What is Tabata?
The Tabata Protocol is a type of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) where you perform 20 seconds of exercise, have 10 seconds of rest and repeated for 4-6 minutes.
Developed by Dr. Izumi Tabata, along with the head coach of the Japanese speed skating team, he proved scientifically that it was the short periods of rest between intense outputs which maximized the results even when athletes worked out for shorter periods of time.
What exercise works with Tabata?
Practically any exercise or at home workout can be done in the Tabata protocol. You can employ it with sprints on a treadmill, stationary bike or rower. And Tabata is a great way to do plyometric exercises -- exercises that just use your bodyweight -- including: lunges, burpees, pushups, squats and planks.
3 Reasons Tabata Works for Beginners
- You work at your own speed. The protocol does not prescribe the number of push ups, squats, burpees or kettlebell swings you need to do, just that you work your hardest at the exercise for the full 20 seconds and do not rest beyond 10 seconds before starting again. (Of course you may want to keep track of the number of reps of each kind of exercise you can complete as a way to track your improving fitness level.)
- It doesn’t require a lot of time. Including warmup and cool down, you can complete tabata workouts in 20 minutes or less. You work the 20 seconds on/10 seconds rest cycle for just 4-6 minutes so “lack of time” ends being an excuse
- No equipment required. Employing the Tabata protocol with bodyweight only exercises is the perfect way start doing at home workouts or to maintain your fitness while traveling. Nothing to buy, no gym to join.
Ready to get started?
Are you ready to try a Tabata workout? That’s great! If you want to do your first Tabata with a trainer, try Kelly Lee’s exercise video: Tabata Challenge. Or just use your smartphone, there are many free tabata timer apps available you can use in your own workout.
Kelly's HIIT Challenge
Tabata Timer App
Why Plyometric Should Be Your New Favorite Word
3 Reasons to Try a HIIT Workout
Tabata vs. HIIT: 3 Main Differences
6 Tabata Workouts to Lose Weight
Tabata -- Powerful Results, Less Time
The History of Tabata