Even exercise aficionados may not have heard of Tabata training, a type of time-economizing high-intensity interval training (HIIT) that has been exciting gym rats and those with tight schedules alike since it made its debut. Tabata can be practiced in a number of the classes we offer at Future Fitness Centers locations, including the Tabata Sculpt classes at the Mullica Hill location, or while alone on the workout floor. Read on to find out more about this exciting new training plan that has been scientifically proven to be effective.

What is Tabata?
Tabata refers to a specific form of HIIT that involves very quick bouts of extremely high-intensity activity. More specifically, Tabata consists of eight rounds of 20-seconds-on, 10-seconds-off intervals that only add up to 4 minutes of exercise.

Despite the brevity, researchers who compared the results of “regular”-intensity exercise and HIIT by studying two groups of speed-skaters, one of which performed for an hour a day at normal intensity and the other following Tabata, found notable increases in both aerobic and anaerobic abilities in the latter group. The first group only saw improved aerobic abilities.

What are the benefits of Tabata?
To start, it’s short! With Tabata, lack of time is a poor excuse to avoid a workout, as it provides maximum benefits in the bare minimum amount of time used to get the same results as a longer workout.

Secondly, Tabata raises the heart rate significantly, burning calories and increasing endurance and overall cardiovascular fitness, while contributing to a higher metabolism both during and after the workout – leading to even greater weight loss.

How can Tabata be implemented in a workout?
Tabata is most effective when used with one workout movement at a time, for the entirety of the 4-minute span. Giving this one motion your all for 20 seconds, resting for 10, and then continuing the pattern for 4 minutes is more difficult than it sounds!

Try Tabata first with an aerobic exercise for which you already have excellent form, to minimize any risk of injury. A typical Tabata workout routine consists of 4 different rounds of these 4-minute bouts. A routine may look like: 1 round of squats, followed by burpees, then pushups and finishing with jumping rope. Be sure to set an alarm or have a stopwatch within viewing range.