Short and sweat

Have you tried Tabata…no, not ciabatta (the bread) as some people think they hear me say…I am saying TABATA. How would you like to boost your metabolism in just 4 minutes a day?

Who has heard of it? Who does it? If you are doing it, how much do you love it?!

Developed by Dr. Izumi Tabata and called the Tabata Protocol. Dr Izumi used this method when he was serving as the head coach for the Japanese speed skating team. This High Intensity Interval Training method consists of alternating short periods of intense exercise with short periods of rest, for duration of 4 minutes. 

Yes that’s right, you could be done in just 4 minutes!  Here at Square One we recommend doing 3 bursts of this Tabata style training.  Intense exercise raises our metabolic rate to about 15 times the basal metabolic rate (aka our ‘doing nothing but breathing’ metabolic rate) BMR. The Tabata method puts short-lived acute stress on the body.  When these intense exercises occur on a regular basis the body increases its BMR to handle the new demands put on it. Seeing as BMR is the amount of energy your body burns while at rest, any increase to this rate increases the fat that your body burns even when you are not exercising!

AH, yes, that’s right. 4 minutes regularly and what do you know, you are burning fat faster, while you are doing nothing. 

All right, so how do I actually do this Tabata? If we take for example running or cycling; set your timer for 20 seconds of hard core sprinting or pedal pushing (yes this means standing up if you are on the stationary bike) then rest for 10 seconds, then do it again; 20 seconds of hard work, hardest, hardest work imaginable, push yourself to your limit, sprint your heart out. Then rest for 10. Catch you breath and you are away again!

This repeats itself 8 times = 4 minutes.

You can do this 3 times in a row (with 1 minute break between each set) with any kind of different exercise, or you can do it once, then do it after lunch, then do it after dinner. It’s so quick and so wonderful. You will and should sweat. You should also feel like you might be sick. The power is in the exertion. The coolest part is that your cortisol levels wont go too crazy, as it is all so short and sharp, meaning you wont reach the workout zone where your body stores the fat because it needs to hold on to everything to keep it moving.

Some examples of Tabatas that we do here at Square One are:

  • Sprints
  • Stationary bike
  • Mountain climbers
  • Spider man pushups
  • Primal pushups
  • Jumping Squats
  • Skipping (double unders if you are up for it)
  • Pushups
  • Burpees
  • Kettle bell swings
  • Everest climbers
  • Squats (yes all the way down!)
  • Russian twists
  • Medicine ball slams
  • Medicine ball throws

Anything works! Go crazy! Best part of it all, is that you can totally do this with kids and family around, you can do it in a hotel room; you can do it at work. Let your kids join in and they will just love it. Your workout can be over in 15 minutes. Have we sold you yet?!

 "The 10-minute warm-up followed by a four-minute Tabata rotation will reap the same benefits as an hour on an exercise bike cycling at moderate rate". 

Now that ought to help convince you?!

I must also remind you to please consult your doctor if you have any concerns and before embarking on anything more intense that what you normally do. Take it in small steps as well, if you haven’t done much in a while, just go for a jog for 20 seconds then walk for 10. Get your body used to ‘burst’ or ‘interval’ training.

Sweat it out team and keep up your hard work!

Written by: Jess Eastwood