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What Is Tabata?

There are many different gym workout types that you have no doubt discovered over the years, each helping you to reach your fitness goals, whether you’re trying to lose weight, increase strength or build muscle.

One that we can highly recommended is Tabata – a high intensity interval training (HIIT) workout, featuring exercises that last four minutes.

Dr. Tabata’s Experiment

Tabata training was discovered by Japanese scientist Dr. Izumi Tabata from the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo.

Dr. Tabata and his team conducted research on two groups of athletes. Group one trained at a moderate intensity level. They worked out for five days a week for six weeks with an hour per session. Group two trained at a high intensity level, working out four days a week for six weeks, consisting of 20 seconds of all-out intense training, followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated for four minutes.

The finding of this experiment showed that even though group one increased their aerobic/cardio system, they showed little but showed little or no results for their anaerobic/muscle system. Group two, meanwhile not only showed much more increase in their aerobic/cardio system than group one, and also increased their anaerobic/muscular system by 28%, meaning HIIT training had a much greater overall impact.

How Does Tabata Help?

Tabata improves athletic performance and glucose metabolism, acting as an excellent catalyst for fat burning. The excess post-exercise oxygen consumption effect for Tabata occurs immediately after the workout, so you keep burning calories.

You don’t have to stick to just four minutes either. You could, for example, use the technique for multiple workouts; performing push-ups for four minutes, using the 20 second HIIT/10 second rest ratio. Then rest for one minute, before doing the same with burpees, and then squats, or whatever work-out you like.

That isn’t to say Tabata is easy. But it's a great way to push your body to its limit in a very short space of time. You burn a very high amount of calories and obtain a full-body workout.

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