4 Benefits of Tabata Training

Tabata, also known as the four minute workout that will have you out of breath and your heart racing, is perfect for someone seeking to experience results when time restraint is an issue. With busy schedules and fitness goals, the busy schedule usually wins. The good news is Tabata training is short on time and tough on fat! Better defined, it’s exercising at 170% of your VO2 max; in layman’s terms it means 100 percent maximal intensity. By the end of the four minutes, you should feel like you’re completely exhausted.

Tabata is a unique form of cardiovascular exercise that delivers more healthy benefits than virtually all traditional physical exercises. The great thing about Tabata training is virtually any exercise, both in the gym and out, from sprinting to weightlifting, can be used in this training style. Although this training method seems to be one of the newest fitness fads, it’s actually been around for quite some time. It was developed in 1996 by a Japanese professor named Izumi Tabata, who used Tabata Training methods on the Japanese Olympic speed skating team. Tabata is one of the few training styles to have incredible anabolic and cardiovascular effects on the body quickly. When a study was conducted on cyclists performing Tabatas, the results showed that a four-minute workout was more effective than an hour of moderate cycling. Here’s what a Tabata training session looks like:

Four minutes long (whole Tabata Session)

  • 20 seconds of intense training—as hard as you can go!
  • 10 seconds of rest, OR “recovery”
  • Total of 8 sessions or rounds

Now that you have an idea of how Tabatas are performed, let’s dig deeper into the amazing benefits that come from such training.


Tabata training will raise your metabolism and heart rate in no time. Because you are going at such a high level of intensity, your body has to work much harder to keep up. Your metabolism will stay at a high not only during the workout, but after the workout as well. This means that your body will be burning fat even when you aren’t doing anything. When performing other forms of moderate cardio, you have to wait until your body gets into the “fat burning zone” in order to really burn fat. As soon as you stop the cardio, your body stops burning calories. Not with Tabata training. Tabata training places your body directly in the fat burning zone within the first round and keeps burning hours after.


The last thing Tabata training does is cut into hard earned muscle tissue. With the short amount of time that it takes to get a good workout, you won’t be eating away at any muscle tissue as you might during long durations of cardio.The Tabata method of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) places stress on muscle tissue, which tells your body that more muscle tissue is needed. As a result, the ratio of your lean body mass to fat goes up, and by choosing exercises that maximize the muscle mass worked, muscle tissue may increase.


No matter how busy you are, all it takes is four to eight minutes of this high intensity workout to get a great workout in. The availability of this workout is time saving in itself, as you don’t need to go to a gym to reap the benefits. All you need is your own body weight or some at home equipment like bands and dumbbells.


The anaerobic capacity, which represents the maximum amount of energy that can be produced by our body in the absence of oxygen, and the aerobic capacity (the maximum oxygen uptake capacity) are both increased. According to recent studies, participants who underwent a Tabata sprint training had their aerobic capacity increased by over 14% and a 28% increase in their body’s anaerobic capacity. The outcome is more energy and stamina and a higher degree of resistance to continuous strain and effort.

With all these amazing benefits that come with Tabata training, why not give it a try? Remember to always get a good warm up 5–10 minutes before any form of training. Here are a few Tabata training routines for you to try out. Push hard—results are coming!

Sprinting & Ropes Tabata

  • Sprinting: sprint for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds x 8 times
  • Battle rope: Rope for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds x 8 times 

Body Weight Tabata

  • Push-ups: 20 seconds push-ups, 10 seconds rest x 8 times
  • Body Squats: 20 seconds Squatting, 10 seconds rest x 8 times
  • Planks: 20 seconds planking, 10 seconds rest x 8 times
  • Pull-Ups: 20 seconds pull-ups, 10 seconds rest x 8 times

Dumbbell Tabata

  • Bicep Curls: 20 seconds curling, 10 seconds rest x 8 times
  • Chest Press: 20 seconds Chest press, 10 seconds rest x 8 times
  • Walking lunges with dumbbell: 20 seconds lunging, 10 seconds rest x 8 times
  • Overhead Tricep Extension: 20 seconds overhead, 10 seconds rest x 8 times


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