Spice up Your Workout Part 3: Tabata

In this series we look at some of the most effective training styles to spice up your workouts, including some free workouts for you to download and try!

We’ve looked at AMRAPs and HIIT training, so now lets look at another training style to spice up your workouts.


Tabata is a specific style of HIIT, named after it’s creator, Izumi Tabata whereby you perform 20 seconds of maximal effort followed by a 10 second rest, and repeat for four minutes (eight cycles). Choose your cardiovascular weapon, running, cycling, burpees, squat jumps etc, and push yourself 100% for the 20 seconds.

Download your free Tabata Core Workout.

Benefits of Tabata:

  • Fitter faster: According to a 1996 study, Tabata training will infact get you fitter than steady state training, providing you do push to that maximum intensity.
  • It beats boredom: Let’s face it, cardio can be boring, so here’s a way to spice things up, to challenge yourself.
  • Short and sweet: Anyone can do anything for 20 seconds – right!? Mentally it’s more manageable than longer sprint sessions, even if you’ve got to do it eight times!
  • Overload principle: When you overload your body, it triggers your BMR to go up, your muscle tissue to strengthen and your heart adapt. All positive things for health fitness and body shape!

Be careful of:

  • Overdoing it: Stick to the eight cycles, especially if you are a beginner. Whilst the overload principle is a good thing, too much of it isn’t and you can run the risk of getting injured or ill.
  • Stretching out the rests: 10 seconds goes so fast, especially when you get tired. Be precise with your timing and count your reps, trying to match them each cycle you complete.

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