There have been so many work out fads over the years that it is almost unbelievable. When I say workout fads I mean those things that are like do “Do 87 side bends and you’re going to get six pack abs in 10 days!”
That’s just not going to happen, mmkaaayyy?
The North American fitness industry is a multibillion dollar industry per year. Approximately $30B to be more precise. That’s an astronomical number and here’s why it is so large; women want quick results without the process of learning a new way of living.
Which is why many will gain back the weight after losing it. It’s sad, but true.
There are many different types of workouts and exercises but a lot of them don’t deliver results that are being chased after.
One of the things that I have been adamant about over my career as a Trainer and coach is that I want to get my clients real attainable results that will last long term but in the shortest amount of time possible.
These results happen with specific types of training and a plan. And I’m not just talking about going to a random class a couple of times a week and expecting to get drastic and dramatic results. I’m talking specific types of workouts.
In keeping with this theme I want to talk about Tabata training.
One more thing, be very cautious while searching the internet for Tabata training. I’ve gone poking around myself and pages that often claim “Tabata Workouts” are often not actually Tabata workouts.
Tabata is HIIT training, HIIT training isn’t always Tabata. Make sense? Okay let’s move on.
I’m going to take you through a really fast history of Tabata training.
Ready? Here we go.
In 1996 Dr. Izumi Tabata had a team of researchers where they tested two groups of people where one group did moderate exercise for an hour 5 days a week and the second group did 4 days a week of only 4ish minutes of exercise.
At the end of the study, they came to the conclusion that the second group that worked out less at a higher intensity got better results than those that worked out more days a week and for longer periods of time.
That’s pretty crazy right?
And no,I’m not making this up. If you would like to go look at the history of Tabata and everything that goes into it, you can go here to Tabata training.com and learn about the history of Tabata and everything else Tabata related.
The reason that the brief history is important is because Dr. Tabata absolutely revolutionized the fitness industry. He is the one that revolutionized HIIT training.
HIIT training, in my experience and according to science, is the quickest and best way to get to your fitness goals. These goals can range from weight loss, to inch loss, to building muscle and getting stronger.
HIIT training is the best way and quickest way and most sustainable way to get there.
Is that the only thing to do? I don’t recommend it be the ONLY thing, but I do think that it should be part of the program.
Supersets with weights mixed with HIIT are the way to keep those muscles guessing to get hypertrophy quicker and to burn more calories faster.
Here’s another fun fact. 99% of my clients have 30-45 minute programs.
The ones that are on the longer time frame of workouts still have a circuit in that 60 minutes and the other time in their workout is more focused on different goals (ie. balance, core strength, addressing any weaknesses). The reason they still have that HIIT, is because the benefits are far too numerous to name.
Let’s go a bit deeper into what a Tabata workout is and what it is not. A Tabata workout takes just over four minutes to do. You have 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest for 8 rounds.
The movements that are best used for Tabata workout our movements that can be done efficiently, quickly. and safely.
This is because you only have those 20 seconds to work and you don’t want to be worried about form or too much weight. Those 20 seconds should be an all out effort in a safe manner.
Let’s break it down to an example Tabata workout here is an example Tabata workout that I put in my boot camp class that I have locally:
How to do Tabata: Example Workout
Round 1: Woodchops
Round 2: WoodChops
Round 3: Mountain Climbers
Round 4: Mountain Climbers
Round 5: Goblet Squats
Round 6: Goblet Squats
Round 7: Burpees
Round 8: Burpees
You will see that each of these movements can be done quickly efficiently and at an all out effort. You will also notice that they can be scaled to any fitness level.
When you are doing a Tabata workout you want to make sure that you are timing it on a smart phone or smart watch and not counting in your head.
This is because you need to be focusing on what you’re doing and not how many seconds are left. Because as you’re trying to count and workout, you will lose count. I know I do! I’ve tried to count a Tabata! It just doesn’t work.
Better for you to be able to focus on the movement that you were doing, while you were doing it.
Let’s take an example of Tabata workouts are not.
Tabata workouts are not heavy lifting segments. While heavy lifting can be lots of effort, and sometimes even all out effort, it doesn’t keep with the spirit of Tabata.
This is because you want to be able to do an all out effort for the amount of time that you were doing the movement. You’ll also notice in the sample work out above that the movement changes every two rounds and there are only eight rounds.
This is because you want your body to be giving an all out effort for the entire time that you were doing your round as it will burn the most calories and it will help you reach your goals faster. (how many times can I say “all out effort” in one post? Ooookay.. anyway…)
This is something to keep in mind when you are seeing things on the internet that claim to be Tabata workouts. If they go past 8 rounds, it’s not Tabata. If it goes over 20 seconds and longer than 10 second rest… not Tabata. You get the point!
Now I know you’re a busy girl. Tou are working full time, you’ve got a life, you’ve got stuff to do, right?
Youu don’t have time to live in the gym. Well, that is the premise of this entire business that I started; I wanted to teach you how to live your best and healthiest life without living in the gym and eating grilled chicken and kale every single meal.
Here’s the beauty of a Tabata workout;
if you were on a work trip, are on vacation, or you simply did not get to the gym that day because of other time constraints, you can do a Tabata workout and you will get a great workout in just over four minutes.
Something to keep in mind is that while a Tabata is great for scorching those calories in a short amount of time, it’s not going to be your best bet if you have a specific weight loss goal. Customize plans are always better for weight loss. Just something to keep in mind. 🙂
That doesn’t mean you can’t do Tabata workouts in your weight-loss plan, it just means that you should have a customized plan for you that will work to reach you for your weight-loss goals.
Fun Fact – a lot of people will use Tabata to boost their endurance.
While it’s only four minutes, you are using those 20 seconds of all out effort. And, amazingly enough, it will increase your endurance and that’s fantastic.
Another Fun Fact- ready?
What you might not know is that Tabata is awesome for weight training because it makes your muscles stronger which will allow you to increase in weight when you lift as well as be stronger in everyday life.
While I know that this post wasn’t overly groundbreaking
Nor was it anything that just changed your life completely, I do hope that it is something that you can use in your day to day.
Because I know you’re busy, right? You’re a career woman, you’ve got all this stuff going on, plus you’ve got big goals.
You simply don’t have time to spend an hour and a half or more in the gym every day.
So! When you’re in a jam, do a Tabata.
Here’s another hint…
Since you’re so short on time, try shortening your workouts to 30 minutes. Do a circuit to get that good cardio endurance and then do some weight training and you’re out in 30 minutes. Yep! 30 minutes and that includes a warmup and cool down!
Remember that this life is not about living in the gym and having the biggest muscles possible.
We do need extra exercise and workouts to reach our fitness goals but also because we’ve got stuff to do in this life, right? I mean, we want to take trips and hike, and get out doors and explore new cities and be able to live well!
Sometimes, less really is more. Which is where my belief comes in in regards to having circuits and shorter overall workouts.
If you’re wanting a week of free Tabata workouts throw in your email below. Once you subscribe (free!) to my weekly newsletter I will send you a week of free Tabata workouts
Let’s get one thing straight, spam is dumb. I do not spam, ever. Every Monday, I send you a weekly motivational newsletter to get you started on your week.
One thing I’ll leave you with…
If you are following people on Instagram that are making crazy claims about this diet or that diet or this crazy workout or exercises… Do yourself a favor and unfollow them. They simply aren’t worth your time!
Enjoy these workouts and really embrace challenging yourself because you’re stronger than you think.