Summer of Strong Workout: Tabata Training

Hi friends! Welcome back to Week 4 of the Mom365 “Summer Of Strong”!

Whether you’re a new mom or a seasoned pro, we all have one thing in common: a desire to get in our best possible shape! I say “OUR” because fitness is an individual quest towards health. One size DOES NOT fit all. And what works for one, might not be healthy for another. That’s why our main focus is STRENGTH. We’re finding our own strong this summer, whatever that might be for each individual.

What’s another thing we all have in common as mamas? We’re SHORT ON TIME! There simply aren’t enough hours in the day. There are chores to do, children to attend to, meals to cook, and messes to clean up. It can be a bit much. Given all of this, I don’t want to add on to your workload. That’s why this week, we’re doing TABATA training! For anyone not familiar with this crazy term, here is a quick overview:

What IS Tabata training?

Tabata is a high intensity interval training tool, incorporating short bursts of exercise with a short period of rest.

Who invented Tabata?

Dr. Izumi Tabata and his colleagues at the National Institute of Health and Nutrition wanted to establish the minimum amount of training needed to increase fitness. (source: Men’s Health)

What did they find?

The results of their research were astonishing – the team tested athletes’ VO2 max (the point at which they get winded) and found that those who followed the Tabata formula increased their VO2 max by 14% in six weeks. According the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, “Six to 8 very hard 20-second intervals with 10-second rest periods may be one of the best possible training protocols.”

So how do you use Tabata training as a workout tool? It looks something like this:

20 seconds on. HIGH INTENSITY!!

10 seconds off.

Repeat for a total of 8 times – 4 minutes total workout time!

You can use Tabata training as a your SOLE workout for the day or as an add-on to the end of a workout. I know you’re thinking, “4 minutes?!? That’s not a workout!” I promise – when you work to your max during those 20 seconds, you’ll get out of breath quite quickly and force your body to workout ANAEROBICALLY! Tabatas are designed so that you won’t NEED to workout any longer than 4 minutes, but if you are advanced you can do a few rounds of 8 OR pair a Tabata with some cardiovascular training. As always,listen to your body and your fitness level!

Let’s MOVE!

What You’ll Need

A 5-10 pound dumbbell set

Interval timer (I use the Gymboss, but you can also use a stopwatch function on your phone or the free online-stopwatch.)

How Often

Three times per week, non-consecutive days. If your goal is weight loss, I suggest that you add in a cardio activity on the days in between (walking, running, swimming).

Our Real Time Workout:

The best thing about Tabata training? THEY’RE SHORT! You can do ANYTHING for 20 seconds! So push yourself!

If you find yourself seeking out more Tabata workouts, try out my Tuesday Trainer feature, where you can find at least THREE different Tabata workouts ready for you. Also, feel free to check out my other SOS workouts: Legs, Core, and Arms!

QUESTION: Short on time? What are some tips for making sure you get your workout in??