The Neutral Corner: Short on time? Try Tabata Training

The Neutral Corner: Short on time? Try Tabata Training

If you’re like most people, finding time to get an effective workout in can be challenging. I get it; work, school, family or whatever else you can think of, pulls us in different directions and next thing you know the day has passed and your workout has fallen by the wayside. Let that happen a couple more times and your entire week is shot.  Then you’re back saying the infamous four word phrase of fitness.  “I’ll start on Monday.”

Tired of being that guy? Try Tabata training.

What is Tabata?
Ta-what? Is usually the response I get when I tell an athlete they’re doing a Tabata workout. Tabata is essentially a specific form of H.I.I.T. training (High Intensity Interval Training). Developed by Japanese sport and health science researcher, Izumi Tabata, during his time as a training coach for the Japanese speed skating team. A Tabata interval consists of 8 sets of 20 seconds at max effort followed by 10 seconds of rest for 4 minutes. Sound pretty intense? It is! Now let’s talk about how to use Tabata Intervals to make an effective workout.

Tabata Workouts:
Tabata workouts should be done at max effort to get the proper response. This is what makes the intervals so intense. Short bursts at maximal effort train the body’s anaerobic capacity. Longer durations train the aerobic capacity of the body. The beauty in Tabata training is that you train both anaerobic and aerobic thresholds through the use of shorts burst (20 seconds) repeatedly done over a long duration (4 minutes). Tabata workouts shouldn’t exceed 30 minutes. The body can only sustain bouts of high intensity for so long, so it’s important not to over exert yourself when doing Tabata.  Trust me on this, 30 minutes will be MORE than enough. Keep the movements simple. You don’t want to do technical movements at such a high intensity, if you do it will be very difficult to safely and effectively execute the movements at the proper intensity for the entire time. Also, avoid using machines or heavy weights. Your body weight, dumbells, or a kettlebell are pretty much all you need.  You can get a good training session pretty much anywhere, so if you can’t  make it to the gym or don’t have a membership, you’re still good.


Try this 30 minute Tabata set here:

8 Rounds- 20 seconds work/10 seconds rest:
1mins rest
Sit ups
1min rest
Dumbbell shoulder press
1min rest
Lunges or Jump Lunges
1min rest
Push up or Dumbbell floor press
1min rest
Mountain Climbers

Be sure to warm up properly before getting into these movements.  A dynamic warm up including some active non-static stretching is ideal. Next time life gets in the way take about 30 minutes to yourself and get some Tabata in…your body will thank you… Now go be great!

Jeff Hunter
About the Author:

Jeff Hunter. Passion for fitness and results based training is what drives Jeff to share his knowledge with the world. With over 6 years of experience as a personal trainer and strength & conditioning coach, Jeff brings a wide range of practical know-how from his experience with the general population and also elite athletes. Jeff is certified through the National Academy of Sports Medicine and is also a USAW and USA boxing coach. You can find him training out of the Everlast Lab in Hoboken, NJ.