The Skinny on Tabata and Why You Need to Add it to Your Fitness Routine Yesterday

I love things that work for me even when I’m not working, or even there: my crock pot, timers for sprinklers and lights, Hootsuite. Recently I’ve discovered a way to turn my metabolism into a fat burning machine, and to keep it there even when I’m at rest, with no pills needed. Enter Tabata.

Tabata is a fast paced workout from Japan designed by Dr. Izumi Tabata to increase the performance of Japanese speed skaters. Made up of varied High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) stations that include challenging plyometric exercises, Tabata participants will do 20 seconds of intense exercise followed by a ten second rest at each station (8 stations in all), for a total of 4 minutes at each station. During the 30 minute or so block of a whole Tabata workout your body enters into an anabolic state, resulting in your metabolism burning calories at a higher rate even after you’re done working out. Burning calories and fat while I shower? Yes Please!

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Not only is the outcome of Tabata, an increased metabolism even at rest, awesome, the workout itself is fun and challenging. Each session is unique and pushes you beyond your comfort zone to where you didn’t think you could even go. I never imagined me doing a pull-up. No way! Enter Tabata and a reverse row, and yes, me doing a pull-up (or 10) happened.

I tried my first Tabata class this past week and I am absolutely hooked. In 30 minutes, including a warm up a cool down, I worked my entire body, including my core, with extreme intensity while being challenged and having fun. In the Tabata class I tried each station (again, 8 in total) was done in small groups that you stayed with throughout the full 30 minutes. When one of us was hurting the others would push them on to success. With all the major muscle groups being worked, nearly everyone needed some cheerleading at one point or another. This is one of the best parts of group fitness classes, especially one like Tabata, that you just can’t duplicate with a DVD or on-line program. If you get a chance to attend a Tabata class I highly recommend you give it a try. It will leave you sweaty, exhausted, sore and looking forward to the next session.

Tabata is gaining in popularity, meaning it is highly possible a gym or studio near you has a Tabata class you can try for yourself. Check out for a instructors in your area. Many YMCA’s are now offering Tabata classes (I tried my first one at our local Y), and with its status as an up and coming workout it might even be possible to sway your preferred gym to get a Tabata class going.

Here’s to an effective workout even us busy moms can fit in and have fun doing!




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