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Intense Tabata Interval Routines For Ultimate Conditioning

Instead of going for an hour-long run in the wet and cold. Cut your workout down to just 16 minutes with an intense Tabata routine to boost your conditioning.

Picture the scenario: It's cold, wet, windy and your gym membership just expired. You don't get paid for another fortnight and the thought of doing an hours worth of cardio in sub-zero temperatures is enough to bring you, a grown man, to tears. What if I told you there was a better way? A way to cut your workout down by 66%, but increase your anaerobic capacity by 28% in just six weeks. Try Tabata Intervals.

What are Tabata Intervals?

Most of you will probably be familiar with High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) which is the principle of working out at maximum capacity in repeated short bursts. Think sprinters rather than marathon runners. HIIT will raise your metabolic rate long after the exercise session is completed and you'll continue to burn fat throughout the day. Studies have shown that this after-effect is far more effective for fat loss than a low intensity, continuous cardio routine such as jogging.

Tabata Intervals originated from a study by Dr Izumi Tabata into the effects of moderate-intensity endurance and high-intensity intermittent training on anaerobic capacity and VO2max.

Enough with the science stuff, how do you perform Tabata Intervals?

Tabata Intervals consist of 20 seconds of maximum intensity exercise, followed by 10 seconds of rest. This is then repeated 8 times - a total of 4 minutes. This begs the question: How effective can this routine be in just 4 minutes?

The answer is that Tabata Intervals are very effective in fat loss and anaerobic capacity. They also work well for athletes training in mixed martial arts, boxing and sports such as soccer and rugby which have short bursts of maximum exertion. The intervals can be applied to any form of exercise, the most obvious of which is simple and to the point interval sprinting. They also work well as part of a 'circuit' of 4 or 5 Tabata Intervals.

Sample Tabata Intervals

Tabata Intervals are brutal and should be performed no more than twice a week, allowing your muscles time to recover.

Routine 1:

* Front Squats

* Rowing Sprints

* Jump Rope

* Burpees

Perform each exercise for a total of 4 minutes using the Tabata protocols. The total workout time for this is just 16 minutes and it can be done indoors (if you haven't got a rowing machine you can substitute it for any other exercise such as push ups)

For the front squats, you should use a light weight and hold the weight above your chest. You can put the weight back on the rack during your rest periods but be aware of the loading and unloading time so you don't rest longer than you should. Here's a video showing how to perform a Tabata front squat:

Routine 2:

* Elliptical Trainer

* Kettlebell Swings

* Heavy Punch Bag Work

* Chinnies

Same thing for this routine, 4 Tabata Interval sets totaling up to 16 minutes of exercise. In case you don't know what they are, here are videos for the Kettlebell Swings and Chinnies:

Kettlebell Swings

Chinnies

You can perform Tabata Intervals with a whole variety of different exercises to keep your routine fresh and interesting and they will be sure to offer you plenty of intensity to improve your conditioning.

To make sure you follow the times properly, you can use either of these MP3's on your iPod:

Timer with music - This has already been mixed in with some funky rap music.

Timer with no music - If LL Cool J isn't your cup of tea you can use this one to mix in your preferred choice of music.

If you've tried Tabata Intervals before, leave your comments on what you did, how you felt afterwards and whether they worked for you? If you have never tried them before, give the sample routines a go and drop us some feedback.

Hmm... I wonder if I should

Hmm... I wonder if I should drop my current routine and try this out instead. I just started my workout two weeks ago, so I'll probably try this after I'm done with the one I'm working on. Sounds really intense if you do it right.

Wow that is really intense.

Wow that is really intense. For sure an advanced workout. I would imagine that by the 4th, even the 3rd exercise in the routine... you would be practically dead.

I look forward to trying it though and seeing how well I can do.

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I started experimenting with

I started experimenting with Tabatas about a month ago. I have found them to be incredibly energizing. So much so, in fact, that I've decided to embark on a six-week Tabata experience/experiment of my own. I'm going to log my progress on my website http://basicpursuits.com if anyone is interested.

Good article.

[...] few weeks ago my buddy

[...] few weeks ago my buddy Scott mentioned an approach to exercise he’d read about called?Tabata. As he explained the basics to us, I saw a lot of things that appealed to me - speed, [...]

Wow. Just did my first

Wow. Just did my first experiment with Tabata and it just about killed me. I never knew that a 16 minute workout could work so well. Definitely going to keep it going for atleast a few weeks.

loved it. i did pushups

loved it.

i did pushups from the knees, burpees, macebell swings and battling ropes.

i am wondering what software is needed to merge 4 songs into a single mp3 and insert the appropriate beep tones?

BLL: Audacity

BLL:

Audacity

40kg kettlebell swing Tabata

40kg kettlebell swing Tabata intervals, three tmes a week - awesome!

hi Great site. As with all

hi
Great site.
As with all training, you must focus. If you play tennis, tennis must take must of your training time, as with running, boxing and so on.

Tabata can only be extra training.

For me personally, I love tabata because it can be really hard, and I like that training. So I mix training tabata, running, gym. So for us who just want to be fitt it is very good - but focus.

Nice site! I'm doing tabata

Nice site!
I'm doing tabata once a week: pushups and chinnies. It takes 8 minutes.
I use tabata timer (http://interval-timer.com) for my mobile phone, it really helps to concentrate on workout.

I started the M&F tabata

I started the M&F tabata routine a couple days ago. I started with shoulders/traps, since I was still recovering from my chest workout a couple days earlier. Today I did arms, and it hasn't been 3 hours since completing my workout and i'm already feeling pain that I have never felt before.. i've bookmarked this page, so in a few weeks, i'll post my results.

Thanks for posting Eric. I

Thanks for posting Eric. I would love to hear what your results are.

You can find a Tabata Timer

You can find a Tabata Timer for your iPhone or iPod Touch at http://www.katr.com/iphone.php#tabata. It has visual as well as auditory cues so that you can watch or listen for your activity and rest periods. If you are listening to music on your device, the sound cues will overlay your music.

My brother-in-law Jordan

My brother-in-law Jordan told me about this 4 minute program and I was skeptical. I consider myself a gym rat and when I go to the gym I can spend hours in there getting a good sweat on. I was getting tired of the routine so I decided to give it a try. I did the squat thrusters. MAN!!!! It's no joke. I got a great leg workout and arms/shoulders. At the end of four minutes...I wanted to pass out...but in a good way. This sh*t works and I have already seen my body fat inch away. I even purchased a tabata stopwatch at gymboss.com - So if your not a believer in Tabata training. I dare you to try it. If you thought you were tough in the gym...this will test your manhood!

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[...] your eyebrows at Elitist Jerks trying to tweak your build or rotation, or trying to decide whether tabata intervals or kettlebells are the right way to kick-start your gym routine, once you’ve reached the [...]

I tried Tabata training for

I tried Tabata training for the first time 2 nights ago. I did pushups, crunches, squats and calf raises. My entire body is screaming in pain! I do 6 sets of 50 pushups every day plus martial arts training so I thought I'd just breeze through it. How wrong I was! By the 5th set of pushups, I could barely hold myself up. This really is no joke. I thought for sure the calf raises would be the easiest, which is why I saved them for last but man, they burned the hell out of my calves. I've never had full body soreness like this before. This is gonna be my new religion.

[...] established interval

[...] established interval method to try is called Tabata, developed by a Japanese scientist who did research in the field. You can check out this New York [...]

[...] Tabata Interval (4

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Hi I did the Tabata

Hi

I did the Tabata interval training using the schwinn airdyne and then followed it up with another round of Tabata using the jump rope and boy did it feel good! :) I felt energized and happy and I could really feel my core muscles getting exercised!

[...] Intense Tabata Interval

[...] Intense Tabata Interval Routines For Ultimate Conditioning | Just A Guy Thing [...]

strength will suffer

strength will suffer tremendously if you only do this. i began tabata workouts in summer 08. i did this 5 times a week varying muscle groups for 6 weeks. yes, i was in great shape and could throw my body weight around no problem; however, my bench and squat max dropped a good 40-50lbs. you can do a tabata workout for every muscle group, but be sure to do a stength workout for that muscle 3 days later. It took alot of trial and error, nearly 2 years, but now ive developed a weekly workout routine that gets the best of both worlds. so thats my advice, dont submerge yourself in this workout and forget about strength training.

 
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