Get Fit Faster With Tabata Intervals- The 4-minute Fix

Posted On Feb 25, 2014 By Joe Vennare

Get fit faster with Tabata intervals

How long should a workout take?

Ideally, this said workout actually produces results. Something along the lines of losing fat, building muscle or improving conditioning. That sounds like work. And work takes time. So we're probably looking at an hour or more in the gym, right? If not, we'll have to run ourselves ragged, pounding the pavement. One foot in front of the other for miles upon miles.

Maybe you've never thought about it. It's possible that you've always assumed that getting fit took forever. You don't have that kind of time. So you have just avoided it altogether.

Or, it could be that you have thought about it. Not only have you devoted time to figuring fitness out, you've actually taken action to tackle it. Trouble is, it's taking you way too long. Your efforts are futile. You're not seeing any results.

A Recipe for Results

Regardless of whether you're doing nothing or doing everything, you can benefit from finding the right amount of activity. The right amount of exercise will produce results without taking over your life. You'll feel energized after a workout, not run down. It's the perfect way to ensure you break a sweat, but also have time to break bread with your family. It all starts when you implement effective training strategies like Tabata intervals and high-intensity efforts into short, focused training sessions.

Tabata Intervals

The creation of Dr. Izumi Tabata and a team of researchers at the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo, Tabata training packs a powerful workout into four minutes. The routine features 20 seconds of all-out effort followed by a rest period of 10 seconds. Over the course of four minutes you complete eight rounds of the 20:10 work-to-rest ratio.

After a dynamic warm-up, it's time to work. This routine requires a clock or stopwatch. Beyond that, all you'll really need is your own body weight. The burpee is a perfect exercise to use for this strategy. The goal is to complete as many repetitions as possible in each 20 second working period. Then, you'll rest for 10 seconds. But, and this is an important but, don't get too comfortable. Stay close to the clock. 10 seconds is not very long. To get results from this workout you have to push the intensity. That means sticking to the 20:10, even when it becomes a challenge. And be prepared, because it will become a challenge. Don't slack on your work intervals either. When it's all said and done, your muscles and lunges will be burning.

Doing More with Less

The Tabata method can be applied to a variety of strength training and cardiovascular exercises. Have fun and be creative. Consider trying some of these applications.

  • Push-ups
  • Bodyweight squats
  • Burpees
  • Kettlebell swings

Take Action

Do you think you're ready to step up to Tabata intervals? Before you do, remember this workout is not for everyone. At least not right away. Start by building a foundation of fitness. Think total body strength training and cardiovascular endurance. Then, in time, you'll be ready to push yourself and your body to the limit.