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Everything You Need to Know About Torching Fat With Tabata Training

HIIT is the way to go when it comes to improving your cardiovascular fitness, and burning fat. Really push yourself, and increase that fat-burning with Tabata training.

Tabata is a form of training discovered by Japanese scientist Dr. Izumi Tabata and his team out of Tokyo. The results of their six-week study showed that while moderate exercise improves your cardiovascular fitness, HIIT training improved both aerobic and anaerobic fitness. What does that mean for you? It means that you can improve your health, increase your fitness and burn fat with shorter, smarter workouts.

It's All in the Timing

In HIIT training you can create the length of your work. Rest for however long you want, workout hard for 30 seconds, moderate for 1-minute hard, work lightly for 90 seconds, etc. You're the designer. But Tabata is specific in its intervals. During this type of workout, you do 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest for eight rounds, or a total of four minutes. Doesn't sound like a lot, but if done right, you will be breathing hard with your chest pounding. Those 20 seconds are all out effort, not just a little challenging. That's how you get the results you want — pushing your body!

Now, as you get better, or if you are in really good shape already, you can do more than one four-minute bout. But, start with one bout and see how you feel. Increase as you feel ready. However, at this intensity, you probably won't need to do any longer than 20 minutes.

What Are the Exercises?

Here's another great thing about Tabata — you can pretty much do whatever exercises you want. Push-ups, squats, jumping jacks, sprints, cycling, jump rope, or any other exercise you can think of. Whichever exercise, or exercises, you choose for your session, just make sure it challenges you. For example, if you do push-ups normally on your toes, don't drop to your knees right away for your Tabata series. Start on your toes, and drop to your knees if necessary to continue.

Sample Workout

Since there are so many choices for a Tabata workout, here is a sample workout to get you started that requires no equipment. These are your four exercises:

  • Push-ups
  • Burpees
  • Jump Squats
  • Mountain Climbers
You want to set your interval timer on your phone or device for 20-seconds of work followed by 10-seconds of rest for eight rounds. Do push-ups for eight rounds. Move on to burpees for eight rounds, and so on. Another option is to do push-ups one set then burpees. Keep alternating for the four minutes, then move on to the next two exercises.
Get creative! You can do this like a circuit as well, cycling through the four exercises for four minutes at a time. The sky is the limit. But, if you're not breathing hard and sweating, you didn't do it right. Have fun, save time and burn that fat!

[Image via Shutterstock]

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