Today I’d like to share with you one of my favorite methods for a fast and easy tabatas workout right in the comfort of your own home. It takes as little as 20 minutes and it will get you burning fat and looking good in no time!
What Are Tabatas and Why Do I Do Them?
Tabatas are a type of high intensity interval training (often referred to as HIIT). This may sound scary to you, HIGH INTENSITY?!? INTERVALS??
Let me explain the basic concept behind tabatas first. The goal of tabatas is maximum calories burned in short periods of time. You are only “working” for short bursts of time! For example, 20 seconds hard work followed by 10 seconds of rest. Doesn’t sound to bad right?
The results come from this: you push yourself to your personal max for all 20 seconds (in the example above) and you earn that break.
Why Do I Love Tabatas?
They are quick, don’t require any gym equipment, and they have an amazing after burn effect (where you burn calories well after your workout is over). Added bonus – working that hard helps me sleep better and I look darn good in the mirror! All this in 15 minutes or less!!
My typical tabatas workouts are as follows:
- 12 minutes: 5 rounds of 5 exercises; 20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest
- 15 minutes: 5 rounds of 6 exercises; 20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest
- 15 minutes: 6 rounds of 5 exercises; 20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest
- 20 minutes: 5 rounds of 6 exercises; 30 seconds work, 10 seconds rest
To complete a tabata routine, it is important to have a timer available that will automatically count out the intervals for you (I use Interval Timer on IPhone or HIIT interval Training Timer on Droid). Let’s work through the second example above 15 minutes using 5 rounds of 6 exercises (20/10).
Tabatas Workout Example
- Set your timer for 6 sets of interval cycles high 20 seconds/low 10 seconds. I build in a 7 second warm up to give me time to get situated, I also build in an extra second in my intervals because I catch myself cheating the last second when I start getting tired. Ultimately you want 30 rounds at 20 seconds/10 seconds.
- Push start and get ready to move. 20 seconds work work work! 10 seconds rest and prepare for next move.
- Continue on to finish all 6 moves of circuit.
- Start back at 1 and continue entire circuit 4 more times.
- REST GLORIOUS REST!!!
- Stretch and bask in the knowledge that the workout you just did will continue to burn fat and calories for the rest of the day (the afterburn effect).
- DRINK MORE WATER and find yourself some protein!
Whatever you do you have to PUSH TO YOUR MAX all 20 seconds every round for the entire 15 minutes!!
What’s My Max?
You may wonder how you know if you are working hard enough to achieve that after burn effect that is so beneficial from high intensity training. Here is how I judge my workouts:
Round 1: I often have this “I could do this all day” feeling during round one. Other days I may be stiff or getting used to the moves, and think “Oh bless this is going to be a tough workout”, either way keep pushing you just started.
Round 2-3: You are warmed up and feeling good, life is good and I’m on top of the world. If you are already dying, please turn down the volume and bring it down just a notch.
Round 4: This is the round where I know if I made a good workout. It’s the round I have to remind myself, “Just one more round after this Sam, keep pushing; keep giving 100%.
Round 5: Somehow I make it through this round. I continue to jump high, push through each and every move for the entire interval, as this is it; I want to earn my warrior status for the day (and the afterburn baby!).
Pancake Warriors Fitness
I do tabata’s most days during my lunch workout – they are quick and effective and because they are always different I never get bored!
I will post my workouts for you and let you know if there are beginner moves that may help replace some of the more advanced moves until you are comfortable.
- 20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest
- 5 rounds
- Mountain climbers
- High Knees
- Jump Squats
- Russian Twists
I look forward to your feedback on tabatas and would love a sweaty selfie after you complete the workouts!