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What's A TABATA?

What's that you say? Chiabatta? Great I'm hungry!!! Oh just kidding a TABATA ;-)

Heard of it? TABATA's are an awesome workout that is quick and effective. Here's the scoop on TABATA's!


What's does TABATA stand for?


TABATA isn't actually an acronym for anything. It's the last name of the scientist, Dr. Izumi Tabata who discovered TABATA training.


What is a TABATA?


Dr. Izumi Tabata and a team of researchers conducted research on two groups of athletes. Group1 trained at a moderate intensity level while the Group 1 trained at a high-intensity level. The moderate intensity group worked out five days a week for 1 hour long for a total of six weeks. The high-intensity group worked out four days a week for six weeks; each workout lasted four minutes and 20 seconds (with 10 seconds of rest in between each set). What they found was that Group 1 increased their aerobic system (cardiovascular), but showed little or no results for their anaerobic system (muscular system) while group 2 showed an increase in both their aerobic and anaerobic systems. Meaning that the shorter duration, high intensity exercise had more impact on both aerobic and anaerobic systems.


A true TABATA is 20 seconds of work, 10 seconds of rest repeated 8 times for a total of 4 minutes.


Can you really get a good workout in such a short amount of time?


As stated above, the 20/10x8 pattern has been shown to tax both aerobic and anaerobic pathways more than intense exercise with longer rest periods, meaning improved overall cardiovascular fitness. By taking rest periods only half the length of the intense bursts (a 2:1 work-to-rest ratio), the body is forced to perform without a full recovery. Which means at some point between rounds six and eight, you'll hit a point of maximum oxygen intake and be really out of breath! Tabata is an effective way to improve both metabolic pathways and initiate the afterburn effect. Definitely effective!


What's the difference between a TABATA and HIIT?


TABATA and HIIT training are similar in that they,

  • Both focus on using maximum effort over short periods of time with only brief rest breaks and they.

  • Both have been shown to burn fat, improve endurance and speed, and aid weight loss.

While TABATA's are a form of HIIT training, TABATA workouts have that same set amount of time (20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest 8 rounds). Whereas HIIT is more flexible with time. Technically if the workout deviates from the 20/10x8 format, it's not a true TABATA but instead a HIIT workout.


Ready to try a TABATA? Here's a fun, quick TABATA workout for you to try out. Either do it once as hard as you can and follow it up with some steady state cardio like walking or jogging. Or repeat it 3-4 times for a longer workout. Either way push yourself during those 20 seconds of work!