If we asked you if you’d rather work moderately hard for 1 hour or really hard for 20 minutes, which would you choose? We bet you’d choose the latter – who really has the time to spare a full hour anymore, anyway?!
Well that’s exactly what Tabata is. It’s a workout style that requires you to work your hardest for 20 seconds, then take a 10 second break to recover. You continue this for the duration of your workout (usually about 30-45 minutes).
So how do I do Tabata?
Here are some of the exercises that you might see in a Tabata workout;
- 5-minute warm up
- 8 reps of jump squats (20 seconds on, 10 seconds off)
- 8 reps of burpees (20 seconds on, 10 seconds off)
- 8 reps of switch lunges (20 seconds on, 10 seconds off)
- 8 reps of mountain climbers (20 seconds on, 10 seconds off)
- 5-minute cool down
Between each exercise, you’ll take some time to cool off and get ready for the next round!
Who should try it?
Tabata is good for everyone, and should actually be incorporated into any fitness routine. Whether you’re just starting out, or are a seasoned pro, you can modify any exercise for your fitness level.
Do I need to take a class?
This is an exercise you can do anytime, and anywhere! If you have four minutes to spare, you can do a tabata-style workout with just one exercise. For example, you can do one round of jump squats (20 seconds on, 10 seconds off, for 8 rounds), between episodes of the latest show you’re been binge watching.
… but we do admit, having other motivated fitness lovers surrounding you while you think “I literally cannot even do one more set”, helps you push through. Plus, you never know if you’ll find a new workout buddy!
Where did it come from?!
There’s actually a lot of science behind this form of exercise. In fact, that’s where the name came from! Professor Izumi Tabata studied two groups of athletes, giving one long periods of cardio exercises, and the other with short bursts, like those explained above. In general, he found that the second group saw better aerobic and anaerobic benefits.
Remember to incorporate this with other activities like weightlifting, running, yoga and cycling.
Have you tried a Tabata workout? Or, do you regularly include it in your workout schedule?
If you want more fitness from Steve Nash Fitness World and Sports Club, check out @stevenashfitnessclubs or blog.snclubs.com. And if you’re located in British Columbia (or even just passing through), check out their clubs for free! Find out how here.
Steve Nash Fitness World and Sports Club is a group of 23 (and growing!) Canadian fitness clubs based in British Columbia.