Let’s talk TABATA

by Christina @ The Athletarian on April 5, 2012

I have a quick post for you today to tell you about my new favourite thing: Tabata Training.  Though I do a lit of HIIT, I never really incorporated real Tabata Training into my workout routines.  Electra and Meg have done a great job at summing up what Tabata is in the past.

What is Tabata??  The Tabata Protocol is based on 4 minute high intensity workout sessions.

How do you do Tabata??  Perform one exercise with all out effort for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, and repeat 8 times (for a total of 4 minutes).

Why do Tabata??  It increases aerobic and anaerobic capacity, results in the “after burn” fat-burning effect, and can be as or more effective than long steady state cardio.

(above info taken from Electra’s Talkin’ Tabata post)

I did a full body workout the other day using this Tabata Training method.  I did 4 exercises during my lunch break (totalling 16 minutes) and 4 exercises after work (another 16 minutes).  Seems easy breezy, right?  I think not.  My body hurts and I love that feeling so much that I will be doing Tabata on a regular basis now!  It’s perfect for squeezing in an amazing workout in a short amount of time.

Here are the 8 exercises I did for a pretty well-rounded workout:

  1. Weighted sit ups (using my pink sandbag)
  2. Treadmill sprints
  3. Weighted oblique twists (using my pink sandbag)
  4. Weighted squats (using my pink sandbag)
  5. Pushups (using my equalizers)
  6. Reverse pushups (using my equalizers)
  7. Jump rope
  8. Upright row (using my pink sandbag)
I set my workout intervals on my Gymboss but if you don’t have one, there are several apps you can get for your phone that work just as well!

It was fan-freaking-tastic.  I did another session this morning that included more bicep and tricep work!

Have you ever tried Tabata training?

What are you eating for lunch today?

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Alexandra April 5, 2012 at 6:39 am

I love love love tabata training too, just not while I’m doing it haha ;) You feel so amazing after such a short blast of a workout! Mountain climbers are my favorite exercise to use, talk about feeling the burn!
Hope you have a great day my friend!!

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2 Ali Mc April 5, 2012 at 6:50 am

I have never done tabatas but really want to. I just wasn’t even strong enough to attempt some of those zuzana and bodyrock vids ;) lol now I think I’m getting there (as I can finally do normal pushups) so I may try to incorporate it :)

I did however do treadmill sprints when I first started running because I couldn’t run for very long. I found doing 10 mins of 20sec as hard as I could go 40sec a slow jog worked wonders. I think when I can run again I’ll do it again :)

I want a pink sand bag

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3 Vanessa @ Gourmet Runner April 5, 2012 at 7:14 am

I like that you split up the day (16 minutes & 16 minutes) – perfect when you have a super busy day and can’t fit in a full hour workout anywhere. I did Tabata training with my mom who swears by it and it’s definitely the hardest four minutes of my life. Tough!

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4 Corinne April 5, 2012 at 7:25 am

I love this type of training, but I haven’t heard of it called by that name – I generally just hear it referred to as HIITs. I have heard that the army use something similar to this, but I’m not sure how accurate that is.

Lunch today was a lovely wholegrain sandwich with pumpkin and basil spread, olives, tomatoes, artichoke, spinach and pumpkin seeds.. mmm… SO good!

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5 Sarah April 5, 2012 at 7:37 am

I want to try this kind of a workout. It sounds super intense and the chicks that do it are so ripped! That would be nice :)

Lunch…..hmmm no idea yet. Something with greens!

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6 Meg April 5, 2012 at 8:26 am

Looks like a major sweat sesh over there babe! Mind if I come over and sweat it out with you? ;) LOVE U and thanks for the mention xo love u

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7 Hayley April 5, 2012 at 8:56 am

I guess I live under a rock, because I never thought to do different exercises each time! I usually do Tabata on a spin bike, using the normal 20:10 ratio, but I love your method! Trying this tonight! :)

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8 Felicia April 5, 2012 at 9:02 am

love tabata :) lunch with probably be beef + avocado + veggies!

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9 alisha April 5, 2012 at 9:04 am

Is it good to do these IN ADDITION to whatever other workouts you do (I am doing P90X right now and running) *i mean i’m sure it wouldn’t hurt…but*

I don’t have that equipment (pink sandbag, bars, etc) are they a MUST HAVE!?! I want to buy, but just curious on your thoughts.
Thanks! Love your site. (LOVED reading about your overnight oats. lol I’m all about them now!!)

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10 Heather April 5, 2012 at 7:19 pm

These items in my opinion are way overpriced…it’s what they use in the bodyrock videos. $110+ for the equalizer and I think about $100 bucks for the sandbag.
I just found zuzana light on Facebook (her workouts are on YouTube) and she does similar workouts as bodyrock (she’s actually one of the original founders) but she goes through the whole time with you (10-12 mins) and none of this expensive stuff. All she has used in a few are a kettle ball ( and you could use a weight or whatever else you have handy, and a jump rope). I am incorporating them into my normal routine now which is p90x…kicks your butt for sure.
~heather

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11 Christina @ The Athletarian April 5, 2012 at 9:17 pm

Hi Heather! I know Zuzana :) I have been following Bodyrock for years! She does have some really awesome workouts out there that require no equipment. I haven’t done any of the ZWOWs yet but I would definitely like to try!

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12 Gilly April 5, 2012 at 7:47 pm

You can do anything Tabata. No equipment required. Burpees, situps, pushups, squats, sprints. Just go all ou for 20sec, rest for 10sec x 8 = 4 min.

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13 Christina @ The Athletarian April 5, 2012 at 9:18 pm

Thanks for your comment, Gilly! You are so right. There are so many exercise options that you can incorporate into Tabata Training! :)

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14 Christina @ The Athletarian April 5, 2012 at 9:16 pm

Hi Alisha! You definitely DO NOT need this equipment to do effective Tabata training! Body weight exercises along with plyometrics are just as great! Jump squats, push ups, mountain climbers, jumping jacks…there are so many amazing options!

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15 mallory April 5, 2012 at 9:30 am

You’re a badass!!! Way to go. I want to get a gymboss interval trainer so I can do that too. Lunch will be a veggie sandwich from subway. Going out of town tomorrow so I have limited groceries at home!

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16 steph @ lungesandlunch April 5, 2012 at 10:33 am

Ahhh I forgot all about tabata. Probably because I blocked them out of my memory – effective, but brutal. Very fierce, lady!

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17 Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers April 5, 2012 at 11:07 am

I like tabata, but I don’t do it often. I can see how it’d be great for a lunch break.

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18 Rachelle April 5, 2012 at 1:13 pm

Sounds awesome!!! I love feeling hardcore and I think I must try this. Thanks for sharing girl. I am totally obsessed with whatever you are doing for your workout because you my friend are in such amazing shape. Seriously so inspirational.

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19 Melissa @ Live, Love, & Run April 5, 2012 at 3:48 pm

I haven’t tried Tabata yet, but I’ve been dying to! And you reminded me…I need to get me a sandbag.

PS: Every time I see your header, it gives me an instant jolt of “get off your ass” energy! lol

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20 Lara April 5, 2012 at 3:51 pm

I like the idea of cardio and resistance tabatas, I’ve only really ever considered cardio before. Think I’ll give something like this a whirl tomorrow, thank you for the timely reminder.

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21 Corey @ Learning Patience April 5, 2012 at 4:09 pm

Never tried them but they sound awesome. Hmm…how do I fit them in my overhead compartment??? LOL Seriously when I visit in August I just wanna workout w/u…run, sandbag, etc… then eat. LOL Hope all is well – as you can imagine a house with 4 boys is not the easiest to read blogs…as I type im sitting in a closet. (not joking)

xoxo from a closet in Michigan lol

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22 Danielle @WorkItWearItEatIt April 5, 2012 at 5:02 pm

I had natural PB on toast for lunch…oops.

I haven’t tried tabata yet but it looks awesome! ….but I bet anything looks awesome with a pink sandbag.

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23 StoriesAndSweetPotatoes April 5, 2012 at 5:41 pm

I need to get a Gymboss because I love timed intervals but have no way of really doing it. I do not have a fancy phone, ha.
I had turkey and sweet potato for lunch :)

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24 Chelsey April 5, 2012 at 8:24 pm

I love doing tabata alternating between 2-4 different body weight exercises. A couple of my favourites are burpees & squat pops. I also really like high knees and mountain climbers…killer!

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25 Lisa April 6, 2012 at 10:35 pm

I loooove Tabata training, that and HIIT are my favourites. I’ve posted a great Tabata routine on my site too. It rocks. Burpees are my fave. Glad you like it, its super effective!! Lunch today was roasted veggies in coconut oil topped with nutritional yeast :)

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26 Heather @ Health, Happiness, and Hope April 7, 2012 at 11:27 pm

I’ve never tried Tabata, but I love how it seems like a great way to stay energized with a workout and keep your body from getting bored with a familiar repetition or exercise! Really great post!

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27 Electra @ Vanilla Bean Lean April 8, 2012 at 11:14 am

LOOOOVE tabata – you know that :-D Fan-freaking tastic. You’re too adorable!

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