Workout Routines

How to Do Tabata-Style Training to Burn Fat

Streamline your gym effort and burn more fat with this brutal workout method.

How to Burn Fat With Tabata-Style Training
Getty
Getty
Exercises 4
Equipment Yes

WHAT IS TABATA?

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.

TOTAL-BODY BENEFITS

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.

TIME-SAVER

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.

HOW TO DO IT

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.

  • Week 1: Work 20 sec., rest 40 sec.
  • Week 2: Work 15 sec., rest 30 sec.
  • Week 3: Work 15 sec., rest 25 sec.
  • Week 4: Work 15 sec., rest 20 sec.
  • Week 5: Work 20 sec., rest 30 sec.
  • Week 6: Work 20 sec., rest 25 sec.
  • Week 7: Work 20 sec., rest 20 sec.
  • Week 8: Work 20 sec., rest 15 sec.
  • Week 9: Work 20 sec., rest 10 sec.

Try the workouts below to get started with Tabata-style training. 

Workout 1 Do each exercise for four minutes (20 seconds on, 10 seconds off, eight sets), then move on to the next exercise.

Exercise 1

Kettlebell Swing You'll need: Kettlebells How to
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-- rest

Exercise 2

High Knees How to
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-- sets
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Exercise 3

Dip You'll need: Dip Station How to
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-- rest

Exercise 4

Jackknife Situp How to
Jackknife Situp thumbnail
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-- rest

Workout 2 Do each exercise for four minutes (20 seconds on, 10 seconds off, eight sets), then move on to the next exercise.

Exercise 1

General Pushup You'll need: No Equipment How to
Pushup thumbnail
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-- reps
-- rest

Exercise 2

Front Squat to Overhead Press You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Front Squat to Overhead Press thumbnail
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-- rest

Exercise 3

Burpee How to
Burpee With Pushup thumbnail
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-- rest

Exercise 4

Mountain Climber You'll need: No Equipment How to
Mountain Climber thumbnail
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-- reps
-- rest
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