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When it comes to fitness, there are no easy fixes. Sure, you’ll probably see an ad for “miracle” diet pills or meditation programs that promise you weight loss fast. I’m here to tell you: they don’t work.
Unfortunately, the reality of the situation is: if you want to lose weight, you need a proper diet and a good workout program. While the diet is something that can easily be arranged, a lot of people tend to feel like they never have the time to squeeze in a good workout regimen.
Luckily, there are quick and effective workout programs you can do at home. No, this isn’t one of those “instant” workout plans, but it is something that you can do in 4 minutes or less.
This program is called Tabata Intervals. Created by renowned Japanese sports scientist Dr. Izumi Tabata, the Tabata Intervals are high-intensity workouts that are designed to bring your body into a state of stress that is perfect for losing fat and gaining strength. Dr. Tabata created this program after observing the workout program of speed skaters. While 4 minute intervals don’t sound that difficult, the exercises are designed to be done as intensely as possible, and once you’re done, you’re done, you’ll regret even thinking that it was easy!
But don’t let that scare you off! Once you get the hang of it, Tabata Intervals can be a fun and quick way to get fit.
An Intense, All-Out Workout
A Tabata Workout program consists of giving all-out effort at maximum intensity for 20 seconds, resting for 10 seconds, then doing the whole thing all over again. This sounds simple and short, but it is one of the most difficult and tiring programs you can follow. The secret to the program? Pouring in as much as effort as you possibly can in those 20 seconds.
The routine is built in this way because it seeks to compress as many repetitions as humanly possible 8 sets of 20-second intervals. In this way, lactic acid builds up in your muscles by your 5th or 6th set, making simple bodyweight exercises all the more challenging and effective.
This challenge is the heart of the Tabata workout. Because there is no full recovery between your sets, your heart rate is almost always elevated throughout your entire 4-minute session, which helps your body burn fat and gain muscle faster.
Get Ready to Sweat
In simple terms, the Tabata program is a high-intensity interval training, or HIIT, that can be used with a variety of exercises. It’s not a strict set of exercises, but a guideline for how long each exercise should be and how long each rest period is. It can be applied to almost any exercise program, so long as you strictly adhere to the 20-second work and 10-second rest intervals. Not only does it get you fit fast, it also helps you keep your workout program exciting.
The Tabata workout doesn’t need any fancy equipment: just a stopwatch and the willpower to overcome your mental and physical limits. If you’re new to HIIT, then a single round of Tabata intervals can be enough to leave you sweating and breathless. However, if you are new to HIIT, make sure you warm-up really well before attempting any exercise so as not to injure yourself during your work out.
Perfect for Any Workout
When creating a workout program with the Tabata intervals in mind, choose only one or two exercises per circuit. The Tabata program works best when used with one movement in mind because the intensity you pour into each 20 seconds should leave you begging to stop. If you’re not sweating and exhausted by the end of those 4-minutes, you weren’t putting in all of your effort.
However, you can also alternate between 2 exercises. On a side note, you can also increase or decrease the intensity or the number of sets. While this might not count as a Tabata interval anymore, it is a good way to get started, especially if you’re new to working out.
Beginners are advised to do bodyweight exercises first. This usually gets the job done and is the safest way to start working out. Once you find that your body weight is not exhausting you enough, you can start adding weights to your workout slowly.
Again, the Tabata intervals are not necessarily about speed: it’s about pouring as much effort and as many reps as you can within 20 seconds. If you need to slow down so you can do an exercise with proper form, please do so.
If you do decide to implement Tabata intervals to your workout, there are amazing benefits to be had.
First of all, Tabata intervals are used by athletes to squeeze in as much training as possible in the shortest amount of time possible. Secondly, Tabata intervals burns a lot of calories, so make sure that you’re adequately fueled up before even attempting it. Third, Tabata intervals provide people with an extremely effective aerobic and anaerobic workout, which helps you burn fat and increase muscle mass. It’s also been known to improve glucose metabolism and flexibility, which is probably why athletes love it so much.
Again, if you’re new to HIIT and working out in general, you can start off slowly and build your way up. You can take longer recovery times or fewer sets, anything to make it achievable for you in the beginning. But note, we said achievable, not easy. The Tabata intervals are designed to be difficult and are definitely not a relaxing way to get a workout in.
It requires the absolute maximum effort in every set, which is what makes it so effective. Of course, if you start to feel pain, you can dial it down, take a longer rest, or even call it off for the day. The important part is to try again the next day and to get to a point where you can do Tabata intervals regularly.
Do you have a workout plan that works well with the Tabata intervals? Hit us up in the comments!