You can legitimately achieve an hour’s worth of workout in 4 minutes.
Wait a second, what did I just write? You can legitimately achieve an hour’s worth of workout in 4 minutes, without any crazy scheme or equipment.
Sounds like a con, right? Wrong. Tabata training gives you the benefits of an hour-long workout in just 4 short minutes. Well, they might feel a lot longer while you’re doing it.
Tabata training – What is it?
Tabata is high intensity interval training, where you go all out for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds, and repeat for 4 minutes – so you get 8 sessions of workout total. It’s been scientifically proven to work better than normal cardio workouts.
A Japanese scientist – Izumi Tabata – tested this on athletes. One group did Tabata training and one did normal, hour-long, cardio workouts. The results were that Tabata worked better – the normal cardio group improved their long-term (aerobic) fitness, but not short-term (anaerobic) fitness. The Tabata trainers improved both of these areas, and their aerobic fitness improved more than the other group’s did.
How do you do it?
To do a Tabata workout, you don’t need have any fancy equipment – a skipping rope, or maybe something heavy to use as weights, will do fine.
What you need to do is find a type of exercise – like skipping – and an appropriate place to do it; this could be at the gym, in your backyard or even in the house if you have enough space. You need a timer, or someone to time for you – there is a great webpage called tabatatimer.com, and even smart phone apps you can use.
The timer will tell you when to stop and go, and when you go you have to push as hard as you can, otherwise you won’t get the benefit.
It is important to warm up and warm down properly when doing Tabata, as pushing yourself so hard can lead to injuries if you don’t look after your body carefully.
Why is this so good?
With Tabata, you only train for 4 minutes, meaning you’ve got time to do everything else you would normally have to do. This way you can get fit without impacting any other schedule you may have. You can do this at home – so the kids can simply play in the backyard while you get a workout done.
Tabata is perfect for working mums, stay at home mums, and any mum in between. Any person at all, in fact.
What’s the catch?
It’s hard. You have to work super hard for those 4 minutes. If I’m any kind of example to go by, it’s hard walking up a flight of stairs, so this would be like moving mountains – but super easy compared to lugging yourself to the gym for hours upon hours every week.
The other catch – you’ll have more time to spend on cleaning. A huge benefit of going to the gym is that you haven’t got much time to clean the house afterwards, but with Tabata, you do. I know, for some this won’t be a con, but I can only speak for myself.
So try out Tabata training and see just how much more housework you can get done, as well as getting in shape. Check out this article for some ideas on what exercises to do during your workout. Have a go, and remember: go hard or go home!