Got four minutes? With Tabata, you can burn 50 to 60 calories - and then boost your metabolism for half an hour afterward, according to recent research from Auburn University.
"This is interval training in overdrive," says lead author Michele Olson.
Other studies have shown that Tabata improves endurance as well as cardiovascular health. For example, ABC News recently reported on a study by Professor Izumi Tabata, whose research resulted in having this form of fitness named in his honor.
After evaluating athletes who cycled for 60 minutes, 5 times a week, and those who did 7 to 8 sets of 20-second high intensity cycling followed by 10-second rest periods (about 4 minutes total), 5 times a week, the professor found that both improved their cardiovascular fitness, but the second group had an improvement in both anaerobic and aerobic fitness.
The American Council on Exercise (ACE) also conducted research showing that Tabata workouts can burn up to 15 calories per minute.
Want to give it a try? Experiment with these fitness DVDs: