All you need to know about Tabata workout, an Olympic training plan

If you are someone who is always looking for a more intense workout, you should definitely try Tabata. We’re recommending it because, in addition to being a challenging workout, Tabata workout is also a well-known way to achieve weight loss goals.

What is Tabata?

Tabata is a type of high intensity interval training (HIIT), a cardiovascular exercise that elevates your heart rate and aims to burn many calories in a short amount of time.

History of Tabata

It was designed initially for Olympic speed skaters in Japan in the early 1990s. It was found by the Japanese researcher Dr Izumi Tabata and a group of scientists from Tokyo’s National Institute of Fitness and Sports.

Two teams of athletes were the subjects of investigation by Tabata and his crew. The first group exercised for 60 minutes each time, five days a week for a total of six weeks, at a moderate intensity level. The second group engaged in high-intensity training, exercising for four minutes and 20 seconds every day for six weeks (with 10 seconds of rest in between each set).

tabata workout
Turn to Tabata exercises for fitness! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

The findings showed that Group 1’s aerobic system (cardiovascular) had risen, but its anaerobic system had little to no change (muscle).

Group 2 boosted their anaerobic system by 28 percent while showing a far greater growth in their aerobic system than Group 1.

Both the aerobic and anaerobic systems are more affected by high-intensity interval training.

Tabata protocol

Tabata involves a 10-second pause after 20 seconds of vigorous workout. The format of the workout is then completed in this 20:10 pattern. Tabata workout can be categorised as cardiovascular exercise, strength training, or both, depending on the type of exercises included in the workout. According to the International Sports Science Association, Tabata and HIIT are both forms of high intensity interval training. HIIT exercises are less demanding than pure Tabata exercises. HIIT exercises can be varied in ratios of 1:1 or 1:2. Tabata, meanwhile, maintains a 20:10 ratio.

The Tabata program

Even though each exercise in a given Tabata workout lasts only four minutes, it will probably seem like one of the longest four minutes you’ve ever endured. The structure of the program is as follows:

  • Work out hard for 20 seconds
  • Rest for 10 seconds
  • Complete 8 rounds

You exert all of your effort for 20 seconds before taking a 10-second break. This is one set. You’ll perform eight sets of each exercise.

tabata workout
Get toned arms and shoulders with Tabata exercises at home. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

You can pretty much exercise anyway you like. Squats, push-ups, burpees, and other exercises that target your large muscle groups are all okay. Kettlebell exercises are also quite effective.

An example of a Tabata workout looks like this:

  • Push-ups (4 minutes)
  • Bodyweight Squats (4 minutes)
  • Burpees (4 minutes)
  • Mountain Climbers (4 minutes)

Here’s how to perform it:

Do push-ups first. Perform them vigorously for 20 seconds. Push-ups for 20 seconds are followed by a 10-second break. After completing eight push-up sets, take a minute to relax. Then proceed to squats and repeat the 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off pattern. After completing eight sets of squats, take a minute to recover before performing burpees. Finish the workout with mountain climbers after the burpees.

Benefits of Tabata workout in Olympics

  • It aims towards a high calorie expenditure in a shorter time
  • The total exercise time is lesser and yet more benefits
  • It helps to increase the lean muscle mass
  • It helps increase both aerobic and anaerobic capacities
  • It helps to develop better alertness and focus
  • It improves overall balance and proprioception
tabata workout
Tabata is a great workout to gain the muscles you want! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Precautions for Tabata training

  • Do an adequate warm up.
  • To minimize the risk of injury, beginners should start with easier interval training and build up gradually. Try 20 seconds on 10 seconds off with easier exercises such as walking, marching in place, knee lifts etc.
  • Concentrate on the correct form and postures.

So come lets ‘Ta-ba-Ta’ our way to fitness!

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