Favorite Workout Of the Moment: Tabata

6.07.2013

It feels like months have gone by since my first post for "Fit Friday," (still unsure of the title but whatever!), but here we are! As I said before, the topics will vary, but for this month I wanted to share my favorite workout at the moment: Tabata.


A while back, I tweeted one morning that I much preferred to do my Pilates for the day from the comfort and convenience of my bed. Soon after, my friend Lauren tweeted me back telling me that I should give a Tabata a try. A Ta-whata?! I had to google it since I had never heard of it before, but was immediately intrigued at what I had found. If it hadn't been my rest/stretch day, I definitely would have done it that morning. I made it a plan to give it a try the following week, and what I thought was going to be an easy workout, had me panting and sweating, just two minutes in. What initially felt like torture has become one of my favorite workouts.

So what is Tabata? It's actually quite simple. It's a form of high intensity interval training (or HIIT), comprised of one or more exercises performed for 8 rounds. Each interval last for 20 seconds, with 10 seconds of rest between each interval. Total time? Four minutes. So a Tabata could look like this:

20 seconds of lunges, 10 seconds rest, 20 seconds of burpees, 10 seconds rest...

OR

20 seconds of lunges, 10 seconds rest, 20 seconds of lunges, 10 seconds  rest...

I typically stick to one exercise per interval as I forget easily. And when I'm not making up my own workout, I'll follow along to one on YouTube (I especially love this one). I've been incorporating Tabata's into my workouts, about twice a week and I can definitely see a difference and feel myself getting stronger. Besides that, I love Tabata for a number of reasons:
  1. With the exception of a timer, it requires no other equipment. Weights and machines can be incorporated into the workout, but it's not necessary. Bodyweight all the way, baby! To keep time, a wall clock or stopwatch may work, but there are a number of free apps out there specifically for Tabata, (I use Gymboss) to keep accurate time.
  2. It's quick, yet effective- Time is tight for many people, so a Tabata leaves no excuses. But it works.
  3. Tabatas are completely customizable. There is no one way to do a Tabata, which is great for when I feel like focusing on certain areas.
  4. It can be done anywhere. At home or on the go, all that is needed is space to move about freely. It will definitely be my go-to workout while on vacation.
If you've ever done a Jillian Michael workout, you can definitely do a Tabata. Consult with your doctor if necessary, but know your fitness level and start slow. If you give it a try, let me know! You may hate me initially, but that feeling (and the next day soreness) will pass :)

Have you ever tried a Tabata workout? What is your favorite workout at the moment?

11 comments :

  1. I've never even heard of this before. Then again, this is coming from the girl who just does squats and arm exercises in her own bedroom ;)

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    1. Hey, anything is better than nothing! Especially since squats does a body good!

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  2. I saw "tabata" and I was like ooh is she talking to me. :)

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    1. Haha, that's how I was saying it out loud! Like Tweety Bird.

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  3. Since starting Insanity, I've become a convert to any sort of HIIT workout! I can't believe how effective it is compared to traditional workouts and how much time you save too.
    After I finish my second month, I will definitely be adopting something similar into my workout routine :)

    xx

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    1. Yeah, it's definitely better than slaving away on the treadmill for forever and a half!

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  4. Yay for finding a workout that you really like!

    xo, Yi-chia
    Always Maylee

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  5. I'm intrigued. When it comes to exercise, I am THE LAZIEST. I'm trying to force myself to do a few things in the morning rather than hitting the snooze button for a second time, and small short things are key. Unfortunately, thus far sleep has won.
    Chic on the Cheap

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    1. Then you should definitely try it! I love that even though it's short, you still feel (and you will feel it!) as if you got an entire 45 minute workout done. For that reason, I feel like you would be more inclined to do it on mornings. Start small and I'm sure you'll be able to fit it into your mornings, even if you do hit snooze :)

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