16 Minute Vacation Workout: Tabata

by Joe Lawrence | July 21st, 2016 | 15 Minutes or Less, Strength Training
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working out (400x400)Ah the crashing waves, the sun rising over the mountains, the sights of the rising skyscrapers, or whatever beauties your vacation offers you. Being on vacation is often very relaxing, especially those first few moments after rising from bed. However, it is easy to fall out of your workout routine. There is a way to get in an incredible workout in less than 20 minutes. It is called Tabata.

Great! Another workout trend! Actually, this one is not likely to hit the mainstream the way others do, because of its high intensity. Where most other workouts target a 70% intensity level for 30-60 minutes, Tabata is 170% intensity for small intervals. This is for advanced fitness nuts, but can be done by anyone.

The Tabata name comes from the researcher Dr. Izumi Tabata. He published a study in a 1996 sports exercise journal that turned a lot of heads. He took two groups of people and worked them out for six weeks. The first group did a normal routine workout routine at 70% intensity for the period and they showed an 8% VO2 max increase while the Tabata group posted a 28% improvement. And the best part is Tabata testers only did 120 minutes of exercise compared to the 1,800 minutes of the other group.

Here is how it works. You do only four exercise at a very high intensity for 20 seconds then take a 10 second break for eight sets.

Choose four exercises that you can really push the pace. For example, push ups, body weight squats, exercise bike, and jumping rope.

Do 20 seconds of push ups and then take 10 seconds to prep for next exercise. Do 20 seconds of squats and then onto the cycle and jump rope. Do your 10 second break after jumping rope and immediately roll back into push ups. Do this for eight sets, if you can.

Tabata takes advantage of the interval concept used by runners for years. This high intensity and pace raise your lactic acid levels to the extreme and your body boosts its metabolism levels that burn fat and will continue to keep the levels high for several hours after the workout is completed.

Tabata is meant to be a very efficient way to boost the body’s anaerobic and aerobic capabilities and is tough even for world class athletes. Most of us are nowhere near that caliber; however, pushing ourselves to the max only 16 minutes can still result in similar benefits as experienced by the test subjects.

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All health and fitness information is provided for educational purposes. Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.