Fitness Report No. 2 – First Thoughts on Tabata

As I mentioned in my First Thoughts on Pilates article I have been given the opportunity to try out a bunch of new exercise classes and I am doing reviews on them all! This week I am giving my first thoughts on Tabata! I have been able to take several Tabata classes and this quick, intense, fast paced training is just the type of workout that I love!

Tabata is a high-intensity workout that features 20 second intervals of extreme exercise, followed by 10 seconds of recovery. In a 30 minute class we can get in 4-5 rounds of intervals. Each round is 4 minutes consisting of 8 intervals and is followed by an additional minute of rest. A round can consist of 2 or 4 exercises. In a 2 exercise round you will do each exercise 4 times per round. In a 4 exercise round you only do each exercise twice. The exercises are basic, mostly cardio, and focus on the large muscle groups. 

Tabata is a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) class. There has been a lot of buzz about HIIT in recent years because it is a very effective way to workout. HIIT workouts focus on intense bursts of exercise followed by complete rest in between. This allows you to be more efficient with your gym time and get a better workout in less time. You can’t really go wrong with any HIIT workout but there are several reasons why I really like Tabata.

What I like most about Tabata is that the intervals are only 20 seconds. These short intervals help me to push myself to my max through the workout. No matter how difficult the exercise or how tired I feel I can push through anything for just 20 seconds! Other HIIT classes will have varying interval lengths, but with Tabata the expectations for interval and rest length are set before you walk into the class. Being mentally prepared to push through these short intervals can set you up for a successful workout. I also feel that doing Tabata in a group setting helps to intensify the workout. The positive peer pressure in a group setting and having a trainer yelling/encouraging you along the way helps me to reach an intensity that I would not be able to on my own.

Tabata is designed so that I can quickly reach and maintain a high intensity throughout the workout. I like that Tabata is efficient and effective for all levels and abilities. The exercises can be adjusted for any fitness level, and with a good trainer I can be in a class with beginners and still get a good workout.  I love pushing myself to my limits and every Tabata class pushes those limits to the extreme!

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