Four Minutes of Pain to Gain- TABATA

TABATA is a high intensity training method created by Dr. Izumi Tabata and a group of researchers from the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo, Japan. TABATA is 20 seconds of your maximum intensity exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest, then repeated 8 times consecutively for a total of 4 minutes…a tortutous 4 minutes if performed properly. In order to get results with TABATA you have to push yourself to the max. If you can do that, then in just four minutes you can boost your anaerobic and aerobic capacity more than by doing an hour of moderately paced endurance exercise. Four Minutes.

TABATA can be applied to almost any exercise, crunches, push-ups, squats, or my favorite…sprints. I recommend using an interval timer such as Interval Timer Pro that alerts you after each interval allowing you to focus more on your workout and less on watching the clock.

Because I have to be extremely efficient with my workouts, I choose to do HIIT and TABATA to get in my cardio. Today I did a TABATA workout on the treadmill after my intervals of shoulder and bicep work.

Todays TABATA (performed on treadmill):

  • 1 minute at 4.5
  • 1 minute at 5.5
  • 1 minute at 6.5
  • 20 seconds at 10 followed by 10 seconds of rest (repeated 8 times)
  • 1 minute at 6.5
  • 1 minute at 5.5
  • 1 minute at 4.5

Whew! I’m tired again just thinking about it.

Note: You should perform TABATA at your max level of intensity, not mine, and not anyone elses. And be aware that all treadmill settings are different. The treadmills at my gym seem to be slower than mine at home, which means that while I sprint at level 10 at the gym, I may only sprint at level 8.5 at home.

Try it! I double-dog dare you. And let me know what you think.

4 Responses to “Four Minutes of Pain to Gain- TABATA”
  1. I did one of these with my trainer (I need someone to hold my hand through hard work outs:). We did a circuit of not so hard exercises think box jumps, sit ups, smash balls, jumping pull-ups but when you do it in an interval like that I was seeing stars in the end. I like the interval workout. Will try it this week.

  2. stevewaites says:

    I’m tired just reading about it – sounds… I want to say “fun”, but I think that’s the wrong word!

    I do thoroughly enjoy the odd lung-busting, eyes out on stalks workout so I think I’ll give this a go 🙂


    • TRY IT! Be forewarned, you may get some crazy looks from fellow gym goers. But its a wonderful workout.

      • stevewaites says:

        Will do – I am exceptionally lucky in that I have a running track open to the public just five minutes down the road from me, so I’m thinking I might give it a go round there… Thanks for the great idea.

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