible to do Tabata on the cross trainer? Just follow the same method? Does it make it any less effective?

    How does this work with different kinds of exercise? e.g. weights, running, cycling etc…


  • WOW

    I could NOT do 4 straight minutes of this insanity. I did 1 minute sessions, 4 times. Then I rinsed and repeated 3 times. The first time I did 1 minute, my thighs were throbbing for what felt like an hour. So suffice to say, if it hurt this badly, it definitely does something! No doubt the most effective and intensive workout yet. Also, have some music (house/electronic – I prefer Daft Punk) to help maintain your energy because it’s just that tough.

  • Is this good for toning?

    I’m currently on a weight loss program, and have lost 57 lbs, but need to find a program that will help tone certain areas. Will Tabata training help with toning issues? Can it be used on the treadmill and elliptical?



  • Burpees and Tabata

    Would burpees be a good choice to use for Tabata? I’ve tried doing them for a minute straight and it was HELL! I did it but was dead tired and they are already an excellent conditioner so, if i could do it, would it combine well with the Tabata program?

    Back to Tabata

  • Tabata with jumping rope?

    This maybe a dumb question, but I’m starting out w/ this workout thing & don’t know if I want to invest in home equipment or join a gym yet, so I bought a jump rope.

    Do you think this principle would be applicable with jumping rope?

  • Any clues on how many calories are burnt

    Anybody got a rough guide of calories burnt? Want to put it in my exercise tracker and can’t find an answer- know it depends on my weight (235lb) and what I do but any rough clues? Like having some record-thanks

  • Tabata Training on a stationary bike

    When looking into Tabata training. I found an article and You Tube video that says you can use a stationary bike for the training which is to be for 4 minutes only. I’ve been reading a lot of posts on here of people doing HIIT for 20-45 minutes, involving weights??? Is using a stationary bike not beneficial? Now I’m really confused. The HIIT work out I was looking at was high intensity pedaling on a stationary bike for 20 seconds…slower pedaling for 10 seconds for 8 sets. Is this not correct?

  • How Long Will It Take?

    I’m a 33 year old female, 5’1 and 130 pounds. I have an apple shaped body which means i carry most of my weight in my midsection. I want to lose 30 pounds and get back to my 103 lb weight i was years ago. I did Jillian Michaels 3-4x a week for at least 2 months and I maybe lost 1 or 2 pounds!
    If i want to lose my first 10 lbs, how often and long must I do the tabata’s? I was thinking two-4 minute workouts a day, 3-4x a week?

  • Spin Instructor

    What would be an effective way to incorporate this into my cycling class.

  • Tabata Frequency

    I have Resistance bands, and have seen videos using Tabata, but nothing is mention regarding frequency.

    Fit 77 year old, paddle kayaks for miles, still work, look after a house and garden, and walk two greyhounds, sleep like a log, and have passed medicals with flying colours, but I know I have to work on the fitness. Have overweight and ill friends to remind me everyday that exercise is king.

    Comments on doing say every other day, with the basic band movements.

  • Tabata Deadlift

    First pick a weight, 165lbs, 225lbs & 315lbs. The idea is to do as many reps of your chosen weight within the eight sets. Trust me this is way harder than it sounds.

    By the end you will be a ball of pain and sweat, but you just gotta love it. You could pick your own weight but you want it to be challenging.

    165lbs = Amateur
    225lbs = intermediate
    315lbs = Professional strength athletes.
    Me personally, I am recording 70 reps at 225lbs, which is actually pretty ordinary.

  • Tabata As Part of Marathon Training?

    As a distance runner preparing to do 26.2 #2, I wonder whether Tabata would really be beneficial? Yes, I am looking to increase my speed overall to qualify for the Boston Marathon (I’ll need to run a 3h:45min race, or 8:34 avg. min/mile pace), but obviously sprinting is not really part of a marathon.

    Compared to other forms of longer, less intense interval training (say Mile repeats or Yasso 800’s), does anyone have experience integrating the Tabata protocol into their marathon training, and if so, how did it go and what tips do you have?

    Thanks for whatever advice you can share.

    Absolutely fabulously yours in health,

    Gabrielle Miller
    Ab Fab Fit

  • Tabata Interval Question

    When doing Tabata intervals is it important to maintain the same weight throughout the entire exercise or is decreasing the weight okay to maintain speed?

    Also can you give a list of at least 5 exercises that you’d recommend to do with this style of training.

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