Tabata This!

Oh man.

Tabata workouts are the craziest thing.

I guess I should start by explaining what they are.

A Tabata workout typically consists of 8 rounds of 20 seconds of intense effort, each followed by 10 seconds of rest, so it’s a 4 minute workout, where every 20 of every 30 seconds is spent dying and gasping for breath and pushing through pain.

And it is awesome. Sort of. You can use Tabata Protocol for most every exercise, from bench press to sprinting. The worst one I’ve done was at Crossfit where we did 4 rounds total, including kettlebell swings, pull-ups, back squats, and bench press. It was awful, and 16 minutes of next-to-nonstop exertion. Sprinting however, was nearly just as bad, and that was only for 4 minutes (with jogging/speedwalking rests).

Anyways, it gets your VO2 max up, burns fat, while not destroying muscle like long slow distance endurance running does. I’m a fan of it, though I also tend to avoid it because it’s so terrible in the moment. An app exists for it, Tabata Lite, which is essentially just a stopwatch that counts in Tabata time. My favorite Tabata workout so far is push-ups. If I were actually able to wake up early enough every day, I’d be cranking these out before my paleo breakfast and nice long shower (both nonexistent currently). I’d definitely recommend it for those with little to no equipment, and with little to no time. These HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts are rather en vogue right now, but the science behind them sounds promising!

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