Your guide to the official Tabata body workout

Your guide to the official Tabata body workout

Your guide to the official Tabata body workout




So what exactly is the Tabata Protocol? It’s a scientifically tested four-minute timed-intensity training protocol. It consists of eight sets of 20 seconds of supramaximal work — what we call overdrive — followed by 10 seconds of rest and recovery. In other words, you will be taken to your absolute limit for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds. Repeat eight times for a total of only four minutes to get you fitter faster.


Your guide to the official Tabata body workout
The biggest misconception about Tabata training is that to do a Tabata workout you need to do multiple sets of the four-minute protocol. To achieve maximal results, you only need to do one four-minute Tabata protocol in your entire 20-minute workout — just as in Dr. Tabata’s original study. If you start doing multiple Tabatas in a workout, it’s no longer an official Tabata workout.


In that one four-minute session you need to push through your metabolic barriers and focus on doing it once and doing it right, which means pushing yourself to the limit. The basic principle of Tabata is that the human body is intended to perform powerful, explosive and dynamic movements at high levels of intensity as part of the movement experience. Most individuals have no idea of their movement potential.

The Five Modules of the Tabata Body Workout


The Tabata Body program is a 20-minute workout that uses full-body exercises — which I specifically selected and created and that are endorsed by Professor Tabata, the creator of the Tabata Protocol — that raise your heart rate to intensities equivalent to Professor Tabata’s original lab studies. This creates changes in both your aerobic and anaerobic systems and is the key to getting you in the best shape of your life.


Participating in a Tabata Body class can improve your metabolic function, post-workout calorie expenditure (through EPOC), VO2 max and stroke volume. It also increases energy production, muscular endurance and muscle tone and definition. And additional health benefits include improved bone density and joint strength as well as lower risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes through fat loss and weight management.


Each Tabata Body Workout has five different modules:


1. Warm-Up: This module has dynamic movements designed to increase your heart rate, core temperature and flexibility and start warming up the movement patterns your body will need for the workout to come.


2. Conditioning/Cardio: This module focuses on strength, cardio, stability, plyometrics, corrective and postural exercises that will improve your fitness and help you achieve results more quickly. The goal of this section is to improve and strengthen movement patterns and cardiovascular conditioning while increasing the heart rate to physically prepare you for the Tabata module.


3. Tabata: Professor Tabata’s 20/10 formula of 20 seconds “on” maximum-intensity training and 10 seconds “off” for recovery is repeated eight times for a total of four minutes. This is where we can elicit anaerobic and aerobic changes along with excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) that will give you a caloric afterburn to boost your metabolism.

4. Core: Core strength is essential in every part of the program because the exercises are complex. The purpose of the core module is to strengthen your core when your body is at its highest level of fatigue in order improve muscular endurance and stability.


5. Cool-Down: Here, you focus on flexibility exercises that will increase joint range of motion and muscular length to help speed recovery. The purpose of this section is to improve overall mobility so that all the movement patterns you’ll utilize in your Tabata training will also advance.