Looking for an effective, all-around exercise? Try Tabata training

Different exercise trends and “fads” pop up daily, it seems. Most routines are variations on execution, with generally the same end goal. Nevertheless, a hot trend immigrating over to the United States from Japan is coined, “Tabata training.” Known for its high intensity, this routine is extremely effective, if you give it your all during the intervals.

Founded in the 1990s in Japan by Izumi Tabata, Tabata training incorporates a high-intensity interval workout with a short routine. Through his study, Tabata observed two groups of athletes to compare the differences between moderate high intensity training and high-intensity interval training. Tabata found that the athletes who trained in high-intensity interval training improved both their aerobic and anaerobic systems, while the moderate high-intensity training group only improved their aerobic system.

Simply put, aerobic exercises promote cardio and endurance, while anaerobic is typically focused on weightlifting and sprints — shorter exercises.

Tabata training is a short workout, but effective. Essentially, the interval workout is 20 seconds on and 10 seconds off, or rest, for a total of 8 intervals and a 4-minute workout. All you need for the workout is a timer. You can design your Tabata intervals to target the results you want — weight loss, endurance, etc. Men’s Health, Shape Magazine, and Fitness.com all offer examples of Tabata interval sets.

Suggested sample:

  • 5 minute warmup (a light jog, for example)
  • Pushups for 20 seconds, 10 seconds rest
  • Pushups for 20 seconds, 10 seconds rest
  • Skipping for 20 seconds, 10 seconds rest
  • Skipping for 20 seconds, 10 seconds rest
  • Burpees for 20 seconds, 10 seconds rest
  • Burpees for 20 seconds, 10 seconds rest
  • Plank for 20 seconds, 10 seconds rest
  • Plank for 20 seconds, 10 seconds rest
  • 5 minute cool-down

What intervals would you add into your Tabata training routine?

Photo credit: stoermchen

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  1. In most conditions, anaerobic exercise is accompanied by aerobic exercises because the less efficient anaerobic metabolism must supplement the aerobic system due to energy demands that exceed the aerobic system’s capacity. What is generally called aerobic exercise might be better termed “solely aerobic”, because it is designed to be low-intensity enough not to generate lactate via pyruvate fermentation, so that all carbohydrate is aerobically turned into energy.

    1. Cassandra,

      Thank you for your comment. You’re correct and your explanation provides a simple and easy to understand definition for those inquiring. I appreciate you reading!

      Have a wonderful weekend,

      Kristin Coppens

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