How can you get in a fast and effective workout in 4 minutes? and do it anytime, anywhere, no excuses?
Use Tabata or HIIT: High Intensity Interval Training, I’ll explain exactly what it is and how you can use it below.
Let’s be honest, you are wasting your time going out for long runs, cycles or spending upwards of 45 minutes at a fixed intensity for a long duration. Another factor to consider is what type of body do you want to create, you need to train like the athlete’s shape you want to be, look at endurance runners vs sprinters, look at cyclists. Spending consistent time in long duration medium intensity exercise will create you a lean, skinny type physique which is fine if that’s the look you are going for. Want to loose fat, keep or gain muscle and do it with minimal time investment? Enter, Tabata.
What is Tabata?
Tabata comes out of Japan, you can read the history and specifics here. It boils down to:
- Total of 4 minutes time spent
- 8 rounds of: 20 seconds high intensity exercise, followed by 10 seconds rest.
- The exercises themselves are infinite and can be bodyweight only or with other equipment
- Raises your metabolic rate for the following 24 hours
- Increases your maximum aerobic capacity, VO2 max
- Convenient - you can do this in a hotel, while on holiday, at conventions or at conferences to maintain your health or as part of your daily routine
How to do it:
First get warm, it’s high intensity and depending on the exercises you choose it maybe high impact. I like to start my day with a 30 minute walk outside (I do a walk of gratitude, will detail in another post), walk fast to get warm and get a sweat up. When you sleep your spine hydrates, your body elongates and the discs in your spine separate. Avoid heavy weights and high impact work immediately on waking, get warm first and let the spine settle.
Decide on a few exercises:
- Air squats
- High Knees
- Hill climbers
- Pull ups/Chin ups
- Jumping lunges
- Kettlebell swings
- Skipping, try for double unders ( two spin cycles per jump)
Use music to motivate:
One of the quickest ways to alter your mental state or mood is with music. I have playlists for waking up in the morning feeling positive, for cardio, Tabata training, for weight training, for working at the computer, different types of music work for different activities.
For Tabata I prefer upbeat progressive trance/techno type music, in the video below I’m listening to a free podcast by Blake Jarrell on my ipad you can grab his music for free here: Blake Jarrell podcast
Use a timer app:
These make the whole process super easy and actually fun to do, I demo a few in the video below. Here are the links:
iPhone/iPad app WOD Workout of the Day, Crossfit:
Free Tabata, Interval Timer Android app:
Go all out!
How often in life do you truly give your all holding nothing back, leaving nothing in the tank? I challenge you to unleash your everything for 4 minutes, it is a truly empowering feeling to rip into something and just go primal letting out that aggression in a safe, healthy way.
Below is a video of me explaining Tabata and demonstrating the exercises and the apps you can use:
Have fun with this and please leave a comment with how you got on and any questions you have.