Tabata High Intensity Interval Training: The fastest way to fitness & fat loss!

Tabata High Intensity Interval Training

Tabata interval training is one of the single most effective types of high intensity interval training, it’s also the most intense by far, and surprisingly it’s the shortest in duration, it only lasts for four minutes… but those four minutes produce remarkable effects!

About the Tabata Workout:

Tabata training was discovered by Dr. Izumi Tabata and a team of researchers from the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo.

Dr. Tabata discovered that this kind of interval training produces much better results than aerobic training. This included building as much muscular endurance as forty five minutes of normal cardio training. In fact in the study the subjects increased their anaerobic capacity by over a quarter as well a substantial increase in their aerobic fitness. Something to keep in mind was that the subjects were as fit as race horses before they started the trial, so the improvements were remarkable.

This makes it an very versatile program, you can use tabata for weight loss as well as improving performance in most aerobic and anaerobic sports.

Lose Fat, Get Fit in Just Four Minutes!

The full Tabata program is four minutes long, it will probably feel like the longest four minutes of your life!

If you are going to try it, our trainers recommend going light with the weights until you find your range, there’s a good chance you will underestimate this workout and be begging people around you to help you off the floor.

Tabata intervals follow this structure:

  • Push hard for 20 seconds.
  • Rest for 10 seconds.
  • Repeat this eight times.


The secret to making this effective is in your sprint interval. You have to go ALL OUT, so do as many reps as you can in the 20 seconds, put it down for 10, then pick it up again and GO HARD for another 20 seconds.

We suggest getting some sort of tabata timer, for example a watch where you can see splits/which phase or set you are currently at in the workout, or a smart phone app. You don’t want to have to think too much, all of your concentration should be on the exercise.

Choosing Exercises

You can do Tabata exercise with sprints, but it is far more adaptable than other forms of interval training. You can use exercises such as the front squat or push press if you are in the gym. Kettle bells work exceptionally well. Basically, you can use anything that will put a large load on your biggest muscle groups. Be sure to use your large muscle groups otherwise you will get very little of the benefit. Elite trainers like to use plyometrics and core exercises to push clients to 100% effort.

This is not a daily workout, if you can do this every day you are doing it wrong. This workout produces remarkable results for those brave enough to use it. You will never again say ONLY four minutes!

Elite Sports Clubs trainers have been using Tabata training one-on-one with clients, and even in a small group training atmosphere. Elite members love Tabata because there are no excuses for not being able to fit your workout into your day! Check out our fitness calendar to view a schedule of available Tabata small group training programs, or ask your personal training to start incorporating it into your sessions, if they haven’t done so already!

Not currently working with a trainer, but think it might be time to start? Let us know a little bit more about yourself and your goals, and then come in for a consultation!