The headline “Get Fit In 12 Minutes a Week” is not just one to capture your attention. As a fitness instructor and someone who doesn’t have the time or likes to spend hours in the gym, I am always on the lookout for fast, effective workouts.
A Killer Workout in Four Minutes
When I first heard of the Tabata protocol, I thought to myself “yeah, whatever, how can a four-minute workout a couple days a week get someone fit?” One thing I’ve learned in my 50 rides around the sun, keeping an open mind is a way to learn new things to make life easier!
The History of Tabata
According to Active.com;
Dr. Izumi Tabata developed the High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT, exercise regimen known as the Tabata Protocol while serving as head coach for the Japanese speed skating team.
Tabata and his team conducted research on two groups of athletes. The first group trained at a moderate intensity level while the second group trained at a high-intensity level. The moderate intensity group worked out five days a week for a total of six weeks; each workout lasted one hour. The high-intensity group worked out four days a week for six weeks; each workout lasted four minutes and 20 seconds (with 10 seconds of rest in between each set).
The results; Group 1 had increased their aerobic system (cardiovascular), but showed little or no results for their anaerobic system (muscle). Group 2 showed much more increase in their aerobic system than Group 1, and increased their anaerobic system by 28 percent.
In conclusion, high-intensity interval training has more impact on both the aerobic and anaerobic systems.
What is a Tabata?
As mentioned earlier, a Tabata is a HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workout four minutes long. Yes, four minutes. F – O – U – R. You read that right. When done right, four minutes is all you need. As the Active.com site states in the article referenced above “it will be the longest four minutes of your life.”
I love using Tabatas the fitness classes I teach! The workout portion of my classes are usually around 30 minutes, with a minimum of a five minute warmup and cool down. One of the favorites I’m teaching right now is Monday Mix, 30 minutes of bodyweight HIIT intervals and/or Tabatas sandwiched between 15 minutes of a yoga-inspired warmup and cool-down stretch, including a long lavender-scented facial towel savasana. (I wish someone else would teach a class like this so I could take it!).
An Aging Youthful Tabata
Here is Tabata anyone of any fitness level can do. However, be sure to check with your doctor to make sure you are fit for excercise. Also, be sure to do a proper warmup before and cool down/stretch afterward. Give this little gem a go 3 times in a week, just be sure to have at least one (if not two) days in-between to give your body a chance to recover. Then come back and leave a comment or comment on the linked post on our Facebook or Instagram pages and tell us what you think.