Tabata Training

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Our Tabata Training page is dedicated to all things Tabata, and aims to teach you about the form of training, how it came about, and provide with you a wealth of knowledge and information that you can use to ensure you get the very most from Tabata training and all the benefits Tabata Workouts can give you.We are a dedicated Personal training team called Right Path Fitness who are health and fitness enthusiasts and professionals who place massive value on advanced, high-intensity training techniques like Tabata training. We are also an expert team of who aim to pass our knowledge and expertise onto others like you to help you learn how to incorporate Tabata into your own personal health and fitness regime.We have achieved some amazing results using Tabata and are keen advocates of this particular form of training, and we, therefore, are extremely keen to spread the word and help other people like you incorporate it into their programs in a manner that gets the best possible outcome.

What is Tabata?

Tabata is a form of interval training that falls under the umbrella of HIIT exercise or high-intensity interval training. It requires you to perform only 20 minutes to complete a workout, but the level of intensity means it pushes your body extremely hard, and this contributes to the effectiveness of the workout.

History of Tabata

Tabata is one of the newer forms of exercise that was developed by a doctor from Japan called Dr Izumi Tabata, who was studying the science behind exercise and decided to carry out a study focused on interval training which lead to the formation of Tabata.

The test group used were all fit and healthy speed skaters, and he devised two test scenarios where one group were asked to use static bikes, exercising for 60 minutes at medium intensity. They were asked to do this for 5 days a week and continue for 6 weeks. The other group used the principles of interval training, and the Tabata approach he was hoping to prove as more effective.

Their program which also went on for 6 weeks consisted of the same static bikes, this time exercising for 4 days a week. Their routine required them to complete four minutes 20/10 exercise. 20/10 refers to an interval training method of 20 seconds at maximum, really pushing yourself, flat out exercise, then resting for 10 seconds, before starting again. This gives a 4-minute workout.

More Than Just Cycling

While the study was carried out on static bikes in order to create a fair and level test base, the development of Tabata allows for any form of interval training.

The results showed that group using the new Tabata model increased their aerobic and anaerobic levels more than the other group. Anaerobic fitness increased by a huge 28%, showing that a shorter overall exercise period at a higher intensity was far more beneficial.

Tabata Now In 2020

Tabata has now developed to use a massive range of exercises, from running and cycling to squats or burpees, so is much more extensive than it used to be.

It is possible to be flexible about the way in which you complete the routine, as long as the golden rules of 20/10 are observed. As with all exercise forms, variations are already being devised but true Tabata sticks to the principles of 4-minute circuits for 20 minutes (so five rounds).

The key thing with this form of training though is that maximum Intensity is preserved at all times in order to achieve the desired results.

Common Tabata Mistakes

Perhaps the most common mistake that people make with Tabata training is assuming they can plod through a circuit at a pace that might be considered working to a satisfactory level but is in fact well below your maximum possible intensity.

Tabata should be a very strenuous workout and if you are not feeling highly drained and pushed beyond your normal levels at the end of a Tabata workout then you simply haven’t worked at a high enough intensity!

Maximum intensity is the absolute most you can offer, and you need to work at that level for the whole 20 mins to gain the most benefit from this kind of workout.

Tabata is an advanced form of exercise

Tabata is generally regarded as an exercise routine for more advanced fitness enthusiasts, and therefore may not be right for you at this time is you are just a beginner.

Having said this, there is a modified version of Tabata that might be right for you, which could serve to build you up gradually to the right level to perform high-intensity Tabata once you are ready.

The Health Benefits of Tabata Training

Tabata training has a wide range of benefits for fitness and health that make it a great form of exercise. Tabata can also be incorporated into your training.

Below we list the main benefits of Tabata Training and summarise why it’s so effective for improving health, fitness and personal wellbeing.

Time Savings

The highly reduced and condensed durations of Tabata workouts increases an individual’s willingness to work out regularly. It would be difficult to argue that you can’t fit in just 4 to minutes of Tabata Training a day, which is one key factor that makes Tabata Training such a motivating form of exercise to perform on a regular basis – no matter how busy you might be.

Bonus Tips: You should always ensure that when you are searching for a reputable and capable personal trainer who can carry out Tabata Training classes for you, you use the right resources to check credentials, qualifications and specific experience etc.

We recommend visiting the (Register of Fitness professionals) REPS website to check this information from a highly reliable source

Tabata Training is just one form of different exercise that we recommend here at Right Path Fitness, as we are always seeking innovative and forward-thinking ways of training that best meet the ever-changing needs of our clients.

For more ideas and inspiration on other forms of training that you could and should try, we recommend visiting and looking through their superb and highly detailed resource for all things fitness related.

Fat Burning

Firstly, because of the intensity, Tabata will keep working on the metabolism after the workout has finished. Without a doubt, your heart rate will rocket, and this, in turn, raises the metabolism. In order to work out at that level, the body has to work. If you then develop a routine whereby Tabata becomes part of your week, the BMR, which is your base or resting metabolic rate increases. This means even away from a class you are going to be burning more energy than you were before, and in class you are looking at 15 times increase to that BMR. Burn baby burn!

The Two A’s

We are all familiar with the term aerobic, and of course, Tabata is a form of aerobic exercise. Your aerobic capacity it the maximum amount of oxygen you consume during vigorous exercise. Tabata can significantly increase this. Anaerobic refers to the maximum amount of energy your body can produce during the absence of oxygen. To get this energy the body burns carbohydrates.

In the original test studies that Dr Tabata carried out, participants saw a 28% increase in the anaerobic capacity and a 14% increase in their aerobic capacity.

Good for Muscle Tissue

When we use diet to lose weight, we are also running the risk of losing not only fat but muscle tissue. To keep muscles in good condition we need to work them, and the high-intensity interval training method offered by Tabata does just this and helps the body develop muscle tissue rather than damage it. Longer cardio workouts such as endurance running can place strain or damage muscle tissue. With Tabata, participants will find that their lean body mass fast goes up.

Short and Sweet

Ok, so time is not a direct benefit to health, but this can be a driving factor when it comes to exercise routines. Many people do not want to go to the gym for hours, and others simply do not have the time. Because a Tabata session is only 20 minutes long, the motivation to work is higher. Due to nature and intensity, it is also is not something that you would do daily. Rather something to be done twice a week, and with such benefits on offer, this again is a great motivator to those short on time. No equipment is needed, so there is nothing to purchase, just turn up to classes and pay the class fee.

It is, of course, necessary with all forms of exercise that you warm up the body before diving in, otherwise there is a risk of injury from cold muscles.

How to do a Tabata Workout Yourself

Not everyone loves the buzz of an exercise class and prefer to exercise alone. Others may find that they cannot get to the gym or studio at the time a Tabata class is being held due to other commitments. Or maybe you just want to top up at home before attending classes later in the week. Whatever your reasons, doing a Tabata workout for yourself is something a lot of people want to do, so here is how to get started.

First, Learn the Routine

Tabata is a form of high-intensity interval training but what sets it apart from other forms of HIIT exercise is the strict timing mechanism. A circuit in Tabata consists of a continuous flow of movement (no stopping for a rest or drink here people) operating under the 20/10 rule. So, a circuit goes as follows

  • Exercise 20 secs
  • Rest 10 secs
  • Exercise 20 secs
  • Rest 10 secs
  • Exercise 20 secs
  • Rest 10 secs
  • Exercise 20 secs
  • Rest 10 secs
  • Exercise 20 secs
  • Rest 10 secs
  • Exercise 20 secs
  • Rest 10 secs
  • Exercise 20 secs
  • Rest 10 secs
  • Exercise 20 secs
  • Rest 10 secs

The exercise moves used are not the most important factor, but we will look at some you could use below. What is crucial is that you maintain the circuit above and ensure that your exercise periods are at maximum, got nothing more to give, intensity level.

So, you will need timers that do not distract you, that you can see without having to stop.

Now, Add Some Exercises.

Once you are confident, you can remember the timings, pick some exercises – again you need to remember them and not stop to look what comes next. Some people pick 8 entirely different exercises; others pick 4 and repeat, the choice is yours. The beauty of Tabata is it only requires yourself. Accessories are optional, and we will get to those shortly. Here are a few suggestions for your exercise plans:

  • Burpees
  • Jumping Jacks
  • High Knee Jogging
  • Jump Squats
  • Ice Skaters
  • Push Ups
  • Tuck Jumps

Of course, the list is up to you, and if needed write it on a whiteboard or piece of paper you can see at all times.

Add to the Mix

Now, as we mentioned, equipment is optional, but some people love to mix up their exercises by adding props such as

  • Kettlebells
  • Jump ropes
  • Medicine balls
  • Dumbbells

Just be careful that they do not become a distraction, and you are not scrambling to pick up or put down something.

You can also use a stationary bike or treadmill, the key aspects of your Tabata workout are the all important timings and the intensity. How you achieve, this is largely up to you.

The Warnings

As with all exercise routines, you should ensure that you warm up properly before you begin to limit the risk of injury. Dr Tabata developed the practice for those who already have a level of fitness, so care needs to be taken if you are new to exercise and have yet to attain a fitness level.

Example Of Home Tabata Workout

  • 4 Total Minutes of High Intensity Work
  • 20 seconds work
  • 10 seconds rest

Repeat 8 times

Sounds easy, right?! It’s not. What’s great about it is that the 20 seconds is up so quickly it doesn’t even give you a chance to think “I can’t do this, it’s so hard.” The best part is you can do it with any exercises – at home, at the gym, anywhere! You can also tailor a tabata workout to the length of time you have – I usually do 8 exercises, with one minute of rest between. That takes about 40ish minutes to complete.

Here are three examples of tabata workouts you can do at home:

How to Become a Tabata Instructor

If you are already a fitness instructor, or a uber fitness bod looking for a change of career, you might consider becoming a Tabata Instructor. So how would you do that?

Tabata is a Trademark

The first thing you need to do is ensure that you are looking at a genuine training provider. Anyone can purport to offer certified training, but it is worth looking into their credentials before you sign anything. If you claim to offer Tabata training but your provider was not affiliated with the organisation you can a) be in a lot of trouble and b) shut down and prevented from working until you remove all reference to Tabata, which is pretty devastating, so be sure that doesn’t happen.

If you want to teach a variety of Tabata and understand that you are not training with an affiliated school, that is fine as long as you advertise correctly. Variations are always going to spring up, so just make sure you know who you are licensed by and advertise properly.

Learn at Home or In The Classroom

As with most things today, flexibility is essential. People need to be able to train at a time, and in a way, that suits them. A quick internet search will reveal companies offering on-site and distance learning. Again, you will need to decide what suits you, however, remember that learning without an instructor present can lead to subtle issues that are never corrected.

You should expect to put in a degree of time and effort learning your new skill. In order to teach something, you need to know the subject better than the most competent students – or risk the red face that goes with not knowing the answer to what should be an easy question.

Get Your Own Fitness High

Most people practice Tabata once or twice a week, however as a teacher you may well need to do more to make a living. Tabata is physically demanding, so you will need to work on your fitness levels before you get into a class. It won’t reflect well if the teacher is flaked out in a corner mid class. Now, of course, there clever tricks and tips you can use, which mean you do not have to do every class in full.

Walking around the room is an excellent way to monitor how each student is doing and means you are not working so hard. You will need to be bang on with timings, so make sure you are using a good timer or, even better, a larger timer on the wall that everyone can see.

Certificate Central

Not only will you need to get a certificate that confirms you have reached a standard for teaching you will need to consider an insurance certificate. If you are working as an employee of a fitness centre, you will probably find that they have insurance in place for all teachers. However, if you are looking to open your studio or teach on a freelance basis, you will need to have public liability and/or indemnity insurance in place in case any issues arise. You may also want to ensure your registration forms include a health waiver stating the participants do so at their risk, after consulting their doctors.