Home Fitness Guide Tabata workouts are right for you

Tabata workouts are right for you

by DrPrem Jagyasi
Stationary bike

If you are physically fit and can handle high intensity workouts, Tabata workouts are just right for you. It’s a workout created by Izumi Tabata, who was earlier a researcher at the National Fitness and Sports Institute, Kanoya, Japan. Tabata is a compilation of highly advanced set of exercises, which you have to do for 4 minutes only. You have to pick an exercise and do that for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds and so on. Dr. Tabata carried out a study of athletes who practiced his method, and he found that their anaerobic capacity was increased by 28% and aerobic capacity by 14%.

Who can do the Tabata workout?
  Tabata workout

Tabata workouts are good for everyone, but you have to have the capacity to survive 4 minutes of extreme exercise. If you’re a beginner, or you’re just starting your fitness routine, you should start with regular workouts. After some time, if your trainer permits, you can start with 2 minutes of Tabata, and gradually go up to 4 minutes. Remember to be safe and also remember that the fat burning Tabata workout was developed for Olympic athletes, so you have to have a high level of mental and physical fitness before attempting Tabata.

What exercises can you do in Tabata 

You can work your way to a healthy life with Tabata workouts. You should ideally start by doing warm up exercises for 5 minutes which would loosen the muscles. For your Tabata routine, pick exercises that will make use of most of the muscles of your body and will help you burn the most amount of fat. Then end it with cool down exercises for 5 minutes. Here are a few exercises that you can consider


In Tabata, you have to exercise for 20 seconds and rest for 10 seconds. So sprint for 20 secs and rest the next 10 seconds. Use a timer or ask a friend to yell out the time for you.

Rowing machine

Rowing machine

This is a great fat burning Tabata workout. Your aching muscles will testify to that! Do this also for the required 20 seconds and rest for 10 seconds.

Elliptical machine

Elliptical machine

This will be less hard on your joints but it’s tougher also, in a way, unless you crank up the resistance to the highest.

Stationary bike

Stationary bike

Bike hard for 20 seconds and rest for 10 and continue.

All the exercises together have to add up to a total of 4 minutes and work your way to a healthy life with Tabata workouts.

Why Tabata is so effective


The all-out effort that you have put in for 4 minutes is the key to burning fat and superbly fit with Tabata Training. The intense workouts have to be repeated in a cycle of 20 second followed by only 10 seconds rest. Apart from machines, you can do exercises like squats. You can do one bodyweight exercises per Tabata workout.

The success of Tabata is due to the fact that for 4 minutes, your body is pushed to the limit. That is why, this exercise is not for those who have a weak hert, figuratively or physically. As you don’t get enough rest during your 4 minute workout, you should not attempt these exercises if you have any heart condition. The ratio of 2:1 of exercise and rest will drive you to the point of highest oxygen intake and render you actually breathless. But Tabata workouts are good for those who are already used to high intensity exercises and need to go to the next level, and get great benefits.

Benefits of Tabata workout 

With Tabata, your mitochondrial biogenesis is triggered. That is, new mitochondrial cells develop in your skeletal muscles, which usually decline with age.

According to Mr. Tabata, there is also an ‘after-burn’ effect, in which your body burns another 150 calories up to 12 hours after a Tabata workout. And as to the number of workouts you can do in a day, if done correctly, only one Tabata workout is enough in one day. 

You might be nauseous or seeing stars and getting completely out of breath, but one Tabata workout is beneficial for body at muscular and cellular levels. You increase your anaerobic and anaerobic capacity as well as metabolic rate and VO2 max, and look up to 200% slimmer.

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