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Tabata Workouts – What are Tabata Workouts?

Tabata Workouts are a popular type of exercise in the fitness world today. The thought of doing a workout that is only 4 minutes has everyone excited and wondering whether or not this is a great solution to lose fat. Some say that a 4 minute Tabata Workout can equal the amount of work done doing steady state cardio on a cardio machine for 60 minutes.


Tabata Workouts – What are Tabata Workouts?

Tabata Workouts first came about in a research study that was done by Izumi Tabata in 1996. Yes he named it after himself, why not? Mr Tabata was working with his colleagues at the department of physiology at the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo Japan.

The first Group

They conducted this test with several subjects who performed intermittent training exercise for 5 days per week for a total of 6 weeks. These sessions were 8 sets each for a total of 4 minutes. The 4 minute workout contained intervals of 20 seconds on and 10 seconds of rest. If you combined all the workouts in the study you would end up with about 2 hrs of exercise within the 6 weeks of the study.

The workout that this group was doing was a really intense workout for the full 4 minutes. In the Tabata workouts research study stated that this training is “exhaustive intermittent training consisted of seven to eight sets of 20-s exercise at an intensity of about 170% of VO2max with a 10-s rest between each bout.” They used specifically designed bikes that were created just for this study. This was done under strict circumstances.

The Second Group

The second group that they were using to compare with the first did 60 minutes of steady state cardio 5 times a week for each of the 6 weeks.


Results of the Tabata Workouts Study

The results of the Tabata Workouts study were astounding. There was an improvement for each of the test subjects. Through this Tabata Training they increased their muscular systems by 28% and their cardio systems were also increased. The second group also increased their cardio systems but their muscular systems showed little change.


The Truth about Tabata Workouts

Now that you are all excited about Tabata Workouts I have to tell you the bad news. Tabata Training can only be done with super high intensity exercise. Do you think you can get to this level? Most people that want to try this type of training are probably still at a basic fitness level. They are trying these intervals of 20 seconds on and 10 seconds off and they think they are doing Tabatas.

The Tabata study was done with a specialized bike that was specifically build for this training. What 95% of people are actually doing when they think they are doing Tabata Workouts is interval training. It’s a great workout but not something that is going to equal 60 minutes of steady state cardio if you are only doing it for 4 minutes.


How Tabata Workouts Benefit you

Yes I realize they aren’t Tabata Workouts but you can still benefit from these tabata style intervals in your workouts.

Tabata workouts save time just like any interval training. They burn more fat then steady state cardio because they get your heart pumping faster. I’ve been using these workouts for a while now and I’m always out of breath.

Tabata workouts burn more fat because they involve a strength training element in them. Since they have a strength training element in them they burn more fat then regular cardio workouts.

There are many different types of exercises that you can use for these Tabata intervals such as kettlebells, dumbbells, suspension trainer, bodyweight exercises, barbells and other exercise equipment. The best strategy is to change up your workouts so you do something different each time.

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