Would you say I was crazy if I told you that a brief 4 minute workout could help you shed fat, taper inches off your waist line, improve your overall health and endurance while leaving you with 23 hours and 56 minutes of the rest of your day to accomplish everything you have on your agenda?
Well then call me CRAZY because the Tabata Method of training allows you to accomplish all of that and then some.
I have personally applied this method of training with many of my world champion athletes and celebrity clients successfully for years. By incorporating Tababta method within their workout programs I've been able to dramatically improve their conditioning levels and body composition without subjecting them to countless hours on cardio equipment.
What Is The Tabata Method and Who Discovered It?
A ground breaking study in 1996 lead by Dr. Izumi Tabata and a team of researchers from the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo discovered a form of interval training that resulted in subjects burning substantially more fat than they did during prolonged aerobic training sessions in just 4 minutes. Unlike traditional interval or High Intensity Training (HIT) where protocols for work to rest ratios are 1 :3 or 1:4, Tabata prescribes a 2:1 work to rest ratio that may just have you begging for your mommy or just leave you in fetal position.
Real Scientific Evidence
Don't take my word for it. In Tabata's study, the researchers found that skaters who used the routine five days a week for six weeks improved their maximum aerobic capacity (a measure of your body's ability to consume oxygen) by 14%. Even more impressive is that the training also improved anaerobic capacity (which measures your ability to sprint and/or maintain a high pace for an extended period) by 28%. So the Tabata Protocol is a rare workout that benefits both endurance athletes and sprinters. By comparison, a study of traditional aerobic training (running at 70% of aerobic capacity for 60 minutes) for the same number of weeks showed an improvement in aerobic capacity of only 9.5% and no effect on anaerobic capacity. Additionally, Tabata training has been shown to burn fat tissue 50% more effectively than traditional low intensity cardio by accelerating your metabolism and giving you the ability to burn calories at a higher rate throughout the day. More calories burned throughout the day equals more fat loss and vast improvements in body composition and appearance.
What Exercises Should Be Used And How Are The Intervals Structured ?
Select exercises that stimulate large muscle groups or multiple muscle groups like front or back squats, push ups, push press, pull-ups or chin-ups, dips, speed Russian lunges, thruster, burpees, mountain climbers, rowing, kettlebell swings, hitting the punching bag, treadmill or outdoor sprints, swimming, cycling, plyometric activities like squat jumps, box jumps, step up jumps, power slams etc. The possibilities are endless and when these exercises are executed correctly they can challenge even the most advanced athlete leaving them begging for mercy using little or no equipment. Most importantly make sure you put forth maximum effort and intensity when performing each and every repetition.
1. For twenty seconds, complete as many repetitions as possible.
2. Rest for ten seconds.
3. Repeat this pattern for a total of eight intervals equal to 4 minutes of time.
Advanced athletes can use this protocol for multiple exercises and muscle groups in a single session allowing approximately 3 minutes of recovery time between intervals.
The fact that this workout only takes four minutes to complete and that it can be performed virtually anywhere at anytime leaves you with no excuses not to exercise. Now go try this workout for yourself and watch your body transform.
*This is an advanced workout routine and just like starting any exercise program you should consult with a physician prior to engaging in physical activity.
U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health
The Body Genesis: The Ultimate Tabata Training Guide
HuffPost Lifestyle is a daily newsletter that will make you happier and healthier — one email at a time. Learn more