All these fitness programs and all these trends that promise wonders… But what the heck are Tabata workouts?

If you’re the type of person who prefers explosions of energy and intensity in your workout routine, you’ve come to the right place. Discover the history, the effects, and the practical implementations of Tabata, an exercise cycle that’s absolutely not for the faint-hearted. You can tell that simply by reading this common tip: if the world doesn’t spin around you by the time you’re finished, you didn’t do the routine right.

What Are Tabata Workouts?

First researched and implemented by Dr. Izumi Tabata and the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo, Tabata workouts are a form of high-intensity interval training (HIIT).

This type of training involves short bursts of energy and effort, making them the perfect workouts for people who don’t have much time at their disposal for exercise. However, they also require a lot of effort, requiring you to push your body beyond the limits. At the end of a HIIT routine, you should be pretty much feeling as if you’re on the brink of death. It makes perfect sense why. After all, in a sense you’re merely condensing the effort and calorie burning of an average 30-minute routine into 4 minutes. And this is the average length of a Tabata workout.

In order to undergo a Tabata workout, you have to follow this structure:

  • 20 seconds of intense, beyond-your-limits working out;
  • 10 seconds of pause to take a breather;

You have to cycle through this format for 8 full sets, giving you a 4-minute long practice at the end of the routine. Despite the fact that it’s an exercise just under 5 minutes in length, these might just be the most difficult and exhausting minutes of your life.

How to Get Into Tabata

The beauty of a Tabata workout is that it’s a style, not a specific exercise type. This means that you can experiment with any kind of exercise you enjoy, creating a routine that tailors to your wants and needs. Do you want a cycle that will help you tone up muscle arms? Great! You’ll likely find what you need on this printable Tabata workout sheet, which you can carry with you everywhere so you can be ready for a session no matter where you are.

If you’re just starting out, you can seek inspiration in this list of eleven exercises that make perfect inclusions in a Tabata workout.

Furthermore, the length of a routine actually varies. Beginners in the world of HIIC can simply stick to a singular, 4-minute routine. But as you get more used to Tabata, you can increase the length to:

You can keep going for however long you need and your body can withstand the effort.

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, Tabata workouts are the kind of thing you should get into only if you have no problem feeling like you’re on the brink of death while exercising. It sucks, really. But, boy, does this program work wonders.