Tabata high-intensity interval training is a potent way to shed body fat, enhance cardiovascular conditioning and improve stamina, says fitness expert Ben Greenfield, an Ironman triathlete.
"Tabata training is uncomfortable, but it is a great way get a better body fast," Greenfield explained on a podcast at GetFitGuy. "[It] can also significantly boost your metabolism and improve both your aerobic and anaerobic (sprint-style) cardiovascular and muscular endurance."
While many people dread exercise because they think being fit requires slogging away at the gym for hours every day, Greenfield says Tabata workouts spanning eight to 15 minutes can dramatically improve your appearance and physical conditioning.
In fact, "Superman" star Henry Cavill, a former rugby player, did Tabata workouts to achieve his rippling "Man of Steel" physique. And actress Jessica Alba does sprint intervals on the treadmill to maintain her stunning physique.
"If you just want to burn fat, get a better body, and target trouble spots on your body that you want to tone, you'd be surprised at how little you can actually exercise," wrote Greenfield, author of Beyond Training.
It's important to make sure reps are done as vigorously as possible, meaning an all-out effort. Tabata sets are done at super-high intensity for 20 seconds followed by 10-second intervals of complete rest.
"You can do a number of exercises with Tabata training, including jump squats, push ups, sprints, cycling, elliptical — you name it!" said Greenfield. "The key is to exercise as hard as you can possibly exercise during the 20 seconds on and then recover quite briefly for the 10 seconds off."
Intensity is the secret behind Tabata's amazing results. Jogging for 45 minutes at a consistent middling pace won't challenge the body as much as shorter high-intensity interval training. Indeed, a recent study at the University of Utah confirmed that exercise intensity is more important than duration when it comes to weight loss.
While Tabata workouts will be shorter, you'll definitely feel pushed to the limit. The high-octane interval training will torch calories and fat in less time, and help your body burn more calories even after you finish your workout.