Tabata Workouts: What are they and what are the benefits?

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Tabata workouts are a good way to get the most out of aerobic exercises, get out of your comfort zone and do an exercise that requires the maximum of your abilities.

Will you accept the challenge?

The Tabata method is a type of high-intensity interval training in short periods, which leads to caloric expenditure during and after training, even when the body is already in the recovery phase.

The objective of Tabata training is to improve physical capacity, namely through:

  • Increased physical endurance;
  • Decreased running time for certain distances;
  • Improvement of certain health conditions, such as cholesterol and blood pressure.

How do you practice Tabata?

To begin with, you must choose the type of exercise or set of exercises you are going to do.

After this, you must decide if you are going to do a 4 or 20-minute workout - if you do not have any experience, start with 4 minutes and progressively increase until you reach 20 minutes.

And it is precisely taking into account a 4-minute workout that we give you some indications.

You must perform the chosen exercises, as follows:

Do 20 seconds of training and then recover for 10 seconds. You can alternate the exercises between each stop.

Also, monitor the intensity during training and slow down a little if your heart rate gets too high. And always remember that you should adapt your workout as necessary if you feel discomfort.

The practice of this method is not advisable for inexperienced or unaccompanied people, as the physical demand is great and they may not be doing the exercises correctly, leading to the appearance of injuries and physical exhaustion that can bring unwanted consequences.

Therefore, always seek advice from a sports professional.

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Benefits of practicing Tabata

High-intensity training has some benefits for those looking for weight loss or maintenance and thus achieve a balanced and healthy lifestyle.

1. Higher caloric expenditure

Not only during your workout but also after, the Tabata method is extremely intense, which can lead to a significant increase in caloric burn post-workout.

2. Less exercise time

In just 20 minutes of Tabata cardio training, you can achieve results equivalent to an hour of running or moderate cycling and two hours of yoga or walking.

It is, therefore, a way to make the most of your time, without compromising the results you are looking for.

3. Increase in lean mass

Tabata workouts demand a maximum of effort, commitment, and stimulation on the muscular tissue. Therefore, the exercises of the Tabata method impose the body to recover these fibers, providing the gain of muscular mass.

4. Increase in anaerobic and aerobic capacities

The founder of this method (Dr. Izumi Tabata) points to an increase of 14% in aerobic capacity and 28% in anaerobic capacity of practitioners. This is reflected in a general increase in the resistance of each person.

Difference between Tabata and HIIT

You have surely heard of HIIT, high-intensity interval training. 

So, what distinguishes it from Tabata?

Both are high-intensity interval training.

The main difference lies essentially in time, as HIIT exercises are more flexible with the time allocated for exercise and the time allocated for pause or rest. Thus, it is enough to leave the rules and timings referred to in the Tabata method to enter the sphere of HIIT.

Both are good options for burning fat and gaining muscle.

In addition, they are methods totally adaptable to your goals, being able to choose more targeted exercises to work certain parts of the body.

The Tabata method then allows you to achieve great results in a short training period.

But do not forget that if you are now taking your first steps in the world of physical exercise, it is advisable to have a specialist monitor you. In addition, the results you want will only be achieved and maintained with a good nutrition plan.


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