Tabatas – Why everyone’s doing them!


Created by a Japanese professor Dr Izumi Tabata, this training method has become increasingly popular in fitness program’s all over the world due to it effectiveness.

What is a Tabata?

A Tabata can be carried out in a wide range of exercises from Burpees and kettlebell swings to squat jumps and sprints plus many more and consists of 20 seconds of all out effort followed by 10 seconds of rest repeated 8 times. All in all it is 4 minutes of work but those 4 minutes will be some of the hardest you will ever carry out in a gym/studio or even at home because it can be done as a bodyweight exercise and if your not gasping for air your not doing it right!

Benefits of a Tabata?

A five week study has shown that tabatas can increase a persons anaerobic capacity by up to 28% compared to someone carrying out steady cardiovascular training e.g Stationary bike, jogging etc.. who only increased their anaerobic capacity by 10%.

The subjects who were doing the tabata exercises where working out for a total of 88 minutes per week, compared to the group who were doing steady cardiovascular exercise for 5 hours per week.

Tabatas are high intensity workouts and due to this are excellent for fat burning, will improve lean body mass (muscle) and can improve testosterone which is important in both men and women unlike going for a long distance run which can make muscle deteriorate and lower testosterone. Not only that but you will continue to burn calories up to 12 hours after completion (this is down to post exercise oxygen consumption)!

So what this shows us…

Using the tabata system you can get fitter and burn fat in considerably less time than many training methods. It can be done pretty much anywhere and will challenge people off all fitness levels.

Click the link below for an example of a Tabata being carried out by one of my clients Nikita…
Nikitas Kettlebell Tabata

Joe Neill
Personal trainer @ Liverpool Personal Training studios
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About Author

I am an ex-professional athlete & personal trainer based in No Limits Strength & Conditioning Gym in Liverpool I have the first-hand experience of first class training and nutrition. I can build a program to suit your goals and needs, teaching you everything you need to make that transformation. A keen interest in Nutrition and exercise has led to me to enrolling on Exercise and Sport Science Degree which allows me to bring advanced and ground breaking methods into practice. Whether you’re interested in muscle gain, fat loss or performance I have proven strategies to produce continual progress with my clients.


    • Yer, they can be done with pretty much anything, just make sure you choose the right weight and you have good technique, could injure yourself if your lifting a weight that’s to heavy especially with bad
      Technique :)

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