Shape Magazine had such a great description of Tabata training in a recent article I thought I would use it to explain this workout!
Nausea. Seeing stars. Sucking wind. This is how you know you're doing a Tabata workout correctly. At first glance you may wonder why anyone would intentionally do this to themselves, but there's a reason this type of high-intensity interval training is becoming the go-to workout not just for athletes, but even celebs like Kyra Sedgewick. "It's the hardest exercise you'll ever do in your life," Sedgewick says of the workout routine she dubbed "The 4-Minute Miracle."
But it's worth it. Doing as little as 4 minutes (or one "Tabata") can increase your aerobic capacity, anaerobic capacity, VO2 max, resting metabolic rate, and can help you burn more fat (and make you look 200-percent leaner) than a traditional 60-minute aerobic workout. That's right—4 minutes of Tabata can get you better fitness gains than an entire hour of running on the treadmill.
"The trick to getting all these benefits is the level of intensity. All you have to do is pick an exercise and go as hard as you can for 20 seconds. Follow that with 10 seconds of rest and repeat seven more times. And when I say as hard as you can go, I mean 100-percent maximal intensity. By the end of the 4 minutes you should feel like you're going to die."
"When I first started doing these, I swear I even saw a light at the end of a tunnel. I have to really talk myself into doing the workout, but seeing the very real changes in my body has made me a believer. Adding two Tabatas per week to my workouts helped me shed 7 percent body fat in one month." - Shape Magazine