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Tabata was developed in 1996 by Izumi Tabata and his colleagues at the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo. It’s a type of interval training that consists of eight timed intervals that alternate between 20 seconds of all-out work and a 10-second rest period. The best part: You’re done in four minutes.
Because of the intensity, Tabata jacks up your metabolic rate better than steady-state cardio. Translation: You’ll burn more calories. High-intensity workouts like Tabata also boost excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC, which is your body’s rate of recovery post-workout. The longer your body is recovering, the more calories it’s burning, and Tabata takes longer to recover from.
Tabata training is perfect for anyone trying to squeeze in a super efficient workout in a very short amount of time. A full workout can take as little as 15 minutes to complete start to finish—warm up for eight minutes, perform one four-minute Tabata sequence, and then cool down for three more minutes.
During a Tabata workout, you want to get your heart rate to 90% of max. To do this, go balls-to-the-wall for 20 seconds and then rest 10 seconds. Repeat eight times. This should be a grueling four minutes. If you’re new to Tabata, follow the chart below to acclimate.
Try the workouts below to get started with Tabata-style training.