There’s a reason Tabata training has been dubbed the “4-minute fat-burning miracle workout.” Doing as little as one Tabata (4 minutes) can increase your aerobic capacity, anaerobic capacity, VO2 max, resting metabolic rate, and can help you burn more fat (and make you look 200 percent leaner) than a traditional 60-minute aerobic workout. Plus, you don’t need any equipment at all! In fact, using only your body is even more efficient since it eliminates time spent fumbling with buttons or tools.
The moves in this workout are simple to do but cause some seriously heavy breathing—which is important since 20-second work intervals don’t allow much time for gradually building up your heart rate.
Tabata Training Details
Begin with a brief warm-up (spend 3-5 minutes with some basic moves like marches, stationary squats, and arm circles to prep your body). To complete one Tabata, go as hard as you can for 20 seconds and follow that with 10 seconds of rest. Repeat seven more times.
You can mix and match each of the following sets, depending on which moves work best for you. For example:
1. Pick just one set to repeat 4 times for a 4-minute Tabata workout.
2. Do the first set 2 times, then move on to do the second set 2 times, and so on until you’ve finished all 4 sets.
3. Do just one set of each move, completing the full series 2 times total.
However you choose to lay out your workout, just remember to work to an all-out maximum intensity during the 20-second work interval and embrace the 10 seconds of rest in between!
Once you’ve finished, give yourself time to catch your breath completely, and if you have time, do a few stretches to wrap things up.