Cardio is extremely helpful for burning fat.
The problem is cardio gets boring and it takes up a lot of extra time.
Unless you do Tabata instead.
Tabata is the most time-effective way to do cardio and burn fat — plus, it can significantly increase your physical performance.
Keep reading to learn more about what Tabata is and how to do it.
What is Tabata?
Tabata gets its name from Dr. Izumi Tabata — a Japanese physician and researcher who led a study using interval training to maximize fat loss and VO2 max in the shortest amount of time possible.
In his original study, participants did 8 intervals of all-out exercise for 20 seconds followed by 10 seconds of rest.
The total amount of time for the workout is 4 minutes.
The participants split into 2 groups:
- The control group did 1 hour of moderate-intensity exercise 5 times per week, a total of 1,800 minutes of training over the full 6 weeks
- The Tabata group did 4 minutes of Tabata 5 times per week, a total of 120 minutes of training over the full 6 weeks
The Results — The Tabata group improved both their aerobic and anaerobic capacities, with their anaerobic performance increasing by 28%!
That’s great, but most people don’t care about being a world-class athlete — you just want to look great naked.
The real beauty of Tabata is that the high-intensity exercise speeds up your metabolism and kicks your fat burning into overdrive for hours after the workout is finished.
How to Perform a Tabata Workout Routine
Doing a Tabata workout is easy.
First, you want to warm up for a few minutes to get ready for all-out exercise. If you’re doing Tabata following a weight training session, you can probably get away with a 1-minute warm up.
The Tabata Program:
- Perform the exercise as hard as you possibly can for 20 seconds
- Rest or perform the exercise slowly for 10 seconds
- Repeat this for 8 rounds
I usually do Tabata on a stationary bike and use the timer on the bike to track everything.
If you want a timer specifically designed for Tabata, check out this timer here.
You can do Tabata with any exercise you want.
I think it’s best to stick with exercises that don’t put you at a risk for injury when you’re going all out and trying to do as many reps as possible in a short amount of time.
For example, I personally don’t recommend doing deadlifts or bench press for this, unless you’re using resistance bands or something like that. I wouldn’t do it with heavy weights.
Here are some great Tabata exercises:
- Stationary bike
- Jump rope
- Mountain climber
- Jumping lunges
- Weighted sled
- Battling ropes
Marc Lobliner posted a great Tabata workout you can try if you don’t want to stick with a basic Tabata on a stationary bike.
Are There Any Health or Safety Concerns with Tabata?
Overall, Tabata is safe as long as you aren’t being reckless.
If you have a serious condition related to your cardiovascular system, you might want to talk to your doctor first. This is extremely intense exercise.
There is a risk of injury when performing high-intensity sets of complicated exercises. I suggest sticking with things like the stationary bike and battling ropes if you want a low-impact workout.
I haven’t experienced anything negative from Tabata, and neither have my clients who do it. In fact, for as intense as it is in the moment, the surprising thing is that Tabata doesn’t make you very sore.
How I Do Tabata
I like using other exercises for Tabata, but my go-to is the stationary bike.
It’s low impact on the joints, it’s easy to go from all-out to slow in an instant, and I have a stationary bike at home so I don’t even need to go to the gym.
Here is another video of Marc Lobliner showing how it’s done:
I always do Tabata after my workout, not before. Unless I’m not lifting weights that day, then I’ll do Tabata sometime in the morning before breakfast.
Tabata is by far the most time-effective fat loss tool I’ve ever done.
I’ve used it several times to drop body fat quickly, and these days I just do it after every workout as my only form of structured cardio.
If you want to burn more fat in less time, I highly recommend giving Tabata a try for at least 3-4 weeks and tell me you don’t see and feel the difference!
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