You Say Tomato, I Say Tabata

The formula for the Tabata workout 20s work/10s rest
The formula for the Tabata workout 20s work/10s rest

We all want to save time. With a ‘Tabata’ style workout we can. The Tabata is a challenging high intensity interval training (HIIT) style workout where 20 seconds of work is put out with 10 seconds of rest for 8 total rounds. Overall workout time is 4 minutes per Tabata. Talk about a time saver!

In this episode I dive a bit deeper into the Tabata’s origin and provide sample workouts (like below) to help the listener and reader get started or kickstart an exercise program.

LISTEN HERE: PPP104: You Say Tomato, I Say Tabata

History: Japanese Scientist Dr. Izumi Tabata and his team lead a study at the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan in the 1990s

The Study and Results:

  • Moderate exercise for 1 hour x 5 days a week x 6 weeks = improved aerobic (cardiovascular) fitness, little change in anaerobic (muscular)
  • High intensity exercise for 4 minutes x 4 days x 6 weeks = improved aerobic and anaerobic fitness levels

Benefits of Tabata:

  • Improved aerobic fitness
  • improved anaerobic fitness
  • Mimics sports with high intensity such as Wrestling, Jiu Jitsu or Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)
  • Saves time since each round is only 4 minutes

Example Tabata Workouts (20s work / 10s rest for 8 movements):

  • Basic (body weight only):
    • Push ups to air squats to Supermans to jumping jacks to crunches to lunges to couch/bench dips to mountain climbers
  • Intermediate (body weight + kettlebell):
    • Kettlebell swing to air squats to Supermans to kettlbell swings to jumping jacks to crunches to lunges to kettlebell swings
  • Advanced (body weight + various equipment):
    • Kettlebell swing to assault bike to strap lat pulls to mountain climbers to hanging knee raises to push ups to dumbbell curl to press to sprawl on yoga ball

Summary: Tabata is a high intensity interval training (HIIT) style workout that takes 4 minutes each round that increases both aerobic and anaerobic fitness.

Stay safe, wash your hands and Godspeed,

Kevin

Kevin Pannell, PMP, Creator & Host, ‘People, Process, Progress’ podcast
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Source: Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). What does ‘tabata’ mean? Merriam-Webster. Retrieved December 31, 2021, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/what-does-tabata-mean-hiit

*Originally aired on ‘Up In The Morning’ podcast in December 2021

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