Tabata workouts sound like a great idea… if you like the idea of getting fit in eight minutes. Find out the history behind these extraordinary claims regarding this workout and whether or not they would work for you.
Tabata was the creation of Dr. Izumi Tabata, who trained the Japanese speed skating team in the 1990’s. Even these highly trained and conditioned athletes had a challenging time keeping up, but they saw fantastic results in just a few short weeks. Celebrities swear by it.
These workouts are a variation of the popular HIIT training that athletes have done for years. Alternating between short times of intense activity and short recovery periods. With Tabata, you train as hard as you can for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, and repeat the cycle 8 times.
Best 5 Benefits of Tabata Workouts
1. Increase your anaerobic capacity with Tabata
Ordinary cardiovascular activities, such as running on the treadmill or swimming, will increase your aerobic capacity. But intense short-term bursts of exercise and exertion seems to affect your anaerobic fitness more effectively. Tabata increases your anaerobic capacity since you are strengthening your muscles by forcing them to do hard work for a short period of time.
2. Save time with Tabata
Many people enjoy the Tabata workout because you can get fit in a shorter period of time. Think of all the extra things in your life you can accomplish with the extra time that you free up. You can spend more time enjoying your favorite hobbies or past times with friends and family members.
3. Avoid overuse injuries
Daily tennis matches or long distance jogging like marathon training often put too much stress on certain areas of your body such as your legs, and various muscle groups. The shorter period workouts may help to protect your tendons, shins, and muscles.
4. Burn Fat
Studies show that Tabata stimulates your metabolism, and you continue burning more calories for about the next 12 hours. That quickly adds up. Research also shows that the effect of regular aerobic exercise for weight loss is negligible and that short bouts of high-intensity exercise are more effective for reducing fat.
5. Lower your risk of diabetes
There’s evidence that Tabata may help balance your blood sugar. Exercise and a healthy diet are both important. High-intensity exercise has been shown to be an important factor in improving aerobic capacity and reversing the risk factors for metabolic syndrome.
Are Tabata-Style Workouts For You?
1. Know what your goals are. Tabata isn’t easy, so ask yourself if it’s an appropriate type of exercise for you. You may want to progress your fitness through other workouts first and then move to Tabata.
2. Talk to your doctor first. Your physician can advise you about your individual health tolerances and whether Tabata would be a good fit for you. It’s especially important to get a medical consultation if you have certain medical conditions or have been sedentary for a while.
3. Work with a certified personal trainer. A qualified trainer can get you off to a good start. If you cannot afford private training, enroll in a group class.
4. Use a reliable timer. Precise timing is very important in Tabata training. It can be difficult to estimate how many seconds go by without looking at a timer or stopwatch. There are many free apps on your phone with great Tabata timers.
5. Start with easy movements. Almost any exercise activity can be incorporated into Tabata. Begin with your personal favorites and incorporate the treadmill or stationary bicycle. Over time you can add in different kinds of exercises like sprints, running hills or jump rope.
6. Make sure you warm up good and cool down. Like any exercise routine, it’s always a good idea to give your body sufficient preparation to warm the muscles and a light cool down to slowly relax the body. Begin and end your session with slower and smaller movements. Save a good static stretch for last when your muscles are warm.
7. Be prepared for a little discomfort. Even seasoned athletes acknowledge that Tabata is challenging. Temporary shortness of breath and other symptoms are natural. You may decide it’s worth the effort once you see the results.
8. Proceed slowly and consistently. Consider the option of borrowing some Tabata concepts without going the whole distance. Try taking longer rest periods or doing less than 8 cycles.
9. Keep a journal. A written log will help highlight your progress. Look back over the weeks and months to see your improvements and keep inspired.
Tabata takes a little longer than a few minutes everyone thinks. However, it still cuts the hours off the usual gym time and delivers superior results. You can even adapt the principles to suit your individual condition and goals so you’ll stay safe while getting in great shape.
Tabata training is not recommended for beginners, and it’s better suited for someone who has been working out consistently and is comfortable with high-intensity exercise. There is also an increased risk for injury when performing exercises at a high-intensity for time.