Ready for a fast and furious workout? Try Tabata! This high-intensity training protocol was developed to deliver a complete, effective aerobic (cardiovascular) and anaerobic (muscular) workout in just four minutes!

The protocol was created by Dr. Izumi Tabata and a team of researchers from the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo for Japan’s Olympic speed-skating team. Their groundbreaking 1996 study, published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports & Exercise, provided evidence concerning the dramatic physiological benefits of high-intensity interval training (HIIT).

Dr. Tabata conducted tests on two groups of athletes. One group used moderate intensity interval training for one hour, five days a week for six weeks; the other used high-intensity interval training four days a week for a total of six weeks, with each session lasting four minutes: 20 seconds of intense training and 10 seconds of rest.

After the six-week test period, Dr. Tabata noted that the group that used moderate intensity training showed a significant increase in the aerobic system, but the anaerobic system gained little or no results at all. However, subjects in the second group showed a 28% increase in anaerobic capacity, along with a 14% increase in their ability to consume oxygen (V02Max).

These remarkable results were witnessed in athletes who presumably were already at their peak fitness level. The conclusion was that just four minutes of what is now known as Tabata interval training could do more to boost aerobic and anaerobic capacity than an hour of endurance exercise.

Tabata training follows the good doctor’s protocol, consisting of 20 seconds of maximum intensity exercise, followed by 10 seconds of rest, for a total of eight cycles. Exercises must involve the large muscle groups to achieve the full anaerobic benefit. In addition to the amazing results Tabata makes possible, the protocol continues to gain popularity because of the brief amount of time required.

If Tabata sounds like the extra edge you’ve been looking for, talk with our Tabata instructor to see if you’re at the right level of fitness to add this concentrated workout to your regime. If so, you’ll learn the safe, correct way to do the exercises and make sure you get the maximum results!