March 16, 2016

Body Go Fitness - Get Fit with Tabata

Spring is here and so is some fitness motivation! Whether you are working on your bikini body or just want to get in shape for your favorite summertime outdoor activities, the gym is calling. After a long winter spent with Ben, Jerry, and Netflix, it’s time to get out there and stretch your legs.

One of this spring’s biggest workout trends are HIIT classes, specifically Tabata.  High-intensity interval training has quickly been gaining popularity over the last few years, and it’s still huge. HIIT are shorter, more intense workouts alternating short periods of intense anaerobic exercise with less-intense recovery periods. The science behind HIIT is that through these intense bursts of activity, the body burns more calories in a shorter period of time than traditional exercise routines. This idea has been around since the 1970s, but more and more gyms are offering HIIT classes, including Tabata.

Tabata was discovered in the 90s when a Japanese professor found that four minutes of intense interval training was just as effective as hours of lighter workouts. A Tabata workout includes a 10 minute warm-up that increases the heart rate with high knees or jumping jacks. Then, the “Tabata” part of your workout should only last for four minutes, usually involving repeating one exercise quickly for 20 seconds, then taking a 10 second recovery. This is repeated eight times, with the focus on pushing yourself 100 percent during the 20-second working period.

You can do most any exercise you prefer for Tabata. You can do squats, push-ups, burpees or any other exercise that works your large muscle groups. Kettlebell exercises work great, too. Taking a Tabata class may help you to stay motivated during the longest four minutes of your life, but it can also be done at home.

If you want to create your own Tabata workout at home, it is very simple. Use a timer or watch where you can easily keep track of 20 seconds and 10 seconds. Most Tabata workouts combine different four-minute sets to work each muscle group. You can select your favorite moves, or try our suggestion:

Push-ups (4 minutes)

Squats (4 minutes)

Burpees (4 minutes)

Mountain Climbers (4 minutes)

Start with pushups, performing for 20 seconds at a high intensity. Rest for ten, then go back for 20 seconds, repeating for eight sets. Rest for one minute, then move to the squats and repeat the sequence of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off. Once you finish eight sets of squats, rest for one minute, and then do burpees. After burpees, finish the workout with mountain climbers.

Tabata is great for those with limited time and equipment. Working out for only twenty seconds at a time may sound like a piece of cake, but, when done properly, it will leave you howling. Tabata is also highly customizable. Switch out the exercises from day to day if you get bored. And if you are new to fitness, modify the workout and do only two sets of four-minute exercises and see how you do. HIIT and Tabata will help you build strength and endurance, and soon you’ll be squatting with the best of them!

Check out the Body Go Fitness schedule to see when our next class is!

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