Why Tabata Training Works

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Maximise the effectiveness of your workouts with this easy trick. Well, it’s easy to understand but tackle tabata properly and you’ll feel the burn.

 

What is tabata training?

If you’ve heard of HIIT (high-intensity interval training) you’ll be familiar with what we’re talking about. Tabata uses short bursts of hard exercise to raise the heart rate. Devised by Japanese scientist Dr Izumi Tabata, it consists of four-minute workouts broken down into eight rounds of 20 seconds of work – as hard as you can push – and 10 seconds of rest.

 

Why is it so effective?

When he came up with this idea, Dr Tabata and his researchers observed two groups of exercisers: one did an hour of moderate exercise five times a week for six weeks; the other did four workouts of four minutes and 20 seconds each week for six weeks. Not only did the second group show a much greater increase in their cardiovascular capacity than the slow and steady exercisers, but also made much bigger gains in muscle mass (a 28 per cent increase compared to almost nothing).

 

Should I try it?

Absolutely. If you want to see fast gains in both fitness and toning, this is the exercise regimen for you. Plus, it’s great for anyone who doesn’t like the gym or has a limited amount of time each day to dedicate to getting fit.

Just come up with, say, four different exercises. As an example, you could do squats, push-ups, burpees and high knees on the spot. All you need is the stopwatch on your smartphone and off you go. Do four minutes of squats in 20-second bursts, 10-second rests. Once you’ve finished that, move on to four minutes of push-ups, and so on. In 16 minutes you’ll be done, but push yourself to the max and you’ll definitely know you’ve done a workout.

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