couple 4-minute Tabata workout

Tabata workout is a form of high-intensity interval training, which has been shown to be more efficient and effective than other forms of exercise. Burn calories, get your body in shape, build muscle? This type of HIIT is ideal if you are a busy person looking for a quick and intense full-body workout. Further, discover all you need to know about this 4-minute Tabata workout!

What is Tabata?

Tabata workout

Tabata is a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) type of workout that has been gaining popularity in the fitness world. It consists in repeating 8 times 20 seconds of maximum effort, followed by 10 seconds of recovery, for a total duration of 4 minutes only. Moreover, exercises can be anything from push-ups to burpees to jumping jacks.

This method was developed by a Japanese professor, Izumi Tabata, in the 90s’. This professor wanted to test a new training protocol for the Japanese speed skating team. So, he compared the effects of 60 minutes of moderate-intensity cycling to his 4-minute Tabata workout. 

The results showed that the high-intensity interval protocol he had developed was far more effective than simple endurance training! Indeed, the cyclists who performed the Tabata workout saw their anaerobic capacity increase by 28% more than those in the control group.

Tabata Workout Benefits

This Tabata training focuses on improving your cardiovascular system and burning calories, but not only! Here you can find the different benefits and advantages of Tabata.

1) Burn more fat by boosting your metabolism

If you want to lose fat, your body needs a caloric deficit. Any form of physical exercise is recommended to contribute to this deficit. However, you may not want to spend hours and hours at the gym. Research has shown that doing low or moderate-intensity cardio exercises is not the best way to burn calories. Indeed, short and intense exercises as Tabata training are much more effective. Moreover, your body will benefit from the “after-burn” effect. It means that, you will burn calories during, but especially after the effort without doing anything. So, it will contribute to increasing your metabolism and it will promote weight loss.

2) Preserve your muscle mass

If you want to lose weight, you will lose fat, but you may also lose muscle. For this reason, practicing Tabata will help you maintain your muscles mass or increase it. Indeed, it has been shown that this workout increase testosterone levels. So, you can focus on losing fat without worrying about losing muscle.

3) Improve your anaerobic capacity

Dr. Tabata has shown that by using his method several times a week for a month and a half, you increase your anaerobic capacity by 28%. Therefore, it has a considerable effect on your endurance and energy.

4) Takes care of your health

The practice of short but intense efforts helps to improve your health by regulating your blood sugar level. Also, it stabilizes blood pressure and promotes good cholesterol. If you want to know more about the practice of HIIT, here is a detailed article: What is HIIT?”

Tabata 4 minute workout

Woman doing chest pumps during a tabata workout

The advantage of Tabata is that you can practice this method anywhere, at home or outside. Furthermore, this training does not require any specific materials and can be used with various exercises. The main thing is to always respect the training and to make an effort high enough to have an impact on your metabolism.

1) Warm up

To start an exercise session, it is essential to warm up your body. Make sure to prepare your muscles and articulations before starting the effort. Keep in mind that the objective is to start slowly and then gradually increase in intensity. So, if you are a beginner, prefer a 4–5-minute warm-up to avoid any injuries. If you are looking for Tabata warm-up exercises check our article about it: Best TABATA warm-up exercises for all level

2) Example of Tabata workout

This 4-minute Tabata workout is an intense full-body workout that does not require any equipment. For those looking for extra intensity and challenge, you can repeat this circuit a second time.

  • 20-seconds Squats – 10 seconds Rest
  • 20-sec. Chest pumps – 10 sec. Rest
  • 20-sec. Mountain climbers – 10 sec. Rest
  • 20-sec. Squats – 10 sec. Break
  • 20-sec. Chest pumps – 10 sec. Rest
  • 20-sec. Burpees – 10 sec. Rest
  • 20-sec. Squats – 10 sec. Rest
  • 20-sec. Chest pumps – 10 sec. Rest

3) Stretching

Once the session is over, it will be important to stretch to soften the muscular tissues and other articulations. A good stretching session will avoid the pain of soreness the next day.

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