New Fitness Trend: Tabata!

Guest post by Natalie Clements–Tabata, Pilates & TRX Instructor at Nourish Northwest

Natalie Clements, Tabata Instructor

The summer is always a difficult time for me to stick with my fitness routine.

You would think it would be the opposite- that the extra Vitamin D, warm weather, and need for less clothing, would make getting outside more enjoyable.  But truthfully, there are many times I lack the motivation I feel I should have.  Maybe it’s the sticky air that has us sweating before the workout begins, the packed summer schedule, or the lure of friends and margaritas on a cute, sunny patio, but there are many times I just want to sit. Or eat. Or sit and eat.  With everything that goes on in the summer months, I often don’t have the time or energy to devote to a long workout.

This is why, lately, I’ve been hooked on Tabata! A form of high-intensity interval training, Tabata intervals are only 20 seconds long, with 10 seconds of rest in between- repeated 8 times.  The workout, often praised by the media as a “fat burning miracle,” can be as short as 4 minutes and can be done virtually anywhere.  The benefits of this form of exercise were discovered in the 1970s when Japanese researcher, Izumi Tabata, conducted a study of Japanese Olympians.  The study followed two groups of athletes and compared moderate-high intensity training with high-intensity interval training.  Results showed that the quick, high intensity bursts increased not only aerobic capacity, but also anaerobic capacity (the body’s ability to work without oxygen), resting metabolic rate, and can burn more fat than traditional aerobic workouts.  In other words, if done correctly, just four minutes of Tabata could produce better fitness gains than an entire hour of running on a treadmill.

Any exercise that incorporates cardio can be used for Tabata; what’s important is that you give 100% to each 20 second interval.  In the classes I teach, I like to stack four “Tabatas” on to one another;  that’s just four exercises, each 8 times, for a total body workout taking only 16 minutes (35 after a good warm up and cool down).   An example might be:

  • Burpees
  • Push-ups
  • Jump Squats
  • Mountain Climbers

What 100% effort looks like will be different for everybody, but as long as you give each second all you have, you’ll get an incredible workout in a very short time.  With every Tabata workout you’ll feel stronger, more empowered, and ready to tackle your jam-packed schedule with time (for that margarita maybe?) to spare!

Want to try this intense and effective workout? Go to our class schedule to sign up for our Tabata-Pilates Fusion class!

Tabata Class in Portland, OR
Two students mid-burpee!


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