The Tabata Method

There’s certain programs in the gym that half way through them, make you think you can see Jesus.  By the end of a few of them, he’s actually asking you if its ok if he works in.  The Tabata method, when done properly, is one such program.  Want to know what 240seconds of pain feels like?  Read on…

Tabata is the name of a Japanese researcher who discovered an interesting way to increase both anaerobic and aerobic pathways at the same time. It’s one of those strange training programs that seems to fit across disciplines: it’s excellent for bicyclists, speed skaters, Olympic lifters, or the person looking to lose fat quickly.

This training method is so simple, yet so incredibly difficult, that athletes tend to try it once, acknowledge its greatness, and then vow to never speak its name again. What is it? It’s simple: take one exercise and perform it in the following manner:

1) For twenty seconds, do as many repetitions as possible.

2) Rest for ten seconds

3) Repeat seven more times!

That’s it! You’re done in four minutes! Oh, and that thing you’re trying to brush off your face? That would be the floor.

Best Exercises to Use With Tabata?

The original Tabata was done on a stationary bike.  20 seconds on working at 170% of your VO2 max, 10 seconds off, repeat 7 more times.  The key to the above sentence is 170% of your VO2 max..If your not doing this, your not doing a tabata.  But we can MIMIC it…

In terms of weight training the best exercises to use when mimicking the Tababata method is the front squat or a thruster (pictured at top).  A thruster can be done with a barbell or dumbells.

A tabata works best when using 1 exercise only.  If your doing a “tabata” workout that uses more than one exercise your not doing tabata’s, your doing a circuit or a super set.  

What weight should you use?  This is what makes this workout hell.  Make it too light and this workout aint shit.  I’d start with 25 – 30% of your 1 repetition max for front squats or your 10RM in the thruster.  Its not uncommon to do between 50 – 70 reps in 4 minutes.  Doesn’t sound like much does it… hehe

Ten Seconds is Ten Seconds!

You can’t got to the drink fountain and get a drink in ten seconds.  You can’t answer the phone in 10 seconds.  YOu can’t send a text in ten seconds.  You can’t talk to  the hot guy / girl in 10 seconds.  
10 seconds is 10 seconds!

If your short on time give it a go after a thorough warm up.  

See you in the gym!


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