By Kurt Boyd
Are you spending a lot of time at the gym but not seeing the results you want? Maybe you want to get in better shape but can’t find time to go to a gym? What if you could get great results by working out only 4 minutes each day, 4-5 days week? And what if you could do all the exercises at home without buying any equipment? You can. This article will teach you how.
Tabata interval training is a highly effective training protocol designed to produce exceptional results in a very short period of time. Ifact, in just 4 minutes, you can get a rigorous strengthening workout that will improve your fitness performance, build muscle, and burn fat.
Tabata interval training is very simple. Perform 20 seconds of maximum intensity calisthenics exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest. Complete 8 sets of exercise and rest over the course of 4 minutes. These 4 minutes are of course challenging and intense, but can yield better results than many longer duration workouts.
In his ground-breaking study, Dr. Izumi Tabata had two groups of athletes perform one of two exercise regimes for 6 weeks, and then compared the results. The first group exercised for 60 minutes, 5 days per week at an intermediate intensity. The second group exercised in the short but very intense intervals I described (8 rounds of 20 seconds of exercise, followed by 10 seconds of rest, for a total of 4 minutes). After the 6-week study period, Dr. Tabata found:
- Group 1 improved their aerobic capacity by 9.5% but realized no improvement in anaerobic capacity
- Group 2 (the high-intensity trained group) improved their aerobic capacity by 14% and their anaerobic capacity by 28%
Later, a 2007 study in the Journal of Applied Physiology found high intensity interval training (HIIT) increased fat burning capacity in women after only 7 sessions over a 2 week period. In 2009, another study found that men performing HIIT doubled their metabolic rate and increased glucose and fatty acid oxidation (burned fat) for three hours after exercising.
In 2013, Dr. Michele Olson found that a 4-minute Tabata routine of jump squats burned 13.5 calories per minute, (5 times the calories burned in the average cardio workout) and doubled the subjects’ metabolic rate for 30 minutes after the workout ended.
Exercises In Tabata Interval Training
A variety of exercises can be performed, but they must be compound movements that activate a lot of muscle mass. So think squats, not calf raises. Bodyweight exercises like squats, sit-ups, and push-ups can be done as well as full body movements like burpees, sprints, and jumping jacks. You can also use weighted movements like deadlifts or power cleans. And you can mix and match exercises depending on your fitness goals.
In all cases, please be sure to check with your doctor before attempting Tabata interval training. Remember to start at your own pace and increase the intensity as you are able.