If time is short, it may not always be easy to fit in your regular exercise routine. If you’re having trouble sticking to an exercise routine, then a Tabata-style workout might help. HIIT involves short bursts of intense exercise followed by periods of rest. It usually takes less than 10 minutes per session. Research shows that this type of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) may even be better at increasing aerobic fitness than traditional cardio workouts.
Researchers divided 55 healthy, young men into three different training programs for a 16-week exercise regimen.
- High intensity Interval Training Treadmill Protocol: Seventy one people did high intensity interval training on treadmills. They ran at a speed equivalent to 130 percent of their maximum oxygen uptake (VO2 max) for 20 seconds, then rested for ten seconds before repeating the cycle for eight times for a total of four minuets.
- High intensity Interval Training With Whole Body Exercises: 19 Participants Conducted Tabata Intervals Using Body Weight Movements Including Burpees, Mountain Climbers, Jumping Jacks And Squat Thrusts With Three Kettle Bells.
- Moderate-Intensity Continuous Training (MICT) involves running continuously for thirty minutes at an intensity associated to ninety percent of the heart rate at VT2, which is considered to be a training intensity associated with increased breathing rates and an inability to speak comfortably during exercise.
During the warm-ups before each session, the HITTT group performed a four-minute walk/jog on the treadmill; the HIIT-WB groups walked slowly (at a slow pace) for four minutes, and the MICT group ran at an increasing speed until they reached their target heart rate zone.
After completing the 16 weeks of exercise programs, both groups showed improvements in their physical fitness levels, which were measured by reaching VT2 faster and running long before they reached exhaustion. The HIIT-HIIT group showed significantly greater improvements compared to both the HIIT-MICT and HIIT-WBT groups, suggesting that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is an efficient exercise for weight loss. It’s good news if there aren’t any workouts available at the moment but you want to get fit quickly. For example, if you’re running out of time before an important meeting, then doing a 4 minute Tabata workout might suffice for keeping up your current level of physical activity.
Here are two options for applying this research to your own Tabata-style protocols
- Use an exercise bike at a gym for 30 minutes to perform a 4-minute Tabata consisting each of 20 seconds of cycling followed by 10 seconds of rest while sitting down. Do this exercise for 8 repetitions. A rowing machine is best since it requires both the upper body and lower body to be used at once. It doesn’t put any extra strain on the knees or backs.
- If you don’t have access to a gym or if you’re staying at a hotel where there isn’t one available, use body weight training instead. The following circuit (based on the one used in the experiment) is best for most people. If you don’t have weights available, use an exercise called “ice skater” instead. It involves hopping sideways from one leg to another.
- Mountain climbers
- Squat thrusts or ice skaters
- Jumping jacks
You should complete an entire circuit within 12 minutes so that you give yourself enough time for a warm-up and cooldown. Follow the exercise protocol outlined by the research study for each muscle group. These are some general guidelines for doing the bodyweight exercise program:
- Keep your spine long. When your spine is extended, you use more of your hips.
- Move from your hips. Whether you are hinging forward or rotating, make sure that the movement comes from your hips, not your spine.
To increase activation of your core muscles, press your feet and hands firmly into the floor when they make contact. Imagine you are trying to push the floor away from you, which can help improve the activation of your deep core muscles.
Even though it’s always good to exercise for at least 30 minutes every day, sometimes we just don’t have enough time. Because of this, it’s good to know that time-efficient Tabata-style workouts really do work and they produce results.