Physical fitness has become one of the most rapidly changing and hotly debated subjects in today’s world, especially when it comes to the workouts themselves. Should we settle ourselves in to the gym for an hour and a half 5 days a week? How much weight training should we be doing? How long should I run in order to lose weight? Questions like these have become central to our quest for a healthy lifestyle.
For those of us who struggle to find the time (or the energy, if we’re going to be honest with ourselves) to hit the gym, a relatively new type of training has surfaced called Tabata training, which utilizes a high intensity interval training method in order to generate giant bursts of energy, followed by a short period of rest. Tabata training follows a specific pattern: 20 seconds of high intensity exercise, followed immediately by 10 seconds of recovery. This cycle, repeated 8 times for a total of 4 minutes, has proved more effective in cultivating anaerobic energy (the short term energy we utilize in activities such as sprints) and aerobic energy (our overall endurance).
If you're short on time, Tabata training offers a great opportunity to stay in shape and increase your durability. This workout, found on BodyBuilding.com, is an example of a calorie-burning Tabata workout that will fit right into your busy schedule.
**Important** It is imperative that you warm up for at least 10 minutes before completing the following circuit. Four minutes may seem like nothing, but the intensity of this workout will shock you! So jump on an elliptical, or if you don’t have access to a gym, alternating between jumping jacks, running in place, and high knee lifts will go a long way in loosening up your body.
TABATA PROTOCOL CIRCUIT
Perform each exercise with the highest intensity possible during the 20-second bursts, and try to recover during the 10-second rest periods. Repeat once through, totaling four minutes.
EXERCISE 1: Cockroach
Starting on all fours, crawl as fast as possible forward for four paces. Stop, get up, and jump in the air. Turn around, get back on all fours, and repeat.
Areas Trained: Full-body, emphasizing legs, glutes, arms and core.
EXERCISE 2: Rotating Jump Lunge
Start in a lunge position with your arms in a circle. Swing your arms around to one side, then jump the lunge on to the other leg, swinging the arms in the opposite direction. Use the arm swing to provide momentum.
Areas Trained: Legs, glutes, and core.
EXERCISE 3: Sprawl and Jump
Sprawl out to the side, putting both hands and one foot on the ground. Bring your top leg toward your chest. Push off with the hands and get up into a standing position, then jump. Repeat on other side.
Areas Trained: Full-body, emphasizing legs, arms, glutes, and core.
EXERCISE 4: Weighted Wood Chop
Lunge to one side, holding a light weight (2.5-5 lbs.) with both hands. Swing the weight up from the floor to above your opposite shoulder. Repeat, alternating sides.
Areas Trained: Biceps, shoulders, core and legs.
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