I was definitely a skeptic the first time I was introduced to the concept of Tabata as a form of exercise. I mean how could performing an exercise for just 20 seconds immediately followed by 10 seconds of rest significantly improve your physical fitness? My background as a former high school and collegiate athlete helped to form my narrow opinion of what a workout should look like.
However, once I learned its definition and experienced a properly executed round of Tabata, my perspective and opinion quickly changed to okay I get it now!
The key is in properly executing it.
Tabata is an exercise or exercises performed at maximum effort for 20 seconds. It is followed by 10 seconds of rest for 8 cycles with usually 1 to 2 minutes rest between Tabatas. The most popular protocols followed are for 30 minutes consisting of 5 Tabatas and 20 minutes consisting of 4 Tabatas. Tabata presents a significant total-body challenge in a short amount of time. Unlike long duration cardio sessions, Tabata makes it possible to increase metabolism. You can burn more calories while not losing muscle mass.
Tabata is great because you can program it to use just bodyweight exercises or literally any type of fitness equipment. As a high school basketball and track and field coach I programmed skills and drills in the place of normal exercises. Conditioning, fundamentals, sport specific muscle memory, for the win. Another great thing about Tabata is that you can perform it anywhere, you don’t need a gym membership. Challenging and effective workouts and programs can be created with absolutely no equipment. All that you need is your body and something to keep time with. It can be a watch, a phone app, or a stopwatch will do.
In short, this was just a brief statement of why Tabata is one of my favorite forms of exercise. Hopefully, you found a reason or two to give it a try.