What is “Tabata” ? 

The Tabata is the name of the workout. When it comes to functional training and its features, such as exercises for strength, condition and endurance, Tabata workout is imminent.

This workout provides similar health benefits as a classical type of cardio workout, but is flavored with much greater intensity of exercise. Instead 30 minutes or 60 minutes workout, Tabata workout can be completed from 4 to 5 minutes. The Tabata falls into training with high intensity called HIIT training (High-Intensity Interval Training).

Who creates the “Tabata”?

The Tabata was established by the Japanese scientist Izumi Tabata and several of his colleagues from the department of physiology in Japan. Izumi and his colleagues researchers decided to conduct a study to compare training with a moderate intensity workout with high intensity. They did tests on two groups of students. The first group uses training with moderate interval training. Second, using training with high interval training.

  • In the first group:

Candidates have trained for moderate intensity (70% intensity), five days a week, six weeks and each workout lasted for 60 minutes.

  • In the second group:

Candidates have trained with high intensity, four days a week, six weeks. Each workout lasted for 4 to 5 minutes. High intensity for 20 seconds (17% intensity), 10 seconds rest.

What are the results?

  • The first group had a significant increase in aerobic (cardiovascular system). However, anaerobic system has improved slightly, but only some, most were no improvements.
  • The second group had significant improvement in all major candidates. Their aerobic systems are improved and their anaerobic systems have increased by 28%.


HIIT training (High-Intensity Interval Training) has a much greater impact on the aerobic system and the anaerobic system. Therefore, researchers recommended short training where you put a maximum of yourself.

The “Tabata” method: 8 x 20 seconds workout + 8 x 10 seconds rest = 4 minutes

You should exercise with a maximum intensity for 20 seconds after that to make a 10-second break and repeat it 8 times (total) by the “Tabata”.

One of the strengths of “Tabata” workout is that you have the freedom to combine various cardio and customize on your options, which means you will not be able to complain that you’re bored.
You can repeat an exercise only during the eight intervals, but it is recommended to modify the exercises after each break. Also, you can do more, “Tabata” series during an exercise. Pause 2 minutes between sets.

Example of “Tabata” Workout

  • 20 seconds, running in place with high raising knees
  • 10-second pause
  • 20 seconds, squats
  • 10-second pause
  • 20 seconds, push ups
  • 10-second pause
  • 20 seconds, jumping rope
  • 10-second pause

Repeat all the exercises again to complete a “Tabata” series.
Do not forget to stand for several minutes to warm up at the beginning of a workout and cool down and stretching at the end.


Ideas For “Tabata” Workout

The method “Tabata” has gained immense popularity and is experiencing numerous modifications. Sometimes intervals are extended, sometimes are using weights or fitness equipment, aerobics exercises are sometimes replaced with yoga or Pilates exercises.

You come across different variations of “Tabata” workout. Here are some ideas:

4-minute workout


10-minute workout


28-minute workout


45-minute workout


It is normal during a workout to experience a significant acceleration of heart rate and increased sweating and to make it difficult to speak because of lack of oxygen. The “Tabata” method will help you to improve the condition, to speed up metabolism and burn fat fast. If you are pregnant, you have high blood pressure or suffer from heart problems, consult a doctor before you are starting “Tabata” workout.

For the best results, it is desirable to practice “Tabata” workout 4 times a week. The effect is greatest in the first three weeks and then you can feel the need to strengthen training.