You’ve probably been hearing a lot about Tabata or HIIT training. Lemme break it down for ya. Tabata, like HIIT, is a high intensity style of interval training. Meaning, it’s a format, not necessarily a workout. It is my favorite style of cardio training and how I met Chef Pete! Ask him about April Johnson’s #TabataTuesday! Besides being super effective, we’ll get to that later, it keeps my training from ever getting boring! We all know 30 minutes on the treadmill is equivalent to being stranded in the bathroom without your cell phone. Pure torture.
The tabata protocol is 20 seconds of your most intense work followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated 8x for a total of 4 minutes. The moves are totally up to you! When teaching tabata style HIIT classes I tell my participants, if I wasn’t watching the clock and made you work to 21 seconds, you might not survive. That’s the level of exertion you want to perform at. Now that sounds scary, but my hardest 20 seconds is different than yours. It’s about working YOUR hardest.
Why is tabata popular? It’s about the intensity. In performing movements at a higher intensity with a shorter rest period, your heart and metabolism will be pumping, which is ideal for fat burning. Plus, you’ll continue burning after you’re finished working out, which traditional steady-state cardio can’t boast. It’s all about dat afterburn. Dr. Tabata invented this style of interval training specifically to improve performance in Olympic athletes. Now, I like to think I’m an Olympic quality athlete. The truth is this format pushes your body, takes less time, and is a recommended alternative to steady state cardio if your goal is fat loss.