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We all live busy lives and there are a lot of people who claim that they simply dont have time to go to the gym for a long cardio workout or strength training routine. The good news is you don’t need to spend hours on the treadmill or elliptical to burn some serious fat. All you need is four minutes.
The type of training I am referring to is a different form of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) called Tabata. The basis of Tabata Training is four minutes of intense interval training/circuit training. A good example is sprinting for 20 seconds and then walking for 10 seconds – Repeat 7 more times for a total of 8 sets (which equals approximately four minutes).
Tabata Training can be done with a number of different exercises. The idea is to use an exercise that gets the whole body involved, or at least the major muscle groups. Tabata Training can be done with barbells, dumbells, kettlebells or just bodyweight exercises.
A study by Japanese scientist Dr. Izumi Tabata, who founded Tabata training, found that high intensity training improved VO2 max (or your maximal oxygen consumption) by about 14%, while anaerobic capacity improved by 28%. These effects will help you shed those extra pounds of fat, while also building lean muscle.
If you want to add tabata to your weight workout, simply pick four barbell exercises that you can easily transition between. Perform the first exercise for as many reps as you can in 20 seconds, rest 10 seconds, then perform the second exercise as fast as possible for 20 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds, and repeat this process for the remaining exercises.
Get four sample Tabata workouts on the next page >>
Here’s a sample of a four-exercise barbell Tabata complex (with each movement done twice):
1. Reverse Lunges
2. Shoulder Press
3. Romanian Deadlifts
4. Back Squats
Once you’ve completed all four exercises you’re only half way done, because you’ll only be two minutes into the Tabata. Go back to the first exercise and repeat the entire complex again without ever dropping the bar.
Here’s a sample of a four-exercise dumbbell Tabata complex:
1. Bicep Curls
2. Incline Flyes
3. Arnold Shoulder Press
4. Side Lateral Raise
* 20 seconds on each exercise with a 10 second rest in between x 2 sets
And for a fast, cardio shred try this workout:
Sprinting – sprint for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds x 8 times
Jump rope – jump for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds x 8 times